Does This Hat Make Me Look Transparent?

How many identities does one have?   This week I wanted to focus my research on my social identity, namely how vulnerable am I on-line, who has access to my personal data, am I being careful enough in regards to what I post on Facebook and what I like on Instagram or Twitter?  I watched Pernielle Tranberg’s TEDxOxford talk titled Fake It, which proved to me that although I feel I am very careful in regards to my digital footprint, there is room for improvement.

In her talk, Pernielle Tranberg indicated that she has three identities:

  1. Pernielle Tranberg (Twitter, Linked in – professional posts)
  2. Pia Thomassen (facebook. pintrest – personal posts)
  3.  Nanna Bach (pages and apps asking for personal identity)

All three are one within the same, and she has chosen to do this so that she can manage what information about herself is out for the public to view, what personal data she is giving out. It is easy to create a fake identity.  I went on to Fake Name Generator and instantly had a new identity, please don’t call me Carla anymore, I now prefer Georgia Clarke.  You can view my  “new” data here:

Georgia Clarke

See, we share so much information inadvertently via social media with one photograph:  who took the photo, where the photo was taken and who has been tagged in the photo. There are risks to sharing including:

  • social profiling – almost every employer will socially profile you – they are looking at social posts, friends, over sharing (confidentiality), constantly complaining or gossiping. 9/10 companies are socially profiling.  7/10 are rejected due to social profiling.
  • Insurers – robbers are following your online profiles – you post pictures of yourself on holidays and have advertised that you are not home – insurance companies do not want to insure you if your asking to be robbed.  May even come down to health insurance being affected as well.
  • social profiling does not only happen on the web, but with any apps that we download onto our devices – they ask our personal info.  Location monitoring, access to our contacts
  • identity risks – use fake email addresses – Jennifer’s post Felicia Day had this happen to her by internet trolls.  Her message, similar to Pernielle’s, PROTECT YOURSELF, censor your world in a way as to not be vulnerable.
  • tracking devices, cookies – pricing will depend on our form of social behaviour in the future (will buy more when depressed – consciously and unconsciously advertise this on Facebook).

Everything  that is being posted on social media is being stored in personal identity banks.  Pernielle Tanberg introduces the topic of Data Sex, and that there are two main types of individuals:

1. 100% private person, never share anything.

2. Datasexual – Shares everything!  Even when they run, how many steps taken, etc. Completly transparent and “authentic” self.    Some people actually get something intimate out of this.  23 and Me is an example of this.

Tanberg explores the idea of Radical Transparency being where we, as a society,  are heading, but really this type of transparency would  only be preferred  if you were on your last job, or position where personal opinions, posts, etc would not inhibit further employment opportunities.

We have a right to control our transparency, Facebook wants us to be very transparent, very thin!  Some people are giving in to Facebook,  giving everything including their cell phone numbers.  I don’t, in fact I feel that I sit somewhere in the middle of the Data Sex population, I am not Datasexual, but I am not 100% private.  I do share happy occasions, but not occasions in which I feel that I could be so transparent as to cost me my job or hurt my loved ones.  One easy trick, wear a hat to protect your facial recognition – apps and websites have a harder time with facial recognition when we have a hat on in our on-line pictures.

image credit: Young Woman With A Fancy Hat via free images (license)

Other than changing your identity to protect yourself, there are apps and websites that allow you to see what others see of your information Kristina posted , I Shared What.  But I have to be honest, I didn’t try it, simply because after researching this week, I have found that I am more cautious than ever about entering personal information into sites or apps or posting thoughts onto social media that may be read wrong as Ron Johnson discussed.

I now wonder, if Justine Sacco has more than one social identity, would she have been dismissed from her job?


2 thoughts on “Does This Hat Make Me Look Transparent?”

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