Yep that is my card PIN number. Whilst I’m at it I may as well give you the expiry date too 11/12. Why the hell not. People can probably find this out anyway, so why not get it out there. If I Google my name I can find out the address of my family home (despite us not being listed in the phone book) and a now expired personal email address. By reading this blog you already know some medical information about me, you know that I work. You know that I support Reading FC and a quick search on Wikipedia will tell you that Reading (whilst being by far the greatest team the world has ever seen) does not have a worldwide following of Man Utd or Celtic so it’s a fair bet I live within a stones throw of Reading. My facebook removes all doubt.
Facebook will give you a likeness of me, my page is not full of photos of family and friends, because I’m not photogenic (as my gravatar will testify to) however some people have pictures of their kids and check in on their phones to inform “friends” where they are. I was tempted to sign up for LinkedIn because I would like a new job and it is a way of getting out there, I will shortly upload an updated CV (or Resume, for those across the pond) to at least 3 websites in the vain hope someone will rescue me from my day to day hell. This of course will tell you my employment history, talents (haha!) and background.
I am a member of the Playstation Network, who recently (and you’ll know) got very very hacked. So my details could be anywhere, Sony have not yet said what has happened to anything. HMRC lost 25 million data records in 2008, and just today (hence blog) the NHS lost 20 laptops containing medical records. So potentially there is so much info about me, my friends, work colleagues, and medical history that could be obtained in a afternoon.
So my radical solution to the problem is to publish it. Make everything for everyone freely available. You cannot be blackmailed by information that is public knowledge. Take Ryan Giggs, subject of a super injunction. The only reason people are still talking about this is because he kept it quiet. If the papers had been allowed to report the adventures of the Welsh Wonders Willy at the time it will have made copy for 3 days tops, but due to the hush up it’s been doing the rounds for the best part of a month.
If peoples details are all over the place anyway why not just add a bit to Facebook for credit card details and medical history. Why not send out a Tweet everytime you make a purchase. Funny thing is I believe if Facebook added this function people would use it. A great ruse I read about had someone change their status to “Wow Facebook protects your password look ************ it won’t let you type it, try it” people did and their replies to the status included their Facebook passwords and not ***!
If there was just one online place where your details were and it was compromised at least you’d have one button to request a new life or maybe companies could actually treat our information how they would like theirs to be treated. And yes we as people should realise that whatever we put into cyberspace can be used against us.