Online privacy is a hot topic lately with companies coming under fire from regulatory authorities on how personal information of people is available or displayed on the internet. The open nature of the internet has definitely made the world’s information more accessible to users worldwide but this comes at a heavy cost of privacy.
The thing to note here is that your identity on the internet is not just what you post about yourself but also by what others post about you. Individuals that are interested in tarnishing the reputation of another are having a field day, posting personal information of people coupled with propaganda can seriously damage reputations. Although there is nothing one can do about this problem directly, there are ways that you may contact site administrators and have them take down the “ objectionable content”. Going a step further is the ability to control what personal information is freely available to everyone or even better, choosing who gets to see what.
You may think this is nothing new and Google Alerts have been available to users to monitor personal information on the internet and you are right. Google’s Me on the Web is a tool for users to manage their identities online. This tool is available to you in your Google Dashboard. This tool is exactly the same as the Alerts service but now it will be available to users at a more convenient location making it more accessible to users.
How the service works is that whenever Google’s bots find any personal information that may be made public, it will send you an email notification and in the process “Alert” you to take any action you may seem fit. The thing is, you need to create a Google profile for using this tool and choose your settings accordingly.
Well I’ve always loved Google for the innovation that they bring, but I’m also a bit paranoid about what they do. They almost know everything there is to know about any person, and here they want you to create a profile to manage your identity. Does that sound paradoxical? I mean, create a Google account to manage what you don’t want others to see? The Alerts service has always been available, granted that putting this tool into the Dashboard makes it easier for users to leverage its power. What is your take on the new identity management tool?