The story

Recently I did an assignment on how to overcome the fear of technology. The purpose was getting to know and get oneself into different programs and management tools.

There are countless programs and online services/ platforms that make office work a lot easier, that connect people around the globe and allow us to exchange data, do business, present ourselves…  Great!                                                                                                                            But one day something strange happened:

A few days ago I looked for a video on the web to watch it on my Smartphone. Since I didn’t find it on youtube I watched it on Later on when I checked my facebook page, I realized that it automatically posted what video I had just seen … visible for everyone. Angry but also thoughtful some questions began to arise:

1. personal data protection on the internet

2. what do account passwords protect us against and what are the limit

3. can authorites access my personal accounts and who do they share it with

4. Why do people want to share their trivial everyday life with the whole world (why do I?)


Researching about the connection between Facebook and government led me to this video… you better check this out:

Actually I’m not quite sure if I should laugh or not… but if there is a grain of truth in it we should seriously rethink our internet presence…

Information revealed to third party

It is a fact, that facebook does give information of its users to authorities – “in response to a legal request”.

But how easily governments and authorities can access personal user data we can only estimate. Who knows how international intelligence works together and how the data once “requested” is forwarded.

On the one hand I consider it a success that crimes like terrorist attacks could be avoided by local authorities using facebook as the FBI did. By using facebook a terrorist was prevented from blowing up the Federal Reserve and many lives were saved. But on the other hand I believe it is quite a balancing act, not to cross the fine line and disturb the privacy life of people. And if there really is an interface for US intelligence in order to get information a lot quicker and less complicated every user is living in a surveillance state.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Facebook is the most comprehensive database about people all over the world, containing preferences, relationship status, locations, relatives, photos and so on potentially accessible to US authorities.  Another comment on this topic that I take much more serious comes from Julian Assange, this guy knows what he talks about…

Conclusion/ Reflection

I found out what happened, while watching a clip on I still was logged into facebook which was the reason for the posting… Well facebook won’t be running anymore in the background while I’m doing other things with my phone.

Talking about data protection does not only involve facebook issues. Google for example scans emails “for advertising purposes” and sells this information – the “free” account is paid with our privacy so to speak.

But for me it is disturbing enough that the possibility exists at all to basically “steal” user data without permission. From the firms point of view all users are cash cows. From the intelligence point of view we are all potential terrorists – justifying preventive data capturing. But still – it is the user that feeds the internet with his data.   Users should be careful with exposing themselves and always assume and remember that the intenet doesn’t forget.
Quote of the day

Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.

Benjamin Franklin