“I, for one, welcome our new Robot Overlords” – The Intarw3b 0wnZ j00

Privacy, a hallmark thing that Americans do value. In many other nations, the right to privacy is pretty much null and void. In an era where people fear information leaks (like the TJ Maxx incident with its aftermath), privacy online has become an issue that is pretty serious. Google co-founder Larry Page tried to keep his wedding details a secret from Google’s indexing but that ended up being a bust. Initially, no one really took mind to the internet storing our information… but with how the times are changing, there are companies who make a buck off of caching as much information as they can about anyone. Check out sites like Spock if you want to understand what I mean.

People are lacking confidence in the internet with stories like our own national government losing laptops making headlines. It doesn’t help that companies like ABC and CBS have made documentaries¬† showing that there is an illegal underground trade for “identities” online from internet forums and such. Couple how easy it is to obtain personal information with tools like Google and it becomes like a modern day version of “Big Brother is watching you”.

When you have the government pushing the idea of:

You give out plenty of information to us, what’s the harm of letting companies making a buck off of harvesting that information?

It almost parallels why people are not comfortable with the concept that if you are currently under the age of 50, you must get a mandatory national ID that has embedded technology. These national ID cards would be used (for example) to check in at a bar and keep a record of your tab of what you had consumed.

I personally feel that unethical law enforcement officers could potentially abuse that information for entrapment purposes. Nothing like having 2 beers, 7 shots of liquor and maybe a round of whiskey on the rocks but to stay and sober up… then on driving 2 miles away from the restaurant (sober), a cop stops you and decides to entrap you for a DUI or DWI.

There’s another side to this issue… If this national ID card has wireless technologies, an identity thief with a laptop and signal scanner could just read every person’s information until they find the perfect “replacement identity”. Add the ability of Google’s indexing and the identity thief can create the perfect alibi.

Google’s ambiguous privacy policy does not lend itself very well to the end user. The short story of it: “We can hold on to your information as long as we want. You can’t really do much about it.” This has not been received well in nations Europe where they have required that Google must comply to their laws and clearly state a defined period that they intend to hold onto records of what a European user does on Google. Sadly, the concern for privacy has not hit the minds of American users. We’re worried over rising gas prices or why the fast food joint’s value menu has less good and edible food rather than our digital civil liberties being encroached on.

I would dare to say that if Thomas Jefferson were alive and saw how we’ve given up our rights just from fear… He’d probably put a 9mm bullet in his head. When a nation has allowed it’s leaders to trespass on our rights, then we have forgotten the meaning of “Old Glory”.¬† This is not the nation that our forefathers died for.