I Know Who You Are and I Saw What You Did by Lori Andrews
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Free Press (January 10, 2012)
Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
“How many things did you reveal about yourself online today? Your opinion of a colleague? Your credit card number? Your photos from last night? These activities are common, but where does the information we post—even on what seem to be the most private or friendly of forums—truly go? As many individuals have already learned the hard way, the same power of information sharing that can topple governments can also topple a person’s career, marriage, finances, or even his or her future. “ (from http://www.socialnetworkconstitution.com/ )
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I was interested in reading this book because social media is a big part of my life. Given the recent SOPA & PIPA internet attention, I thought the book might prove helpful in my understanding.
Did you go online today? Did you check Facebook or Twitter to say good morning to your friends? Did you research a recipe to cook for dinner? Did you buy those cute shoes you’ve been wanting? Did you read an article about a celebrity’s latest goings-on? If you did, then you’re being watched. Not only are you being watched, but, according to Lori Andrews, companies have been able to determine where you live, how you shop, and even what your credit card number is.
That’s pretty scary stuff, isn’t it? As more people use the internet, more of our private information becomes public. That public information can be used against you to get a job, a lover, or even a credit card. Why? This information, aggregated from multiple sources, can be come misinformation and create what Andrews calls a digital doppelganger. A digital doppelganger is your internet self. It’s a portrait of you (accurate or not) based on data culled about you from all over the web.
To be sure, as an adult, we are accustomed to having our rights protected. But Andrews highlights a thought by Cory Doctorow, co editor of Boing Boing, which suggests the need to teach our children better methods of protecting their privacy. It seems as the younger generations are more accustomed to releasing private information and consider it the norm. Younger generations, he suggests, should ask ‘why do you need to know this’ rather than automatically revealing private information. As a parent, I couldn’t agree more. These children will grow up with more of their lives publicly revealed on line than we adults will and the potential ramifications are frightening. Will our children be denied products and opportunities because of their digital doppelganger?
To help counteract the ramifications of the elimination of privacy Andrews, a law professor, proposes a Social Network Constitution. The constitution aims to safeguard our private information, allow individuals the right to connect without government intervention, and the right to fair trial and untainted jury in the case of a criminal event. You can read the Social Network Constitution for yourself at www.socialnetworkconstitution.com
I Know Who You Are and I Saw What You Did: Social Networks and the Death of Privacy is a must read for everyone who will use, is using, or has used the internet.
I give it 5 smiles!
*DISCLAIMER: I was sent items by the publisher to help facilitate my review. Any opinions stated are strictly my own.*