Some might find all the talk about people wanting to remove personal information from Google and other websites just a little hysterical. Here are some thoughts on why online privacy is so critical right now.
Privacy and Behavior
Some people might say to themselves, “Hey, privacy is not that big a deal. What do I have to hide? And as for all that marketing junk, I’m not an idiot. I just don’t pay any attention to that stuff.”
First of all, it is important to note that the fight over privacy (both online and offline) is not about having “something to hide.” In other words, it is not about having the license to do bad things. It is about having the freedom to do good things. It is about having the ability to live our lives with a reasonable level of security, dignity and autonomy.
When a person has privacy, they can have the comfort and confidence needed to be themselves. They can do anything from dancing and singing along to Abba to writing a treatise on world peace. Would that same person be able to do these things if they knew—or, at the very least, feared—that someone was watching them? Maybe not.
Think about it for a minute. Do you act the same way with your best friends as you do around your grandmother? More likely than not, no. Your behavior changes according to who can see it. When you do not keep watch or keep control over your personal information online, it is like leaving your stuff out for hundreds, thousands or millions of grandmothers to see.
The Consequences of Online Info
Grandmothers are not really the ones you need to worry about, of course. There are people who might use someone’s personal information for darker ends.
For example, suppose that someone has a violent sociopath stalking them. This unfortunate person would most likely look up “removal from whitepages” on their search engine of choice very quickly. Also, a person would probably want their address or phone number taken off a website if somebody used that info to commit credit card fraud.
The subscription service DeleteMe can help people take control of their online footprint. Customers can protect their privacy by having their personal information removed from a wide range of websites.
DeleteMe helps give average people the ability to manage how their personal information is shared and viewed online. The hands-free subscription service helps clients remove personal information from Google. By removing their names, addresses and other details from sites like Spokeo, Intelius and PeopleFinder.