knowing yourself online: privacy, identity, and apps you've never heard of

Sunday, February 14, 2016

What was one of the most surprising aspects of online privacy most likely was how many accounts can access all of your information, just because you wanted to take that one quiz on Facebook one time three years ago. This all can add up, leading to millions of apps you've never known existed taking your information. When doing my own spring cleaning for my accounts, I was again, shocked, at how minimal apps and such were on my Twitter and other accounts. I thought there would be a lot more, especially because of the horrors of hundreds I've heard others had. It was such a relief, mostly because I don't want to sit for hours x'ing applications out, when my hands already ache enough from all the time I'm on my computer. Like Nick Bilton in the New York Times stated perfectly: "..and that’s it. Spring cleaning of your social sites is complete. That is, until next spring." However, I’ll be checking this much more frequently than seasonal, because things like this are very worrying.

Also having a free night, I was able to watch a documentary on Edward Snowden and the exposure of the NSA, tracking numerous phone calls and other data of everyday people who had very low suspicion rates. It was very eye opening but also very terrifying. Things like tracking people who are innocent and aren’t of suspicion: why do it? Even if so, why not let the everyday people know, so they don’t feel as uneasy when it’s all top secret and exposed? A feeling of being constantly watched can lead to massive paranoia. I remember in class specifically, one of my professors was saying that Facebook had access to her credit card information, which absolutely no one would ever want! It's also crazy to even wonder: how long ago did I click 'Allow' to that application connecting to my account? How did it even get there? Andy Oram’s article from Radar sums it up the best: “...our identity is defined by the web site we just visited about surveillance cameras, the tube of spermicidal jelly we bought on vacation in Florida[...] The result may be a knock on the door from Interpol or just a targeted ad for romantic getaways.” With such extensive tracking of everyone, I will try my best to be taking even more precaution than before - especially with setting up so many new social media accounts through this class. Thankfully I haven't had many before this either, so I can start off on the right foot, and clean up the mistakes for the future.

Who even knows what will show up as a linked application next "spring cleaning" session?


  1. Hi Ashley, I also finished my spring clean up. As you said, we ought to do this frequently. I am wondering what is the use of my information for the NSA. See you tomorrow.

  2. Hi Ashley, I also have been doing some spring cleaning on all my site. I find it scary as well someone can have such access to your personal life.Wow!! I never heard of the NSA thanks for the information. I will be looking further..Thanks

  3. I loved reading your blog post, it kept me engrossed.