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Needed: Several Identities to Protect your Original

July 21, 2011

There are so many good reasons as to why you should operate with several identities online and protect your original. Personal data is a gold mine and will be even more worth in the future. With the free web, companies have to make money, and one way is to mine personal data from the web, organize it and resell it like this company,  Social Intelligence.

According to the New York Times, Social Intelligence scrapes the Internet for everything prospective employees may have said or done online in the past seven years. Then it assembles a dossier with examples of professional honors and charitable work, along with negative information that meets specific criteria: online evidence of racist remarks; references to drugs; sexually explicit photos, text messages or videos; flagrant displays of weapons or bombs and clearly identifiable violent activity.

Of course this is happening. All over and again and again, and nobody – neither the lawmakers – can stop it. Therefore, as an individual you need to protect yourself and controle your own information. Unless of course you want a 100% public life like Jeff Jarvis who is writing a book, Public Parts, about it. I think the vision of being totally open, and that everybody in the whole world should be totally open, is beautiful. It is, however, utopia. I am sure that there will always be people and companies out there who will exploit private and sensitive information, and that information can become distorted and you can do nothing about that.Who says you don’t have a racist name sister?

I have nothing to hide. Nothing. But I believe it is a priviledge to have privacy, to be anonymous and to controle your own private information, and if you care for that,  you should protect your original identity.

One way of doing it is to have more identities. You could have another name on Facebook for example (I wrote about that before here) or other social networks, who motivates you to reveal private parts, and then only use your real identity when it comes to official and work information. You’ll need several email accounts for that, and you’ll need to remember many passwords, but there is an answer for that: 1password as an app for the iphone and ipad or for the web.

I think I will work on a book on that. How to safeguard you original identity. Do email me with ideas for this. Do you know of people whose original identity was stolen and abused? Do you have ideas as to how to controle your own informations (like this new start-up personal.com). Do let me know.

 

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