no privacy for the wicked or good, and probably not even for the paranoid

This (“Google has most of my email because it has all of yours”) is something I’ve wondered about before. It started like this…

I use LinkedIn probably as much as anybody else, but something I never do is allow a social media site to access my email accounts anywhere.

One afternoon, LinkedIn suggested that I link with my landlord. At first I was puzzled (“omg LinkedIn is omniscient like Google?“) then I realised what had happened; a couple of days earlier, my landlord emailed me and my flatmate. I didn’t reply, but it didn’t matter; LinkedIn trawled either my landlord’s email folders or my flatmate’s email folders, found the email and concluded that I might know everyone who sent/received that email. Plus I was connected with my flatmate on LinkedIn.

Now, imagine a scenario where the CEO of Boko Haram accidentally emails me instead of a henchman with a similar email address. LinkedIn and everyone else starts recommending that I connect with him because I must know him.

And PRISM makes the same conclusion.

Metadata is harmless, right?

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