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Jan 25, 2011 | Browsing privacy is a myth

I’ve launched a new project called SeeMyHistory, which is a rather controversial approach to the idea that having any sense of privacy online is a pure unadulterated myth. There was likely a time when the sites we visited were not tracked, when we could simply click on “Clear History” on our browser and restore the world to one in which none of our online behaviors could be revealed. I contend that that is no longer the case, particularly in a world inundated with Facebook, Twitter, email, and every other application in which we consign parts of ourselves to a digital form.

SeeMyHistory, an online social project

There is a phrase adrift on the web: “if the product is free, then you are the item being sold”. I can’t understand how we aren’t incensed by the fact that Facebook and Twitter make money off of you without you being particularly aware of how that information transaction is taking place. Did you like Black Swan? Did you hate it? Business executives pay for that knowledge because it’s so vital to understand market dynamics. That’s why Twitter and Facebook, in particular, are keen on a) making you like the product they provide so that you’ll use it often and b) make it hard for you to understand how exactly they are using you for their own profit.

As further evidence, did anyone notice that Facebook quietly pulled the polls feature back in 2009? (I hadn’t). They don’t need polls any more to find out if you liked Black Swan or not.

That’s why I’m launching SeeMyHistory. By turning the tables around and making our own browsing behaviors public to ourselves, I ask if we can reveal to ourselves the general trends of our online lives. That way we as users can maintain some level of control over the types of data we unknowingly transmit. It’s not fair for people to unknowingly take advantage of another’s ignorance. Now at least there’s no excuse to be ignorant.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 25th, 2011 at 3:48 pm, EST under the category of Coding, Web design. Both comments and pings are currently closed.