They want a search engine or rating service that will provide only content safe for kids.
That is completely the wrong strategy. There is no one definition of a "kid" or what is appropriate for a "kid".
No corporation or product or government should make choices for you, the parent. And many adults could use content-rating
to improve their own internet experiences.
Instead, YOU should be the one who decides what is appropriate for each of your kids and for yourself.
The web pages and search engines and browsers should give you info and tools to enable this.
Web pages and rating services should tell you "this web page contains X amount of violence and Y amount of nudity".
YOU should choose, in your kid's browser and search engine, that
"this user is allowed to see M amount of violence and N amount of nudity".
Suppose you do some searches about cancer, or diabetes, or alcoholism.
Do you want that info popping up the next time you apply for health insurance or car insurance or a job ?
Even if you don't have cancer, diabetes, or an alcohol problem ?
Easiest for the company to just deny you the insurance or a job, rather than investigate or take a risk.
Suppose you're a woman with an abusive ex-husband, or a creepy ex-boyfriend ?
Do you want them to be able to track your location in real-time, or track you
even if you move to another city ? Or to know where your new job is, or who
many of your friends are ?
Suppose some of your friends or family care much more about their privacy than you do about your privacy.
Exposing your info to the world could expose some of their info to the world.
It even could affect future generations of your family: suppose you post about some genetic disease you have,
and years or decades later this affects your descendants ability to get medical insurance ?
From noir_lord on Reddit
Some people (including myself) are not comfortable with a faceless corporation knowing
- What medical problems I have (ever googled a medical problem for yourself or someone else?).
- Who my contacts are (if you use their webmail) and what we are discussing.
- Tracking just about every page you visit.
- Build up a remarkably accurate profile of who you are and your life.
- What videos you watch.
- What topics you are interested in.
Now each of those on its own is somewhat unsettling, but when you combine all that together and then
you don't really know how your data is handled now and how it might be handled in the future,
then it starts to get really unsettling.
The thing with all this data is that it just accumulates, and over time the companies can really
build up an accurate profile of you, and that is just f***ing creepy.
From Daniel J. Solove's "Why Privacy Matters Even if You Have 'Nothing to Hide'"
Some responses to the "I've got nothing to hide; you have something to hide only if you're doing something wrong" argument:
- Do you have curtains ? Why ?
- Can I see your credit-card bills for the last year ? Why not ?
- I don't need to justify my position. You need to justify yours. Come back with a warrant.
- I don't have anything to hide. But I don't have anything I feel like showing you, either.
- If you have nothing to hide, then you don't have a life.
- It's not about having anything to hide, it's about things not being anyone else's business.
- You are willing to let me photograph you naked ?
... the nothing-to-hide argument stems from a faulty "premise that privacy is about hiding a wrong."
Surveillance, for example, can inhibit such lawful activities as free speech, free association,
and other First Amendment rights essential for democracy.
Another potential problem ... is one I call exclusion. Exclusion occurs when people are prevented
from having knowledge about how information about them is being used, and when they are barred
from accessing and correcting errors in that data.
Yet another problem ... is distortion. Although personal information can reveal quite a lot about people's
personalities and activities, it often fails to reflect the whole person. It can paint a distorted picture
[and that can have consequences].
What if the government mistakenly determines that based on your pattern of activities, you're likely
to engage in a criminal act? What if it denies you the right to fly? What if the government thinks your
financial transactions look odd - even if you've done nothing wrong - and freezes your accounts?
What if the government doesn't protect your information with adequate security, and an identity thief
obtains it and uses it to defraud you? Even if you have nothing to hide, the government can cause you a lot of harm.
From Intelensprotient on Reddit
... you do not need to be registered with Facebook for them to make a profile for you.
Once you have visited any page that is affiliated with them, they will create a file about
you and collect each and every visit to every site that has a "Like" button or a Facebook plugin.
