Governments and Santa Use Social Media to Track You

Posted on January 27, 2011


Facebook can track you all over the internet each time you click on their “like” button.  Who doesn’t want to be liked, eh?  Now Santa is interested in making naughty and nice buttons available to streamline his operations.  Hugh Heffner is more than interested in the development of those to “beeline” his operations to the naughty.

Remember our old friend, Radio Free Europe?  They have pointed out that the Russian government is actively encouraging you to join Facebook.  Time to remember the true nature of the internet boys and girls:

…[T]he Internet is political, that everything done with regard to Internet policy has political consequences, and that many of the assumptions that policymakers, intellectuals, and journalists operate with when they think about the political power of the Internet are naive and need to be updated. [Radio Free Europe]

The “improper” relationship being investigated between Google and the White House May be just the tip of a very large, international iceberg.  Google is a large part of the social media revolution on the internet and prods you to complete your on-line profile.  Ditto Facebook.

In Russia, the KGB wants you to complete  your facebook page.  Why?  The better to track you AND by manipulating data of multiple users, track trends before users can get on top of them.

If the Tunisian government had a sophisticated system of data-mining and analyzing everything that is happening in the country on social media, I bet they would have been much better prepared for what followed. Much of that outrage has been growing on Facebook early on and it was possible to go and check how angry people really were.

And I think many of these tools have already been developed by Western companies mostly, to do brand analysis. So there are a lot of interesting tools already to track consumer sentiment toward goods, and they can very easily be redeployed to study political sentiment. So this is one of the things which I think drives interest from governments in social media.

And now you little darlings who have flocked to Droid phones like lemmings, know that you are decidedly being tracked.  And soon your purchases will be as well when the phones will be used to scan to pay for your purchases.

School children may soon look forward to a future in which the Principal can know that since you took too much time at home in the bathroom, you will be late for the bus and thus late for school.  He/she may be able to save you a trip and put you on home detention.

It comes to mind that we can scare ourselves and each other silly about the degree of tracking that may be coming.  But then again, all of us old ladies can tell you that when you fall and can’t get up, no one is tracking.