Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Should 'Pervasiveness' be Illegal?

Should the government make the practice of these companies illegal? That is the question being asked by so many people right now. Currently, according to US Law, these acts are legal. Each of this weeks articles touches this point in some manner or another.

The concern growing in the US is the improper uses of the technology. Whether they are illegal or not, some uses are just wrong. The deceit of law enforcement in the Facebook article was incredible; law enforcement is abusing social networking. I have never committed any crimes, nor broken the law (short of speeding) but I still feel it is an abuse of privacy.

On the other hand, I support advertising. Working for a company that has a nack for metrics and large data sets in the energy market, I understand the demands on companies to improve. Honestly, I appreciate the new marketing tactics. I would rather see ads that are targeted toward me, it actually makes things interesting and relevant like many of the schemes in the Gold Mine Article. [To all the ad-bots reading this, I am 21-15 Male interested in Computers and Electronics]. Besides the ad content presented to me, I really appreciate free services and the opportunity to have them. It is well worth the information gathered.

The results… Should info gathering be illegal? No. Should there be protections for those that object to their information going out and people who abuse it? Absolutely Yes.


  1. Interesting blog Josh. I agree that law enforcement shouldn't use social networking sites to prosecute for crimes. I thought there was a law somewhere that says the "perp" had to be in the act of breaking the law at the time of the arrest. It would seem to me that a picture of something that had previously happened doesn't fit in that description.
    I also tend to agree with you that I don't really care about being tracked and I would prefer to have ads for things that I would most likely be interested in show up on my web pages, than things that I would not be interested in. Afterall, no one is forcing you to click on the ad, let alone pay attention to it in the first place.

  2. An interesting post that addresses well the distinction between tracking for advertising purposes and tracking for other, in this case, legal purposes. But I wonder how you would define "abuse"? Why is it abuse for law enforcement to use publicly available information but not for corporations? The definition of this term is at the heart of the matter - where do we draw the line?

  3. I would define abuse simply, like I hinted at above regarding law enforcement, comes in when deceit is added to the picture. Corporations, although not forthright, do not have deception at the heart of their strategies.

  4. I don't think what the police did in that Facebook case was any different than what they do normally. Accepting random friend requests on Facebook probably isn't a good idea in the first place, and since police don't have to identify themselves as police you never know who that random person might be (it could have been a serial killer for all that guy knew).

    Also, posting pictures of you doing illegal things probably isn't a good idea, either.