The amount of data collected this way can be tremendous, which few people realize. Google is even more
extreme, as they collect data from every place that has AdSense, Analytics and similar services,
which basically covers almost everything the average person visits. Those services may not always be
as obvious as a "Like" button - for instance, some are implemented by displaying a single transparent pixel image.
You cannot know what kind of surveillance methods and laws will be implemented in the future.
Already, biometric information gathering such as the identification of people from video recordings
is becoming more and more successful, even prompting for the EU to begin implementing a system
that can link people in public places to their Facebook pages and other photographs. Similar plans
are implemented by the US. Other technologies include public voice surveillance, supervision of vehicle movement
or behavioral analysis in public spaces. All this data can and will be linked and combined with what is collected about you online.
More about the future: new technology such as Google Glasses and face-recognition and license-plate-recognition and CCTV
will connect our "real" life and our online life more tightly, and in real-time.
What you do online won't stay just online.
Some ideas gleaned mostly from
lifehacker's "How You're Unknowingly Embarrassing Yourself Online (and How to Stop)"
- Many things people post about may be technically illegal. They may be rarely caught or prosecuted.
But bragging about them online creates a permanent record, and who knows what authority might
see them someday and decide to act ? Posting about downloading movies or music for free, about
how drunk you were when you drove home last night, about how you got back at your Ex by doing some nasty prank.
- Someone researching you in the future may not like what they find.
A potential employer, a potential mate, an insurance company.
How will they react when they see you complaining bitterly about your current boss,
bragging about how many one-night stands you have, how much you drank or smoked last weekend ?
And they may not distinguish between 18-year-old you and 28-year-old you.
- People who have sensitive jobs, or may ever find themselves in sensitive jobs, have to
be especially careful. Teacher, politician. Teachers have been fired for online pictures of
them doing things that are deemed bad examples to students.
- All of the online world carries risks; it's not just a problem with social networks such as Facebook.
If you comment on YouTube or newspaper sites or blogs, you might be identifiable.
Using pseudonyms can help avoid this, but may not avoid it completely.
- Risks come from your friends and their behavior, too.
If a friend or someone else at the same party posts a party-video or party-pictures,
and you're tagged on it, or identifiable in it, you may have a problem.
- Some posts can violate rules at your current job, or even violate SEC regulations. Or just
massively irritate your boss or coworkers.
My response to an article saying "Google and Facebook and Twitter have not created new products that stand alone
like a car or a new house; they have created things that invade every other aspect of the economy and our culture.
That is a different level of power.":
I think this is overblown. I could stop using Facebook and Google and Twitter tomorrow,
with some effects but not big effects on my life. I can give them false info, give them minimal info,
use alternatives to them, do without them.
Government and military and police have the potential to have unavoidable, huge effects on my life.
They take some of my money (and give me services) without much choice on my part. Sometimes they cause other people to attack our country.
They have access to my tax information, credit info, bank account info, phone records, etc.
Some companies have large physical effects on my life and my health. Fossil-fuel power companies,
and other companies that put who-knows-what into the air I breathe and the food and drink I consume.
Other companies have pervasive effects throughout our economy and/or culture. TV networks. Phone companies. Walmart. Exxon.
The two political parties control much of what happens in the government and culture and economy.
Super-rich people could destroy me with lawsuits, or buy laws that affect me severely.
No, I think Facebook and Google and Twitter are pretty low on the list of powerful entities to worry about.
Some ways technology is stretching old notions of privacy:
Jay Stanley's "Plenty to Hide"
John C. Dvorak's "On Privacy: It's Not What I'm Hiding (Or Not Hiding) That Matters"
Evgeny Morozov's "Your Social Networking Credit Score"
The Economist's "Lenders are turning to social media to assess borrowers"
Technology makes possible:
- Constant, multimedia surveillance of people.
- Connecting together various flows of information about a person.
- Publishing that information globally.
- Storing that information publicly forever.