PRIVACY, OPEN INTERNET, BIG BROTHER, FIRST DO NO HARM

None of us is unaware of the conflict going on around the issues of free speech, protecting privacy, protecting copyrights and a myriad of other legal and social issues, revolving around the internet.

There doesn’t seem to be any way to answer all of these knotty issues very satisfactorily.  The internet is, for all intents and purposes, a totally new dimension of communication.

Since GonzoMedia is a Media Planning and Buying Company, and needs all the possible information we can garner about the consumer in order to “properly” target our clients’ commercials, we are, “greedy” for the demographics, psychographics and personal habits of the consumer.

And we are – through sites like Google, Facebook and a multitude of other sources, never before available – able to gather more and more of that valuable data.  It seems that many people are perfectly willing to disclose information about their personal lives, their jobs and other information on the internet that they would never discuss or reveal to their family members or clergy.

On a personal level, however, I have concerns about how we protect the information which those consumers do not want revealed.

We have all seen reports of people losing jobs because they have posted their dislike for their bosses and/or companies they work for.  And we marvel at why a person would reveal videos of themselves in embarrassing situations.

Obviously, there is no accounting for taste or for lack of foresight for many of our fellow citizens, so I say, “post away”, and, hopefully, these individuals will not do themselves too much harm.

As I said before, I do have concerns about those of us who do not desire to have personal and private information revealed without our permission.  The fact that the simple act of going to the web to gain information on any given subject, product type or medical affliction, can generate an e-mail assuming that we are prone to buy a product or service, or a sufferer of that affliction, is a bit more than frightening.

We once feared that “Government” would create Big Brother, this is no longer true.  We have created him out of whole cloth.  As Walt Kelly’s POGO once observed, “…We have met the enemy and he is US…”

In my opinion, therefore, we should promote the concept of Opting IN rather than that of having to Opt Out in matters of privacy on the net and it should be as simple as a universal tag on one’s email address declining all intrusion.

If a particular site refuses to give information regarding what they regard as proprietary, unless one allows the gathering of personal data, so be it!  Somewhere on the net, There will be another site willing to give one the requested information without requiring the divulging of that personal data.  That’s how it works, “out there”!

FIRST DO NO HARM.

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