Smile, You’re On Camera

Everyone Googles themselves occasionally, right? I mean, it’s a fantastic way to learn some interesting facts about yourself. It’s just something people find themselves compulsively doing from time to time. Make sure that your Twitter page is the first to show up under your name. But what most people don’t expect is to find a picture of yourself smoking a cigarette in total solitude.

It wasn’t common knowledge amongst Kevin Bankston’s friends, family and associates that he was still smoking. But Google knew. He was a bit flustered when he came across a picture of him taking a secret cigarette break taken by Google’s Street Viewer. As a matter of fact, a Google search for “Kevin Bankston Smokes” reveals more than 20,000 links.

Coincidentally enough, Bankston is one of the most avid advocates for digital privacy. As the staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, one of Kevin’s main jobs is to monitor how technology effects citizens’ Rights to Privacy. It’s not just Google, either. Not long ago, Kevin had had the same experience with Amazon’s now disabled A9.com Map Service.

We are walking down a yellow brick road decorated with wires and cameras and microphones, people. I can not put into words how much this scares me.

 

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