(ME:) On some of the dangers of internet
Again, I wrote rather a lot on the
about ME - where one can find what
I wrote here, if it works
Also I am not well, but I did write today on the
among other things On
some of the dangers of internet, that follows, although it is not
written very well, because of too much pain while writing it, because it
is of some general importance for everybody on the internet. This is also
the reason for "(ME:)" in the title - it was written in that
context, but concerns everyone.
Then I should give an update on the previous Nederlog
ME: On legal rights of posters + Yodeling
frabjously...: It is my pleasure to document here that the problems of
the rights of the posters and more have been very well and amicably
Now today's subject (published
yesterday on the Phoenix forums):
(Note: This is a bit technical - not much, though - and a bit
long but should concern you when you are concerned with internet
security and/or linking posts or threads on Phoenix Forums all over
the internet unlimitedly. NOT really fit for reading with severe
Here is the piece I promised relating to safety and in particular
Dr. Yes's concern expressed earlier. To start with, here is Dr.
My concern about privacy is based on the documented
activities of various disability insurers and legal
representatives who, in medical cases incl. lawsuits, have
been known to use thorough internet searches to find evidence
against individuals. I (naively, I suppose) have put out
quite a lot of personal information on this forum, and have
been regretting it of late (I will ask to have my first name
deleted from several posts by others, but I can't find them
all)... I have at least one legal battle potentially on the
horizon and am not sure how to deal with this issue without
going back and deleting partial or entire posts and asking
others to delete quotes from same. [If those members are
still active!] So the additional linking feature compounds an
existing problem, as far as I am concerned.
Some members are not so anonymous, as there are specific bits
of personal information in our posts which are unique, or
almost unique, to us and would make it relatively easy for
someone to establish our identity. Yes, the initial mistake
was ours for putting that information there (my defense is
ignorance; I'm new to this Interweb thing ), but now that
it's out there the concerns exist.
Now let me sketch in a little background to my title "On some of
the dangers of internet". I will do so by translating a number
of Dutch quotations from a piece I wrote in Dutch for my
site that is here:
"How your personal life and privacy are being plundered"
The quotations give a little background as to why I recommend you
to be careful with sharing or linking personal information in
What follows is translated from the Dutch piece that I wrote in
2009. The quotes - everything quoted PR Forumstyle in
this section A - are all translated from an article in the Dutch
daily I read that concerns - what is called - ' consumer
relationship management (CRM) ' and simply amounts to
gathering information from the internet about private persons and
firms by any possible means that computer technology, the internet,
and the computer illiterateness of the vast majority of computer
There is e.g. a commercial Dutch firm callled Experian - and there
also are, all in all, 16+ million Dutchies:
Experian delivers information to 3.000 firms about
consumers i.a. about thei financial fitness of new
customers for firms. "Experian possesses an immense
dataset with various data of 7,5 million Dutch
families." [I.e. virtually all of them - MM.]
their website announces. Worldwide almost half a
billions people are included in their datasets.
"We possess detailed information profiles of
over 2,2 million people we know the names of.
To give some examples: we know who wants to
move, what their cholesterol levels are, and
who are their friends and which of them have
their birthday today", the firm says on its
And so forth, all collected secretively, without one's
knowing one's data are gathered to be sold for money to any
commercial entity that wants info on one, and indeed without
their being a judicial reason to forbid this happening, for the
internet isn't properly subject to judicial laws, as is.
Firms are eager to use customer information
They make much use of a program Mosaic of
Experian that puts households in categories
like "free spirit", "educated townies", "the
fighters", "successful families", "the
traditionalists", "the pension enjoyers" - or
may be you belong to one of the other four
A small experiment. Delete on an average weekday in
the morning all cookies on the hard dusk. After half
a day normal internet-use (number of news sites and
blogs visited) you will have collected 34 tracking
cookies, that return information about the
internet-usage to the provider.
Or to put it in much clearer language: To possibly anyone
- which you in most cases only may find out with
special computer knowledge, special software and much trouble, and
otherwise not. And the "To possibly anyone" applies
hacking in general - and according to security firms like McAfee 1
in 4 computers has been hacked, mostly without its owners knowing
or suspecting, which can also effect spying on non-hacked computers
e.g. if the hack is in a provider or in webbrowser software or
If one has looked for things for babies some
times one day, one will receive more ads about
things for babies that day.
Data collection about and profiling of clients
is called consumer relationship management
(CRM), a sector with a growth rate in double
numbers, that presently is worth 500 million
euros. The raw material of CRM is information
about customersl. Sometimes more than a
thousand variables are collecte in a
customers-database, i.e. more than just age,
address, gender, income or health.
Wil Wurtz, director of the branch organisation CRM
Association, says that CRM is an instrument that
determines how much effort one wants to spend on
Then there is the so aptly named "Robeco Direct":
Robeco Direct uses psychographic variables, a.k.a.
character properties. In this case the extent to
which a customer is introverted or extraverted. "The
use these properties to offer customers more or less
risk bearing products", says Wurtz.
