Wednesday, 3 November 2021

Nothing Is Private Anymore


Most of us know that each time we go online information is being gathered about us.   This can be good or bad or totally irrelevant, depending on how you view it.

Every time you participate in a questionnaire on Social Media, information about your personality and preferences is being collected.  (You probably know the sort of thing I mean – what sort of tree are you?, can you see the black dot?, which actress are you most like?, can you add this up correctly?, that sort of thing).

Every time you do an internet search (using Google or another search engine), information about what you are looking at is being recorded and stored away.  It is then used to personalize advertisements for you, or to make collective decisions about things like what type of restaurant is most suited for those living in your area.

Every time you travel somewhere with your phone, your location is being recorded and then utilized to show what time certain shops are busy, where there is a hold up in traffic flow, how many people are flocking to the beach for the weekend, and so on.

We live in the Age of Information and can access information on almost any subject at any time of the day.  But it works both ways, and information about us can be gathered and used by others.  It all comes down to Algorithms. 

Basically, an algorithm is a series of instructions telling a computer how to transform a set of facts into useful information.  This is neither a good thing or a bad thing, it is just a process used to deal with information.

I had a startling reminder of algorithms the other day after spending an afternoon tracking down all the different colours in the spectrum of blue.  Then that night I began a list of what clothes I would like to have in my ideal wardrobe, with an emphasis on which ones I would like to sew.

Now, when online, I am receiving advertisements for BLUE FABRIC!  I can understand the blue, but how did it know I wanted to sew and not buy clothes?  All I can think of is that during the last six months I have probably visited more sewing sites than clothes-to-buy sites.  Or was IT listening to me talking?

Son recently had the experience of having advertisements tailored to him regarding something he had been TALKING about.  He figured his phone picked it up, as his microphone is on all the time as he frequently uses Google Speak.  

Or is it all just Coincidence? 

Virtually anywhere you go outside of your home you will be recorded on CCTV.  Cameras are everywhere, outside homes, businesses, looking at traffic flows, in malls, you name it and there is invariably a camera present.  If you do something wrong, or scratch yourself when you think nobody is watching, there will nearly always be a camera there to record it!

There is not much privacy left to us now.  It is the world we live in, and most of us accept that.

So, smile at everyone – it might be Candid Camera returned to our screens! 😊




  1. We notice if we look up a product or service, ads appear in our timeline. Scary really!

  2. I don't do questionnaires on line, too much private information, I always feel they know too much about us, but by the time you realise it's too late.

  3. I can tell you an interesting little anecdote about this. I was doing a bird survey regularly and was in the woods for three to four hours at a time, and if I needed to pee found a tree. There was no one in the woods but me anyway, until one day I discovered that trail cams had been installed. I will leave it to your imagination to conjure up the jokes that ensued!

  4. It is a concern, as the information they'll collectcould be used against us. I heard someone objecting to the Covid tracer for that reason, so I went and checked what they'd have found out about me. (1) I drink a lot of coffee, (2) I do supermarket shopping frequently (3) I visit clothes shops (they'll then find I only do that once in every year or two) (3) I drink even MORE coffee!!

    I agree, Google searches then turn up repeatedly and ad nauseam, the searches I've made. I just swear and move on!

  5. Scary isn't it! Someone told me recently that our phones are listening to us all the time:)

  6. This has been going on for a long time way before facebook quizzes etc. Google tracks your every move through your phone, the IRD knows your financial details, your doctor knows your medical history, nothing is sacred.

  7. Annoying and scary. I even get ads on my PC for things Ingo looked up at his - annoying. And unfair. Imagine you look for or order a "secret" present and the other gets ads for that. Boom, surprise is gone.
    Cameras... not enough here, sadly. Or I don´t see them, which is not important as I don´t tend to pee in public ��

  8. You can turn off the personalized ads, but that doesn't mean the system isn't still collecting info on you. I also use dark mode from time to time and have search history set to delete as often as possible so that cookies on future searches can't mine it. Yes I'm super paranoid, but even if you aren't paranoid doesn't mean 'they' aren't out to get you. F (the super paranoid!)

  9. I think about this often cause no matter where I go, it has ads for the things I have just been looking at. Most times I don't really care, but then I think what if I did...what could I really do about it.

  10. Ahhhhh but.... HOw can people smile, with masks on???????????

    Sorry but I couldn't resist!!!!! >,-))))))

    🍁 🍎 🍁 🍎 🍁

  11. YESSSSS!

    And our age is the only one, who even mentions it. Younger and they say... "But I get so much access out of my techy stuff, that who cares?"

    Thing is, how many people of any age, live, knowing this near total lack of privacy?

    How many people let it enter their minds, as they go about their lives???

    I'd not have any of those Techy-On items! Because!!!!

    Or those 'Elexa do this" things!!! Because!!!!

    They say they only come on, when they recognize your voice, calling them. But! I'd not trust them.

    Privacy? That 'ship has sailed,' long time ago. :-(

    Interesting, informative post!!!!!! Thank you! I love interesting, informative posts!!!!!!!!

    🍁 🍎 🍁 🍎 🍁

  12. I'm like Iris. Whatever I'm looking at on my phone, the ads instantly appear on his laptop. He knows exactly what I'm searching. Not fair!!! Big brother could break up a marriage!

  13. That is scary. I wonder if there's a way to set one's privacy settings to avoid at least some of the info-gathering.

  14. No where to run to, no where to hide. Big brother is watching. The only thing that makes it funny is that whoever is watching me, must be pretty bored, LOL.

  15. I am sure that 'Big Brother' won't be interested in what is collected on me, bored maybe, but not interested. As I rarely shop on line, or do any shopping research, I don't get bombarded by ads - or if I do, I don't take any notice... I don't tend to pee on trees either ;)....
    Can't say that I like the thought, but it's sort of par for the course now
    Stay safe

  16. You ask is it all just coincidence, well no, it actually isn't. Data is the new currency. Every little bit of information is stored and added to electronic lists. These are then sold on, and on, and on. It might seem a tad annoying but it will only get worse.


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