Monday, February 20, 2012


There has been increased muttering on the web about how little privacy people who connect to the internet really have. I long ago accepted the fact that if a web page can bring up a list of my folders for me to browse, it can see anything it likes on my pc. I've accepted the fact that my email is available for any arbitrary technician at the ISP to read. I know that web pages are tracking me when they offer me free Hebrew Courses (because all Jesus people are interested in online Hebrew!) And so I treat my pc as almost a public space - protected mostly by my insignificance to the world in general.

Here are some interesting links:

From Seth Godin:
No, you don't really have a privacy.
What you care about, I'm guessing, is being surprised. You don't want to be surprised to discover that the card company is sending you gift certificates for VD testing because you've been staying at hourly motels. You don't want to be surprised that a site you've never visited seems to know an awful lot about your buying habits.

From BoingBoing:
In the New York Times, Charles Duhigg takes a creepy look at how Target mines its customer data to predict major life-changes, like pregnancy, so that they can send coupons that guide customers into thinking of Target as the go-to place for all their prenatal and child-rearing needs.

And from IOL:
Twitter has admitted harvesting contact lists from its customers’ mobile phone address books without telling them.


Steve Hayes said...

Your PC should not be an almost public space, but the Web is, by default.

Steve Hayes said...

PS While downloading your blog, it seemed to spend a lot of time transferring data from "" -- that's right, someone, somewhere, is using your blog to research scorecards.

Just thought you'd like to know!

Oh, and those new captcha images are almost illegible.

Third attempt to type a capthca image

FOURTH attempt to type a captcha image

5th attempt to type a captcha image

6th attempt to type a captcha image

9th attempt to type a captcha image

11th attempt

Jenny Hillebrand said...

Hi Steve
As to your first comment, I agree that's how it should be. I suspect that the future will see increased security.
The scorecard thing seems to be there with the permission of Blogger and collects stats information. This helps here
I've noticed the captcha's are irritating on other blogs. I'll take it off mine and see if I get spammed!
Thanks for comments!

Thomas said...

My wife, before she died last year, handed me the name of a lovely woman. At first, while she and I sought to discern how to deal with this, the two of us kept our association completely private. Not a soul knew. She was registered with Badoo. Badoo sent me her picture, and suggested that we connect through Badoo. I myself had no connection with Badoo.

Jenny Hillebrand said...

Eish Thomas - I'm not sure if God interfering in the life of a minister can be called an invasion of privacy. Unless you suspect something creepier . . .

Thomas said...

The only thing I could think of was that they scanned my e-mail. Perhaps I didn't think of something.

Jenny Hillebrand said...

Ok, if she was on your email contacts list and especially if you use a webmail interface that could be it.