Of course most of us all now know that we have some aspect of our lives published on the Internet, somewhere.  But with the explosion in usage and participation in the various social networks, more and more of our truly personal info is getting “out there” for someone to grab.  Question is:  How much control do we have really have, and who really gets to see (or use) our information, and for what purpose?

I don’t mind that a social network I participate in has any personal info on me, as long as I’m in control of it and I know what it’s being used for.  What I do mind is when it becomes difficult or too confusing to control the way my information is used and/or exposed.

Tech writer Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols recently called attention to the myriad ways that Facebook can potentially invade your privacy.  He also pointed out the difficulty now faced (even by knowledgeable users of social media) in keeping up with all the privacy-related features that you should be constantly monitoring and/or tweaking.

A major software company like Facebook, for example, who undoubtedly has teams of top-notch developers….they can’t make the process of safeguarding privacy anymore straightforward and simplistic?  That just makes me think they have some other intent in mind besides watching out for me.

The obvious concern for me is that some of these companies will use my personal information for their marketing efforts, most of which I probably did not knowingly elect to be a part of.  The bigger concern is that my personal information could possibly be sold outright to unauthorized parties for some much more sinister purpose.

Supposedly there are various sites now that attempt to inform you about what’s on the Internet about you.  One of many, but try out your name on Spokeo to find out what’s known about you…it’s kinda creepy.  But even lots of these “helpful” sites are just simply for profit themselves and, you guessed it, some of them want more of your personal information before they will divulge any details.

Funny side of it all…