Blogging and privacy

I ran across a blog about blogging the other day, and have been giving much more thought to my own feeble attempt here. Apparently there is much money to be made from blogging, although I’m not sure I could ever come up with a consistent topic to blog about.

Apparently one of the best ways to drive traffic to a blog is through the use of social bookmarking sites, such as Digg, StumbleUpon, and many others. So after reading raves about SU, popped on over to their site to have a look around. Hmmm, first thing I see is you have to register and become a member. I’m getting tired of registering here, there and everywhere on the Web. I decided to take a gander at their privacy policy, and while I’m not trying to pillory SU in particular (as I suspect their policy is fairly typical), I am disturbed by the amount of privacy you sign away in order to become a member. Now, some people would say I need to just unplug my computer and back away from the internet entirely if I’m so concerned about privacy. But why? Here’s a sample of SU’s privacy policy that I found particularly disquieting:

“As you navigate our Website or use the StumbleUpon Services, certain information may also be collected passively, including your Internet protocol address, browser type, operating system, time of day, general physical location, and browser language.”

Passively collecting information, in addition to what you had to knowingly provide (name, e-mail, date of birth, gender). And then there was this bit:

“We may share some or all of your Personal Information with our parent company, any subsidiaries, joint ventures, or other companies under a common control with us (“Affiliates”), in which case we will require our Affiliates to honor this Privacy Policy.”

That’s a whole lotta sharing going on. And they don’t name their “parent company”. So really, who’s minding the store? Who’s the ringmaster here? Google rolled over and gave it up to the Man when asked for information on their users. Will these other sites do the same? As I said, I don’t mean to single out StumbleUpon, as I’m sure their policies are pretty standard. My question is: Before signing up for these things and giving away the farm, does anyone even read the privacy policies? Do you care? Has personal privacy become irrelevant? Can we not make a move without someone recording it anymore? Maybe because I grew up in an age before camcorders and cell phones with cameras, and the internet I feel it more keenly. The generation that was raised on this technology has been inured to it, and accepts it without question. Programmed by the technology. And yet here I sit, plugged in and easily tracked if someone wanted to track me badly enough.


About D. D. Syrdal

Writer of vampire stories and science fiction. First novel, "Revenants Abroad", available now at Amazon,,, Smashwords. If you like a vampire you can go out drinking with and still respect yourself in the morning, I think you'd like Andrej.
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2 Responses to Blogging and privacy

  1. I am in 100% agreement with you. I like my privacy at time and like to share only what I want with the world. I would not want for any program or website to gather my info for there uses, no matter if it is for something small. Company and corporation are thinking of the big bucks to share our info with all the people who spam us. It might sounds innocent but we as users don’t know what else do they actually use our information for.

  2. D. D. Syrdal says:

    That’s the thing, since the policies are so open, granting them all rights to do whatever they like with our info, we don’t really know WHAT we’re agreeing to, what future ramifications that could have. Consequently, I don’t join a lot of things, and am still not on Goolge+.

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