Collusion Assignment

Posted On April 25, 2012

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I think online privacy doesn’t exist.  Almost every company on the web has a privacy policy, however, I don’t believe they can actually enforce it to the extent they normally could in the offline world.  For years, I’ve heard from all different sources telling people to be careful what you post and who you meet online for the very reason that once something is posted online, it can never be deleted.  For non-business and government agencies, the average internet user does have some type of privacy when it comes to concealing their real identity to others, this tends to lead to people acting unethically and even illegally from anywhere in the world.  For example, many identity thieves are not even in the same country or continent as their victims, which make it harder for law enforcement agencies to track them and press charges against them.

I personally do not share any important information online like some of my peers and the younger generations do.  I noticed some people went as far as listing their phone numbers and home addresses on their Facebook pages.  While I know anyone can find out where someone lives by searching the internet and looking to see listings in telephone books or their online equivalent, I don’t believe in making it even easier for potential threats to locate someone.  Not too long ago I had to look up someone for school and by typing in their name and the town they are from into a search engine, I was given several results.  One of them was a site that would give out this person’s email and home addresses, previous addresses, possible relatives and other important information if I joined this site and pay the subscription fee.  These sites seem to be on the rise as more people want to know everything about anyone coming physically near them or their family.  Several sites are popping up that allow people to run background checks on anyone.

This exercise actually strengthened my beliefs about online privacy.  Companies that I thought didn’t sell any information actually are linked to other sites.  While I know it’s not that company that is selling the information, I wonder who actually is.  An example of this is the bowling circles on the screen shot.  These are my aunt and uncle’s company websites and so I am aware that they aren’t selling anyone’s information, they are both linked to some website called addthis.com.

I knew there was a lot of data sharing and tracking going on behind the scenes before doing this exercise; however I didn’t know it extended so far.  I did learn more about online privacy and information sharing by doing this exercise.  I waited two days after installing Collusion before checking the diagram.  And was surprised by the number of webs there were from the sites I visit sometimes daily or weekly.

 

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