Marketeers don't say it on the record, but a
circumscription that often is used is 'finding the pain
points of a customer'.
How much can one ask for a service offered such that
you earn the most, but the customers keeps coming back.
Maybe you now understand what your "pain points" - say
the very marketeers, amongst marketeers, but not in public - is
about? For example: your SM-orientation, your strength of
character, e.g. psychographically measured using your divorces and
your special interests, all as available for money in secret but
commercially available personal databases from your trustworthy
reliable forthright moral CRM-organisation (personal data that
will be available, if it lasts that long, in forty years' time,
and - thanks to the science of psychographics! - with much higher
predictive validity, all about your very own personal self...
who may be involved in a personal deal with that very understanding
and nice guy Rob of Robeco direct.
Experian has developed a customer managaments-solution.
"Decision Analytics works worldwide with firms in telecom and
financial services. These proven solutions use all available
information to make the kernel behavior of the customers
comprehensible. With this you can develop indiviual
procedures and to retain and maximalise the growth of the
most profitable customers.
B. Some points
I'm pretty PEM'd so I keep it short but here are some points - I
put them in a quote to make them stand out
B1. The above is part of the reasons why I am concerned about
linking posts or threads on Phoenix Forums all over the
B2. The above is part of the reasons why I think people
should be careful what they put on line and/or how - in what
terms - they put it on line.
B3. There is technically MUCH more possible to such
firms and practices as documented in the previous section.
B4. The main general problem is ignorance of computer-users
e.g. about how to (not) to use internet-browsers.
My own preference is this also set apart in a quote to make it
To remove the recently added linking possibilities the first
month to three months; to discuss it more thoroughly; to
allow members to reconsider their own posts and rewrite or
remove; and then decide what to do, and make a new Poll then.
And one consideration here is that anything whatsoever
that is on the internet can be, in principle, linked to
anything that is on the internet - who does not want this can only
avoid this by not putting something on the internet.
And another, for the moment more urgent consideration, is
that - it seems that - quite a few members have posted things (in
words that) they may want to remove or restate realizing that such
information as they give may be gathered e.g. commercially, and
that only if members have been given opportunities to think about
what they have posted in the past on Phoenix Forums, and act on
their thoughts with regards to what is on the forums, that the new
option may be considered that makes ut much more easily and to link
Phoenix Forum materials W-I-D-E-L-Y linked over the internet.
Facebook is of course a favourite place for data-gatherers
to gather raw materials about persons and may indeed sell data to
such gatherers, though I have no knowledge of that; Google
is another institution that gathers very many data about persons or
at least their use of and presence on internet.
Finally, here is another background link, in English, but perhaps
in part a bit more technical than you want tol know
Musings on computing and a new internet
Here especially sections 2 and 6 may be relevant:
Section 2 is about: What browser to use? (Firefox, of
course) And: What Addons to install? (At least: NoScript,
AddBlockPlus and Nuke Anyhing Enhanced) (If
you didn't do so you'll find this MOST USEFUL MOST HELPFUL advice.
Section 6 gives three reasons why a new internet is needed.
I think I have made most of the points I wanted to make.
P.S. Sorry if this is so long, but it really concerns some of The
Facts Of Life On The Net, so to speak...
P.S. Readers of Dutch can find it here, with considerably more:
Yodeling for Beginners
(<- page 25 - presently at ->
(latest issue - one: ME humor - The Laughter
Process (tm) CoFIBS at work).
And some of the evidence that Herr Professor & Frau Doctor Wessely vom
Weasel zum Weisel are mentally
sane if and only if (iff) I am not - as they wholly agree, miraculously
But see here which of the two logical alternatives a true iff comprehends
1. Ten reasons why ME is a real disease by a professor
of medicine of Harvard.
2. Long essay by a professor emeritus of medical chemistry about
maltreatment of ME.
3. Explanation of what's happening around ME by an investigative
4. Report to Canadian Government on ME, by many medical experts.
5. Advice to psychiatrist by a psychiatrist who understands ME is an
6. English mathematical genius on one's responsibilities in the matter
of one's beliefs:
is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon
7. A space- and computer-scientist takes a look at psychology.
8. Malcolm Hooper puts things together status 2010.
me! alas, pain, pain ever, forever!
No change, no pause, no hope! Yet I endure.
I ask the Earth, have not the mountains felt?
I ask yon Heaven, the all-beholding Sun,
Has it not seen? The Sea, in storm or calm,
Heaven's ever-changing Shadow, spread below,
Have its deaf waves not heard my agony?
Ah me! alas, pain, pain ever, forever!"
- (Shelley, "Prometheus Unbound")
"It was from this time that I developed my way of judging the
Chinese by dividing them into two kinds: one humane and one not. "
(*) Dreambirdie is very witty with words and
pictures and TeejKay is - among many other things, such as alas
wheelchair lodged much of the time - together with her husband the maker
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