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UK Gov't Official Advises Using Fake Details On Social Networks

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the all-hail-sacred-tax-collection dept.

Privacy 175

another random user writes "A senior government official has sparked anger by advising internet users to give fake details to websites to protect their security. Andy Smith, an internet security chief at the Cabinet Office, said people should only give accurate details to trusted sites such as government ones. He said names and addresses posted on social networking sites 'can be used against you' by criminals. ... 'When you put information on the internet do not use your real name, your real date of birth,' he told a Parliament and the Internet Conference in Portcullis House, Westminster. 'When you are putting information on social networking sites don't put real combinations of information, because it can be used against you.' But he stressed that internet users should always give accurate information when they were filling in government forms on the internet, such a tax returns."

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175 comments

Sure, great for the UK (5, Insightful)

crazyjj (2598719) | about a year and a half ago | (#41764109)

What about in the U.S., where the corporations ARE the government?

Sadly (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41764151)

The social networks are getting smarter, and even if you don't give them the information, they may already have it. Unless you're doing this and not associating with anyone who knows you in real life, they will be able to match you up to your real self.

Re:Sadly (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41764401)

The power of statistics with large data sets is overwhelming. Always use the option of not using websites unless you absolutely trust the person on the other end to do the right thing with your information and exchange it in a responsible way. Sadly that take a big bite out my internet use. (Wish I followed it myself.)

Re:Sadly (5, Informative)

ciderbrew (1860166) | about a year and a half ago | (#41764495)

That right. FB didn't have my really birthday until others entered it into their calendar. I still get emails from friends asking me if I've moved? Well maybe I want to be a 48 year old women from Kenya! No website get real info. All websites get misspelt something in the name or address to track how that data is moved about. Sadly I "need" to use FB to organise and keep up with other people. I'd rather in not be on FB; but I can't stop the 300 people I network with from using it.

Re:Sadly (1)

bkcallahan (2515468) | about a year and a half ago | (#41766331)

"He said names and addresses posted on social networking sites "can be used against you" by criminals".; while that can probably be applied to FaceBook around here, I'm pretty sure that was not his *intent*. Nice red herring though.

awesome, advocate violating the terms of service (5, Insightful)

Nadaka (224565) | about a year and a half ago | (#41764155)

And that is a considered a felony hacking crime in some countries.

Re:awesome, advocate violating the terms of servic (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41764335)

Citation or it didn't happen.

Re:awesome, advocate violating the terms of servic (5, Informative)

Nadaka (224565) | about a year and a half ago | (#41764535)

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/09/aaron-swartz-felony/all/

"The government, however, has interpreted the anti-hacking provisions to include activities such as violating a website’s terms of service or a company’s computer usage policy, a position a federal appeals court in April said means “millions of unsuspecting individuals would find that they are engaging in criminal conduct.”"

Re:awesome, advocate violating the terms of servic (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41765015)

Finish the paragraph.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in limiting reach of the CFAA, said that violations of employee contract agreements and websites’ terms of service were better left to civil lawsuits.

Re:awesome, advocate violating the terms of servic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41766697)

The 9th circuit only covers a fraction of the country. This ruling doesn't stop the DOJ from abusing the CFAA elsewhere.

Re:awesome, advocate violating the terms of servic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41764681)

Translation: I'm a lazy entitled bastard who can't be arsed to use my own brain.

Re:awesome, advocate violating the terms of servic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41764375)

the only place I can think of this possibly being true is iran on the basis of censorship, but not by law. Pretty sure that as far as the rest of the world goes you are full of shit.

Re:awesome, advocate violating the terms of servic (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | about a year and a half ago | (#41764491)

And I'm sure you can easily find for us the specific laws in question?

Re:awesome, advocate violating the terms of servic (4, Informative)

Nadaka (224565) | about a year and a half ago | (#41764551)

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1030

Re:awesome, advocate violating the terms of servic (2)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | about a year and a half ago | (#41765863)

Right, and this tells me I can't violate TOS with a private company .... where exactly? If you actually read the text you provided, you'll see that it doesn't, not even indirectly.

The remedy for violated ToS is termination of service, as is typically spelled out in the ToS themselves.

Re:awesome, advocate violating the terms of servic (1)

cOldhandle (1555485) | about a year and a half ago | (#41765005)

What, giving false information to random social networking sites is a "felony hacking crime"? Name one country where this is the case. Terms of Service are usually ridiculously overreaching works of corporate fantasy that conflict with many local laws - especially in the EU. Violating a corporation's Terms of Service is not "breaking the law" unless your action is actually illegal.

He's wrong (5, Insightful)

e065c8515d206cb0e190 (1785896) | about a year and a half ago | (#41764173)

You shouldn't (always) trust the government either.

Re:He's wrong (4, Funny)

godrik (1287354) | about a year and a half ago | (#41764215)

maybe, but lying on tax forms is typically a very bad idea!

