July 30, 2010

Atheists Should Be Wary of Threats to Privacy

privacy.gifOne of the biggest tech stories over the last few years has been the not so gradual erosion of privacy. First it was hackers, illegally accessing databases of customer information and credit card numbers. Then Facebook revealed their determination to share all information provided by users with advertisers and whoever else will pay for it. Now Twitter, Foursquare, and countless others are pushing location based services so users may share information with the world about their precise location throughout every minute of the day.

None of this seems particularly safe, especially the location based stuff. But what do I know? I'm just an atheist in the oppressively religious U.S. who isn't crazy about the idea of others knowing my location at all times.

It looks like Apple may be taking the next step in the form of a new policy requiring iPhone users to share location based data. They are not even offering users the option to opt-out!

We who use these services and buy these products are giving up our privacy, and it is becoming increasingly difficult for the average consumer to decipher the fine print and know exactly what he or she is giving up. With atheist teachers being fired for Facebook posts and plenty of Christian extremists who would probably love to be able to track atheists, we need to look before we leap.

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