The 4th of July is a time to celebrate our freedom as a country. We have cookouts, we drink beers, we set off fireworks, and we spend time with our loved ones. It’s usually one of my favorite days of the year, but so far, 2013 hasn’t given us a lot of freedom to celebrate. It’s been a strange time for our country, and it’s hard to know what to believe anymore. We deliver SEO services, so like all you other SEOs and marketers, we have always known that data is plentiful on the web, but maybe none of us wanted to admit to ourselves just HOW plentiful it is.
As marketers, data is the lifeblood of our industry. We gladly absorb what we can and use it to better create campaigns. We even use it indirectly by advertising with entities like Google and Facebook who are essentially data vacuums. This data is freely given, or at least it was at first. Just a couple weeks ago, there was the terrible slip by Facebook that revealed they have been hoarding data they have no business hoarding. Even if you aren’t on Facebook, or if you have a friend who isn’t on Facebook, Facebook still takes it upon themselves to build a complete profile for you and that friend. Worse, they have done a poor job protecting that info, and when the error occurred a couple weeks ago, many people had private data exposed.
See also: Sony
See also: RSA
See also: Citigroup
See also: The Government of the United States of America
Edward Snowden released information about the NSA and its mass surveillance program, and the country has been in turmoil since. America has been spying on its people and its allies, and now the whistle has been blown. I won’t get into the legality of his situation or the traitor vs patriot argument, I just want to talk about some facts.
Your online data isn’t completely private. None of it. There are varying degrees of privacy, but the only true way to ensure something is completely private online is to not put it on the internet to begin with. Now, I work online, and I’m sure many of you are in the same boat. What’s more, I put my name out there on articles and social media posts and a myriad of other content daily. Most of the time, I want to be found. That’s actually the goal. For many people though, they’d rather not be found online. They’d rather be anonymous, they have the right to be anonymous, and that is becoming increasingly impossible.
What can we do?
There are protests in the streets of America today. If you feel strongly about protecting your freedom and right to privacy on the web, you could always attend. Otherwise, be very conscious of what you say and do on the net. Even if you are a marketer with a public profile, even if you’re a private citizen with nothing to hide, just be aware that, this 4th of July, your privacy may not be as private, and your freedom may not be as free.