Tuesday, January 01, 2013

When Someone Else Says It, Sometimes It Sticks

Shea Bennett's admonition to the digital that You Are What You Tweet is a great resource to share with those who don't get it from you.

Bennett speaks to what the spies once called "signals intelligence" that people can mine from your social media.  The military might not get clear air discussions of operations, or an operative might not get a copy of the plans -- but you can sure learn a lot about how something is going to act, perform and react from listening to lots and lots of what seems to be random data.

I like how Bennett describes when people think they are "being real" and alternating that with a more refined projection of who they want you to think they are.  Conclusion:  "It makes you look fragmented, and random. Unpredictable. Even dangerous."

Wonder why you didn't get that call back now? 

One of the other lines that caught my eye:

It’s readable by everybody else on the network (bar those that you’ve blocked, although there are many ways around that)

I point at this to bring in a discussion currently rolling on the CoSIDA LinkdIn site about New Jersey's new restriction on universities requiring students to give up log-ins to participate in monitoring.  These new laws -- four states so far -- are pretty bad political theater.  Chris Christie is just upholding what Facebook and others EULAs already require -- you can't give your log-in credentials to a third party for access to your account.

These laws DO NOT absolve students of legal or administrative ramifications of their actions.  A public post of underage drinking in a campus facility or use of illegal drugs is still going to lead to sanctions.  Violating the company policy on social media is still going to get you fired, and the sooner you learn that in college (help me out here, we are suppose to be preparing young people for the real world, yes?) the better.

Why then the pull quote above?  Just to have someone else remind you that just because you set your social media to private or to just friends, digital assets are extremely portable and easily copied.  Today's friend can copy and paste you into trouble.  And just because you didn't give up your log-ins doesn't mean people -- the government, the university, stalkers, etc. -- aren't monitoring you.  Why yes, they can get your texts, and often do so.  This is likely to become even easier as Congress is being pressed to revise privacy acts to force carriers to record and store of as much as two years of data.

Pretty soon, it won't just be Twitter that is a permanent record.

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