The information we give away

Lindsey Bever writes: Most of us pay little attention to what information we give away or who we give it to. It’s what filmmaker Cullen Hoback explores in his documentary Terms and Conditions May Apply, which is making its theatrical debut this weekend. Hoback investigates how our private data, which we “agree” to share, is then used by governments and corporations.

On one level, many of us broadcast our own photos and videos, reveal our relationship statuses, religions and political preferences, and post our job histories. These kinds of personal details are widely shared – and released under our control. However, there’s another level of sharing when we become active participants, engaging with social media sites that encourage us to “check in” at various hotspots or connect with other users via our location. We give the power to watch and manage our information to someone else, and prove we’re OK with that.

We obsessively check Facebook and Twitter, share photos on Instagram and Snapchat, and message via Google+ Hangouts and Path. It has become a normal – and somewhat preferred – form of communication among Gen-Yers. But far too many social media apps now go a step further and help others pinpoint where we are – on a map, with a time stamp. [Continue reading…]

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