I’ve recently received a chain of emails, originated from a celebrity in Malaysia on how Facebook is a device used by CIA and how CIA is harvesting data of the world population in order to reach world domination. The email was quite elaborate, and I am impressed by the level of thinking the celebrity has.
I am not saying I know for sure, or even have the slightest idea whether or not CIA is really using Facebook to reach this objective. All I know for sure is that Facebook is located in the US and there may be a law to dictate that all data must be surrendered to the law enforcement authority when requested.
One thing that I am sure about is the value of privacy. It is indeed true when someone shares their home address, contact numbers, family members, and profession it is at least available to the owners of the site. Any site. We’re no longer talking about Facebook. It has been around at least since Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee invented the world wide web in 1990. Well, thinking carefully it can also happen on paper.
So, we can’t really focus on Facebook alone. Avoid inserting too much information even in forums or advertising spaces. I’ve seen how naive people can be when they post their full names, ID numbers, phone numbers, home addresses, including the full name of their child inside public forums, just to allow the forum administrator to send birthday gifts or vouchers. Post the pictures along, and it’s complete. Now everyone knows how you look like, and you can easily become a crime target.
That is why I am pissed off with something as little as publishing my ID number online, which is practiced by many public bodies in Malaysia. On survey forms at the shopping store, when asked to fill in personal details I input dummy data. Do you know they sell valid phone number and addresses for good money? After a while you will receive phone calls from telemarketers selling stuff you don’t really need.
I value my privacy. Do you?