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Chapter 6. Privacy Is Invaded > We Are Getting Too Close to Big Brother

We Are Getting Too Close to Big Brother

Lots of people like the customization of their online experience, but they also worry that the personal information they provide is being distributed or sold without their permission or knowledge. Until recently the positive and the negative have been weighed pretty equally. This teeter-totter balance of views about privacy was upended when tools to gather information got more powerful and less visible, and we learned how weak the government and corporate promises not to disclose, share, or sell personal information were. Right now people think the fact that the technical capacity to destroy privacy already exists outweighs the possibilities of using technology to protect privacy.

It is unnerving to think that everything you bought or searched or read or wrote or received or chose was in a database, and that information could be accessed by anyone or sold to anybody for a small sum. All of this available information makes it easy for people to steal your identity, stalk your whereabouts, abuse your credit, know your secrets, and violate the boundaries of the most fundamental thing you own: your privacy.


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