There’s a number of web start ups aim to help people indulge their urge to divulge about themselves, from site like Blippy which used to broadcast people’s activities; to Skimble, an iPhone application that people used to reveal of how they had spent their time; to Foursquare, a mobile social network that allows people to announce their precise location to the world; Swipely a site similar to Blippy; and others.
Though many people are still wary in using their real names on the web, all out sharing of their personal life and lifestyle has now become a new trend introduce by these sites who are exploiting an atmosphere of online openness to web users despite the imminent danger of security lapses that may undermine their safety and the unpredictable consequence that may come along with it.
“People are not necessarily thinking about how long this information will stick around, or how it could be used and exploited by marketers,” said Chris Conley, a technological and civil liberties fellow at the American Civil Liberties Union.
In March, Blippy had bypassed Amazon and instigated the release of G-mail accounts of their customers that include purchase date and receipts which Amazon had e-mailed to them and users in turn hand in the information to Blippy in the spirit of sharing.
Amazon, however, is suspicious of Blippy’s idea of letting consumers post their Amazon purchases on their website. Blippy was the first to introduce the idea of publishing credit card and other purchases, where it hopes to make money taking a commission when people are inspired to imitate their friends’ purchases posted on their site.
“We will help people discover a great restaurant or movie through their friends and make it easy to recommend their own purchases,” said Angus Davis a veteran of Netscape and Microsoft.
“Ten years ago people were afraid to buy stuff online. Now they are sharing everything they buy,” said Barry Borsboom, a student at Leiden University, Netherlands. “Times are changing and most people might not know where the dangers lie,” He added.
The big question is: Are people now so daring that they are willing to divulge and share everything they have, dismissing any privacy concerns of themselves?
To Silicon Valley’s think tank, this is all part of one big trend: People are more lenient about their personal privacy, that publicizing their exploits about themselves would result to a prudently knowledgeable conversation and impact of one’s self pride.
Despite what is happening, there is still left for everyone much of concern and more to worry – Identity theft.