For my semester project, I decided to look into the ideology of privacy of personal information on the internet. Before this project, my mindset was that my Facebook is completely secure, nothing can be clicked and my profile picture is the only thing visible to outsiders looking at my profile. By keeping my Facebook locked, all of my information is safe, right? RIGHT?! Apparently, the fake locking of one account has clouded my judgement of where I put my information on the internet. I have a Google Plus , Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram accounts that are not locked/private at all. Not everyone searches just on Facebook to find personal information. Thinking about it now, there are probably hundreds of people that “know me” whom I’ve never even met or heard about. At this point, I feel like I almost should make my Facebook profile public since the world can find out incredible amounts of information about me without it!
This realization is what sparked my semester project. I decided to take to some of the most popular social media platforms and…stalk people. I will start on the application Tinder, where you are only able to see a maximum 444 character biography, their age, up to 5 pictures of their choice, and their first name. This seems “private” enough for people to feel that feeling of privacy, right? Nope! I was able to fill an entire notebook page on each person I found by using Google and other social media platforms with information that they posted themselves.
This bring me to the question you might be thinking – why isn’t she making a blog about all of the information she finds?! It’s simple – I don’t want to contribute to the ocean of “private” information being released into the world wide web. I’m keeping all of the information in a notebook, and I plan on throwing the book into a giant fire in my backyard when the semester is over to destroy it! I would feel so guilty if I contributed to leaking someone else’s information. Also, I don’t want them to find out how much of a creep I was – even if it was just for a Final Project! While I don’t plan on talking to the people about their privacy discrepancies because of the fact that I now know everything about their lives and wouldn’t want them finding out, I am definitely bringing the information I found on my classmates up to them in class to bring them some awareness. I feel comfortable telling them as opposed to the other strangers because I got permission first, before creeping on them, with no objections. This project has certainly opened my eyes to how easy it is for people to find your “private” and “blocked” information, and I plan on being more careful with what I share with the world. Once it’s on the internet, it’s there forever.