Re:He's wrong (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41764359)

I'm sorry, the person on your tax form was born on Oct. 24th 1982 and our records show that your were born on Oct. 25th 1981, so you obviously haven't paid your taxes. And no I don't care what the rest of the form says, so cough up. Or were you committing a crime by lying on your tax form?

Re:He's wrong (2)

daem0n1x (748565) | about a year and a half ago | (#41764683)

I was born in February, 12th of –2,147,483,648. At least that's what my tax return web page says.

Re:He's wrong (2)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | about a year and a half ago | (#41766631)

..the UK government does not have a good record for securing peoples data, there are numerous cases of officials leaving it on trains, sending it unencrypted through the post, etc ...

My details... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41764179)

Are more likely to be accidentally left in a pub by an MP on an unencrypted laptop than to be gained illegitimately from my Facebook account.

Re:My details... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41764773)

Doesn't even have to be an MP. I'm a local party officer for one of the major parties; I get a full copy of the electoral roll for the district every year and updates when it changes. Although I at least keep my copy inside a TrueCrypt volume.

The real story... (5, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | about a year and a half ago | (#41764195)

The other story here is that in response some whiny bitch of a Labour MP said she was shocked that a government worker would dare make a suggestion that we try and protect our privacy and anonymity because anyone doing so is obviously a cyber bully and has something to hide.

Which reminds me once again why I don't know if it's worth even voting next election because it's a choice between spoilt milionaires who were born with a silver spoon yet still want more and seem to spend more time legislating about what furry animals they can kill next rather than doing much of actual value, and fascists that want to control every aspect of our lives and pay us enough benefits to bankrupt the country if we can't be arsed to work.

Honestly, for once a government official speaks sense, and still it gets turned into party political bollocks trying to take a swipe at them over it.

This guy, whoever he is, for PM. He's made the most sense of any government worker I've ever seen.

Re:The real story... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41764303)

IIRC Labour banned fox-hunting as a class war move, so you might want to put that part in with party B and go with "fascists that want to control every aspect of our lives" in both sections as they're ALL fascists.

Re:The real story... (2)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#41764623)

...they're ALL fascists.

And so are those that vote for them and otherwise enable the system. Fascism is like belly buttons. Some are innies, and some are outies.

Re:The real story... (3, Insightful)

robthebloke (1308483) | about a year and a half ago | (#41764679)

Look, I grew up in the countryside, and I see the damage foxes can do to livestock, so in principle I have nothing against the killing of foxes. I don't however think that donning a red coat, drinking a glass of sherry, jumping on a horse, sounding your bugles, and letting loose a pack of dogs is the most humane way of going about it. It was pompous, outdated, and completely unnessecary.

Re:The real story... (2)

hippo (107522) | about a year and a half ago | (#41764935)

But a lot of fun for those who enjoyed it. And anyway it was with hunting horns and hounds. Not my cup of tea but I would rather our elected leaders spend their time on more important things.

Re:The real story... (2)

jabuzz (182671) | about a year and a half ago | (#41765019)

I grew up in the country in England, and in my area that was done once or twice a year. The rest of the year the foxes where still hunted by hounds on a more or less weekly basis.

The issue is that we need to control the fox population given we have removed all their natural predators. As the government independent scientific report at the time found, hunting with dogs was not more cruel than shooting, and poisoning was not good for other wildlife. One the has to ask what is the rational basis for banning hunting foxes with dogs?

As a animal cruelty issue, there is far more cruelty of domesticated animals and pets by orders of magnitude that there was from hunting with dogs so why concentrate on this?

The reality is that it was indeed does as a class warfare issue.

Re:The real story... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41765407)

Ha! I love the "class warfare" argument with regard to fox hunting.

Tell me, was it "class warfare" when the lower-class bloodsports, such as bear-baiting, cock-fighting, dog-fighting and badger baiting were outlawed? I'm not arguing for a return of those practises, but a recognition of the hypocrisy that bans one thing on the grounds of animal welfare, yet protects another very similar thing on the grounds of "class warfare". Tradition is all very well, but some shit is just too barbaric for this century. Let it go.

If you have to control fox populations, fine. Pay a licensed professional with a gun to go out into the fields and shoot them. Quick, cheap, precise, efficient, painless and a hell of a lot cheaper than dozens of people charging drunkenly around the countryside with dogs and horses and shit.

Killing animals might sometimes be necessary (I'm not a vegetarian, so I am responsible for my share of animal deaths), but we have a responsibility to do it humanely. To kill reluctantly, and with respect. People who take pleasure in killing are called psychopaths, and I am very wary of anyone who supports hunting for this reason.

Re:The real story... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41766415)

2 reasons

1 man with a gun is indescrimainate - chase by hounds is survival of the fittest you will be more likely to kill the old or weak (who are more likely to go after livestock as well)

2 In some areas (such as western side of Dartmoor which I know) shooting is not practical due to vegitation/landscape dogs can get places the huntsman can't and they can even go underground.

