Will Your Digital Footprint Lead to Future Profiling?

Image courtesy of David Goehring's photostream

Image courtesy of David Goehring’s photostream

Recently I saw this video where Mark Cuban has some interesting thoughts regarding Social Media and privacy. He makes the argument that eventually all of our posts, tweets, re-tweets, shares, likes, etc will be creating an online psychological profile that could prevent you from getting a job, or be used against you in court.

Granted it’s essentially a plug for some new things Cuban has in the works, one of them being CyberDust, a feature that will allow you to send a text message that will vanish within 30 seconds of it being read by the recipient, however it’s also a compelling argument that with more and more of our personal and social lives being displayed online – where everyone can view it – we are leaving more and more bits of our personality and our privacy in places that could be used against us.

While I do enjoy movies about dystopian societies, Cuban makes an all-too-real argument. Social media activity, even text messages, could potentially be used to profile people in the future. Your digital footprint could potentially ruin your reputation somewhere down the line.

In the video Cuban urges you to delete your old posts and tweets (although it’s evident that even though you can delete a tweet, it still lives on somewhere), and he’s working on another feature that does just that. While we might not be at a point where that’s necessary, it’s food for thought. The internet is still a zone where you can be anonymous, and that anonymity could potentially lead to behaviors that you wouldn’t do offline, and could be damning to your reputation in the real world.

As always you can tweet at me @TheRealTomZobel and let me know your thoughts – I promise not to use them against you.

Until Next Time,
Tom

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