I wrote the following back in June 2013 for Aberdeen Group Blogs
According to the LA Times, sales of George Orwell’s novel “1984″ have skyrocketed in the wake of the NSA scandal. In today’s hyper-connected world, concerns of privacy are never far from mind. The news that the NSA has been collecting massive amounts of data using wireless networks is alarming, to be sure.
Whether or not you think Edward Snowden is a hero or a traitor, he clearly had some legitimate concerns about privacy. Which makes it astonishing how much I know about him. Several media organizations, including Buzzfeed and Gawker, have published some version of the “What We Know About the NSA Leaker” article. He already has a Wikipedia page. So what do we know? For starters, he has a birthday coming up (June 21st, 1983), but since he may or may not still be in Hong Kong, sending him a gift could be difficult. He’s a fan of P90X and Anime. He’s claimed to be an agnostic. Edward Snowden is not a celebrity, but there is an abundance of personal information about him, going back at least 10 years, all readily accessible.
It’s probable the same is true for all of us. For example, you were to do a quick search through my online footprint you would find that I enjoy falafel, the music of UK boy band Take That, and that I traveled to New Orleans for the first time in June of 2011. You might also find a picture of my dog.
There is no end to online horror stories of people giving too much away online. From identity theft, to teenagers sexting, and politicians who really should know better (I’m looking at you Anthony Weiner and Christopher Lee). There are times when the phrase “Facebook stalking” is literal, and the consequences of a cheeky cell phone picture are dire. It would be absurd to say that we as a people should not be concerned about the data that the NSA is gathering. That said, some of us could stand to take a closer look at how much we’ve given up voluntarily.
- See more at: Aberdeen Blogs