492nd Friday Blog Roundup
I am aware that I often sound as if I am one step away from smashing my mobile device and living off the grid, but this week is #chooseprivacy week — an initiative of the American Library Association — and you know that I can’t resist sharing with you one of my loving reminders about data mining. I’m not encouraging any of us to throw out the baby with the bathwater: I fully participate in the online world and have a plethora of apps on my phone. I write all of this to do what the ALA states as their mission: to level the playing field. They’re collecting data on YOU, therefore, you should know about them.
Who is “them”? Data miners. They’re likely on my blog without me knowing definitely. I’m sure that by downloading plug-ins, I’ve also allowed third parties to track the movements of visitors. Before you go running to the hills, they are on ALL of our sites. Even 60 Minutes, who recently did an expose on data mining, found many third-party collectors on their own site. Data is being collected on every single site on the Internet and from every single app on your phone.
It doesn’t even matter if you go online or download an app; you are still being tracked: via your credit card, closed-circuit tv, GPS.
Most of this data mining is being used to target sell products. Some of it is being used by employers or government agencies, but data miners are much more akin to mosquitoes than sharks. They’re annoying, persistent, and aim to drain you of your spending dollars. We don’t think of data miners as dangerous any more than we think of mosquitoes as dangerous. But… surely you’ve seen Bill Gates’s infographic? Sharks kill on average 10 people per year. Mosquitoes kill on average 725,000.
So let’s not just brush aside those mosquito-like data miners.
I wrote a piece about the ALA’s #chooseprivacy week for BlogHer. Would love it if you checked it out and then rocked back and forth with me, immobilized by the sheer vastness of how much privacy we give away on a daily basis.
And now the blogs…
But first, second helpings of the posts that appeared in the open comment thread last week. In order to read the description before clicking over, please return to the open thread:
- “I Can’t Do Baby Showers…” (Disney Baby)
- “Resolve to Know More” (Waltzing in Galoshes)
- “Motherhood Mondays: What if You Can’t Have a Baby?” (A Cup of Jo)
Plus a note: I didn’t include a post because the person had copied it word-for-word from another site. That is technically content theft. But the second site had copied it word-for-word from another site. A quick Google search of a phrase from the post brought up hundreds of sites all copying the same words and not attributing them to the original owner. It’s a great post, but credit needs to be given. I was able to trace it back to 2004, 2005, and 2007. No name given on any of these postings. And I don’t think anyone realizes when they read it that it was someone else’s work. Anyone have a clue who put together the original post?
Okay, now my choices this week.
A few more great NIAW posts popped up post-NIAW. Climbing the Pomegranate Tree has a post about why she was late with her NIAW post. After a conversation with a friend, a comment from the discussion is bugging her and she finally realizes why it has gotten under her skin. She astutely writes, “Infertility is a DISEASE. Yeah, it isn’t life-threatening, so I’m not upset that we’re not publicly racing for a cure the way we are for cancer or HIV or anything, but that doesn’t change the fact that the WHO classifies it as a DISEASE. And as victims of this disease, we are sometimes treated like children who want a puppy, not like women who have a disease and deserve a chance to move past it.” Love that, right? Go read the whole post.
Lavender Luz has a Mother’s Day survival guide. She not only gives concrete ways to emotionally get through the day, but she has a roundup of resources, putting into action the advice she gives to connect with others in a like situation.
Lastly, Family Rocks: The Life of Peg has a sobering post about living in three worlds at the same time. When she agreed to be her nieces’ guardian in the event of her sibling’s death, she had no idea how that decision would change the lives of so many people when it had to be put into action. It is a very moving post about what could happen when you say “yes” to the question you can’t say “no” to. There are no regrets about her “yes,” but it is a moving post on the far-reaching effects of a single decision.
The roundup to the Roundup: We’re giving away our privacy, and we should know more about it. And lots of great posts to read. So what did you find this week? Please use a permalink to the blog post (written between April 25th and May 2nd) and not the blog’s main url. Not understanding why I’m asking you what you found this week? Read the original open thread post here.