Internet security expert Steve Gibson says that "the use of the internet is not as anonymous in fact as it appears to be in practice." In this conversation with Larry Magid, Gibson explains how internet anonymity is generally a myth, but that it takes a lot of effort and usually a court order to get real life personal information about people based on their surfing history.
Gibson is not worried about how his personal information may be aggregated and used, but recognizes that there are legitimate privacy concerns with the way websites collect information. He offers examples of how Internet Service Providers currently and regularly provide information about customers to law enforcement. Gibson also provides practical ways that users can take steps to increase their online privacy while explaining what negative impact these processes can have.
This talk focuses particularly on Google and the information about individual users that Google collects. Gibson does point out, however, that modern life is full of opportunities for governments and others to collect and aggregate personal information without even looking at the internet.
Steve Gibson is the founder and president of Gibson Research Corporation, focusing on issues surrounding Internet privacy and security. Steve is well known; the free ShieldsUP! facility has been used more than 40 million times, and is the Internet's most trusted and reliable remote security testing facility. GRC's research is made possible by the ongoing success and sales of "SpinRite", the PC industry's leading hard disk data recovery utility.
This free podcast is from our Larry's World series.