Thursday, May 31, 2007

You Think You Got Privacy?

Bloggers often write about the odd search terms that have lead folks to their sites. Last week someone had searched on my full name ("first last") and they came to this blog. I found this a bit disconcerting. Not that it is any really big deal but I have taken care not to mention my name, or even pet's names, on here. So the algorithms that Google is using, perhaps connecting my name in comments left on other blogs with my blog address, is now public information that they serve up to their search clients. I kinda feel like my name and my information is my business to tell...but that's not the way it is today. Just a heads up that you may not be as anonymous as you think.

Speaking of no privacy, have you seen Google Earth yet? Download the free version and input your home address. Then watch as anyone in the world can peer into your backyard. Very scary.


Just after I posted this, I opened this message sent by a friend...

Google has implemented a new feature that enables you to type a telephone number into the search bar and you will be given the person's name and address. If you then hit "map," you will get a map to the person's house. It's a nationwide reverse telephone book. It may even show additional information such as a description of your dog if it is licensed under that phone number.

If a child gives out his/her phone number, someone can now look it up to find out where he/she lives.

Note that you can have your phone number removed or blocked.

In order to test whether your phone number is mapped, go to Google. Type your phone number in the search bar (e.g., 555-555-1212) and hit enter. If you want to block Google from divulging your private information, simply click on your telephone number and then click on the Removal Form. Removal takes 48 hours.

This may not apply to you if you have an unlisted number or cellphone as primary contact.


Big Daddy said...

That's creepy.

Thanks for the head up.

I removed mine.

Michael said...

Google earth is cool and all, but I can't understand how it's legal in this paranoid age of national security. It's a terrorist's dream come true.