As you can already tell, I’m a huge proponent of the internet because of the convenience it brings me. I love the fact that I can sign in to Chrome on a new computer, and all my favorite sites, bookmarks, logins are synced and ready to be used. I love the fact that when I’m searching for something, the search results are tailored for me based on my past searches. I enjoy having reminders for any upcoming events automatically appearing on my phone even though I didn’t add them to my calendar manually. I love that Google tells me how long it’s going to take for me to get to work based on the usual route I drive everyday. It’s great. This convenience is awesome.
But there’s one thing I sacrifice to make it happen – my personal information and privacy. Now, is that a big deal? Not to me – I see no problem with Google having my information if it makes my life better. Think of it like your personal assistant – he/she will need to know all the finer details of your life in order to give you a helping hand. There’s no point having a personal assistant if they’re kept in the dark about you. How are you going to get the help you need without telling them what you want? Exactly. In exchange, you get are better search results and tailored adverts (but since they’re blocked on my computer anyway, it doesn’t make a difference).
Giving up your information isn’t a bad thing, really. At least not in my opinion. Sure, by posting your information online, you’re opening yourself to the possibility of being the target of a fraud scam. But since I’m nobody (honest to god – nobody beyond my family and close friends would be affected if anything were to happen to me) it’s no big deal if somebody impersonates me. What are they going to do? Prank my friends? Post embarrassing tweets? Update my blog for me? Withdraw the few hundred ringgit in my bank account? So worth the effort.
However, what I don’t like about posting your data online is the people who complain about Google/Facebook/whatever stealing their information. First of all, nobody forces you to use their services. If you’re unhappy about posting your details online, nobody is forcing you to use those services. There’s no such thing as ‘no choice’. They set the rules, if you want to use them, you’re gonna have to comply. That’s it. Plain and simple. If it still bothers you, feel free to give them fake data – it’s not like it’s going to be verified. Just don’t go complaining when you get shitty search results and irrelevant adverts (kek).
Pointless anecdote: I remember a story someone once told me. He said many years ago, the government in wanted to collect detailed information of all its citizens. People were furious and in an uproar over the whole idea, which caused the government to scrap the plan. A few years later, Facebook comes out, and the very same people who were complaining about it signed up and posted all their details online – willingly.
TL;DR: Giving up your data isn’t such a big deal, especially if you’re a nobody, it’s the price to pay for convenience, don’t use online services if you’re unhappy about your privacy being invaded.