Where did our personal privacy go?

Oh, you thought that you had some personal privacy? Sorry, it seems that you’re wrong and that you ARE being watched.

For example, if you’ve found this post by searching with google then they’ll have recorded that search against your name if you were logged in with your google account. If you’ve found it via StumbleUpon then they’ll have recorded that too. Both are “to enhance your browsing experience” or words to that effect but they certainly remove any privacy that you thought you might have in your Internet browsing.

If you’ve you’ve been using the Internet for a while no doubt you’ve commented on some forums or blogs by now. All those comments are available to everyone. Oh, you used a false name, did you? No good because the software will have recorded the IP address from which you made the comment and that can be linked to you. Ah, but your ISP allocates random IP addresses every time you login so you’re OK. Well, no, because the ISP records who gets what IP address so, yes, that comment could be linked to you.

Still, at least your e-mails are private. Not really. The Internet is structured as a network of linked computers so every e-mail you send will have gone through a series of computers to reach its destination and every one of those computers could easily record the contents and who sent it.

It seems like we’ve finally got the surveillance of 1984 and all we’re missing (in most of the world) is the totalitarian regime. Still, perhaps if we wait a few years we’ll have the complete set.

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