Sisters talking on…Privacy in a Connected World

Point for discussion:

This week we learned that even our Smart TVs are allowing others to gather data regarding the things we watch. While it’s great to be able to stream TV shows and movies, how much privacy are we really giving up? This data is potentially (and quite likely) being sold to advertisers so that we may be bombarded by targeted marketing in the future.

Our Points of View:

(Lynn)

I tend to be a very private person. I do not wish to be bombarded by advertising, either print, telemarketing, or on every web page I visit. From a practical standpoint, there are actions I take to protect myself. I delete all advertisements that hit my Twitter and Facebook pages without even looking at it. I never allow push notifications, and turn Location Services off unless required for a specific app like Maps. I have also covered the webcam on my laptop. Based on everything I’ve heard this week, this is a good start, but there really is no way to protect myself 100%, with so much information floating around. We felt obligated to sign up for Identity Protection services to protect ourselves.

My home is my haven. I expect that when I’m home, I will not be bothered by all of this endless marketing unless I choose to be. Imagine my shock this week when I was surprised by someone stopping by my house based on information that we had not shared with them. My hubby recently turned 65 and went on Medicare for his primary health care. A Financial Advisor that I had never met or spoken to stopped by. She knew our names and that my hubby recently went on Medicare. I sent her packing since we don’t need whatever she was selling. I have no idea where she gathers her information to make house calls, but I am now slightly less comfortable than I was before.

All that said though, the Girl Scouts could have stopped by to sell me cookies and I would have been perfectly happy with that!

(Laurie)

I agree with Lynn that we shouldn’t expect people to walk up to our door based on our personal information, but we are trading off some security for what we enjoy doing.

Privacy expectations are different for different people.  It could be based on how connected we each are – whether we just research or shop online vs. posting a detailed personal profile and using social media extensively.  Whatever our extent of online activities, expectations of “privacy” have certainly changed.  We used to expect complete privacy, but now we know, if we are going to be online – or if our information is stored by companies in a computer (:-{, chances are, they will be a resource for many (advertisers and others), and could get hacked at some point.  Not a comforting thought.

I think differently about privacy now that my identity was stolen (and stolen again via Equifax).  If the company with our most personal private information is hacked, and not held accountable, why should we worry?  Companies that we do business with are required to correct any fraud that may occur.

If the companies we do business with can’t protect us, how can we protect ourselves (beyond the types of things that Lynn has done)?  I don’t get as angry or panicked as I used to.  Is that a good or bad thing?

Our Question for you:

While each of us is responsible for doing what we can to protect our own privacy, how much privacy should we be expected to give up in a connected world?  Shouldn’t we be asked for permission before even basic data like name, address and age, can be used by the companies we do business with?  What do you think?

One thought on “Sisters talking on…Privacy in a Connected World

  1. Your best topic and opinion piece so far. Here’s an example you didn’t mention. When I started looking for my drum set I visited 2 sites offering the same product. When I launched my browser a few minutes later, EVERY ad I saw was for the drum set I had just looked at. That’s not creepy at all!

    Like

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