Showing posts with label Privacy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Privacy. Show all posts

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Stalk 'em

Recently when a close friend of mine was relating to me how her ex was keeping a close tab on her. I was hardly surprised.

That's what most ex'es do.
Atleast the bitter ones.

Orkut was a wonderful thing. Sneaking a peek at the photo albums to see who's been dating who and hoping that they are having a miserable time, even if you are secretly envious about the good time they are really having. Browsing through the scraps to find out who he/she has been writing to and hearing from.

Then came Facebook. Darn those privacy levels. Now, he/she can't see those photo albums and or read those wall posts. So, now you have a stalker who is despicable enough to be rummaging through information (mostly pictures of you) on the internet. However, despite all the privacy online, and with the kind of footprint that we leave online, it is only a matter of time, that you can find some information. Even if it is as mundane as a note about a doctor's visit. "Finally, some new information!"
Well, congratulations, Shortie!

Statistics reveal cyber stalking is prevalent in developing countries like India, where there isn't strict enforcement of rules that protect privacy of an individual online. I know a person who left a malicious yet anonymous comment on google maps against me in the hope that I would toe his line. But being anonymous online is misnomer. A little digging yielded his computer's IP Address, name and postal address. But this is the cost we pay for freedom and free speech.

Relationships are tricky.
The first times are always so beautiful. The first date, the first look, the first shy smile, the first kiss and even the first fight (aka lover's spat). All immortalized. Or until you break up, whichever comes first.

Breakups are a tight rope walk. Long after you unceremoniously dumped him/her, you burn with the innate desire to still be a part of that one person you should have never hurt and cheated upon.
It could be infidelity or simply boredom. Love turns sour faster than you can say 'Sufferin' succotash'. And it's all downhill after this. If you are married, you're headed towards many painful months of counseling (if you are lucky) or a divorce (if you are unlucky). If you are just a couple, you'd still go through all the pangs of a 'divorce'. Mutual friends stop being that. Gifts get returned/donated/burned. The memories of all the places where the both of you went to and 'did' it and all the things you did together suddenly begin to trap you in a vicious cycle of denial, hate, depression and anger. For the lucky few, the transition is nice and easy and the wounds heal.

For as long as humans crave love and value lust, we'll always have partners who cheat and all the trauma that comes along with it. And lecherous men and unrepentant women would want to spy on their former better halves and secretly want them to suffer but I've got three words for you-  
Get a life!


Friday, February 19, 2010

Buzz Off, Google




With a freshly brewed cuppa Coffee, I plunge into my morning ritual of checking my gmail.Logging in, I am welcomed by the gentle persuasion to join Buzz. Being trigger happy, I clicked on 'Yes..'. It took me exactly 5 seconds to realise that I stepped on cyber shit.

Now, I respect Google and think Google is the place I eventually want to be working with, but they goofed up on this one.
How can they let other people view my lists?
Thankfully, a wiser me chose not in enable Buzz in another email address that I use.

Knowing how swift Google acts on situations like this, I am sure by the time you read this, Buzz is already in the good books of its Users. But the larger question here is, Privacy.

I don't use a smartphone or a PDA because I made a conscious decision to not be addicted to the internet. I try and keep confidential data off physical hard drives since I travel a lot.
But that is not the same for my email.
I have tons of data, most of which are very confidential. I keep scanned copies of my documents so that I have a online copy if the actual document is stolen or destroyed. Bank Statements, Passwords, Account Recovery documents and my Writing. I do my bit to keep my passwords hacker proof, but what if the thief already has a copy of the key?
Come to think of it, I am more dependent on my email than I am on my wallet. 
The thought is apocalyptic.

Buzz unintentionally showed me what would happen if the onus of confidentiality falls in the hands of the wrong programmers.
I don't think i have had as much resistance towards any new technology (that Google has produced) as I have against Buzz.

I hate to see people sharing 'sweet nothings' with the world at large. "Oh I am peeing now..." and "Gosh, whats going to happen to my pimple?"
I hate to see people gloat and gush about the most mundane things in life. "Oh I ran a marathon... and I am feeling awesome". Goodbye Haiti.

The Google Buzz is as sweet or annoying as the buzzing sound of the bee. I rather swat it and worry about extinction later.

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