I agree that in the othger area i know (Sussex) hunts are full of stockbrockers but not in rural Devon. One rule does not fit all

Re:The real story... (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | about a year and a half ago | (#41766567)

Solution: Shoot them, this is still legal and the most efficient and humane way

Fox hunting as a sport is outdated and often cruel, gamekeeping is necessary to keep the fox population down, and if done properly will cull the correct individuals not just the easiest to catch, or the first found, dogs should not be necessary for a good gamekeeper because they will know where the local foxes live and where to find them ...

Re:The real story... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41766487)

What "livestock" are you referring to? Adult pigs? Cows? Sheep? Do you know how small a fox is?
Why isn't there any video of a fox KILLING livestock? Camcorders are ten a penny now, where is all the evidence? I'm sure a fox will kill chickens IF he can get to them, but what fox can get through chicken wire?
Add to this the ludicrous and obviously made up news 'reports' this year and last year about people allegedly being attacked by foxes, including one in which TWO babies were allegedly attacked by a fox that somehow got into their house, walked up a flight of stairs, and was allegedly 'attracted by the smell of their nappies'. Yes, sure, foxes are always attracted to the smell of human excrement. It just shows how sick and dishonest the pro foxhunting lobby are.

Re:The real story... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41764355)

This guy, whoever he is, for PM. He's made the most sense of any government worker I've ever seen.

Except for this one obvious insanity:

"Andy Smith, an internet security chief at the Cabinet Office, said people should only give accurate details to trusted sites such as government ones."

Re:The real story... (1)

jabuzz (182671) | about a year and a half ago | (#41765047)

Yes because giving false information when filling out a tax return etc. is a criminal offence. Telling facebook you where born on some other date is not.

Re:The real story... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41765317)

But taxation is a natural crime.

Re:The real story... (1)

datajack (17285) | about a year and a half ago | (#41764517)

I'm confused that a politician actual understood the issues before spouting off - isn't that illegal?

Very few sites get my real details, but he missed a few other important ones .. banks and insurance companies get correct personal details. I also find it useful to give shops and delivery companies get my address but nothing much else.

Re:The real story... (1)

Shrike Valeo (2198124) | about a year and a half ago | (#41764609)

Whether or not it's worth to vote is an entirely different problem! *grumbles about the 'coalition', how well it's worked and how everyone wanted it*

I call people daily and at times have to confirm details that these people really do put up for everyone to read, all too often publicly (*avoids giving Facebook the accusing finger*). It's saddening, but all you can do is follow laws, procedures and suspicions..

If I am forced to register my own personal information when the site in question doesn't use it (save, maybe, targeted advertising), it seems a case of buckle up or the door's on your right; They're fine holding all this information about you for no particular reason.. Nice to see the ICO care about who holds what information about us, 'private' or public.

Reminds me of the exact moment I stopped using Windows Live Messenger..

Re:The real story... (1)

Inda (580031) | about a year and a half ago | (#41764723)

This bitch also tried to claim expenses for two hotels _before_ she became an MP. Back dating = hacking dates, in my eyes.

She also employed her husband to give some advice, to the tune of 600 pound notes. Nice work if you can get it, yeah? I might start charging my partner for advice.

Re:The real story... (2)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a year and a half ago | (#41764903)

The MP suggested using fake IDs, except for government stuff. Maybe you need to use a fake government as well, instead of the real one?

Although, from what you describe, it sounds like your government is, in fact, already fake.

Re:The real story... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41765959)

Yeah, hemakes sense, speak it up and even "news for nerds" doesn't get it...

Also, if you are not happy with your candidates or the system, you should null your vote.

Stop being a pussy

Re:The real story... (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | about a year and a half ago | (#41766689)

Both sides have it wrong, the government should not encourage people to break the terms of service of a website, but they should accept that people should not put unnecessary information on public untrusted websites either ...

Dear faux-outraged MPs... (2)

pla (258480) | about a year and a half ago | (#41764233)

Dear faux-outraged MPs...

Don't worry. Everyone already does this. Your precious little databases of everything, everywhere, already contain 100% pure unadulterated shit (actually only 95% shit, but since you can't easily tell which morons gave real info, you can't trust any of it). So really, you haven't lost anything.

Boo-hoo. Back to social control the old fashioned way - Poisoning kids' minds via the school system, and having the boys in blue damage the minds of those that escape with some shreds of individuality intact.

Re:Dear faux-outraged MPs... (3, Insightful)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | about a year and a half ago | (#41764519)

Aw, isn't that quaint - you actually seem to believe this.

Don't worry. Everyone already does this. Your precious little databases of everything, everywhere, already contain 100% pure unadulterated shit (actually only 95% shit, but since you can't easily tell which morons gave real info, you can't trust any of it). So really, you haven't lost anything.

Have you *looked* at facebook? Huge numbers of people proudly post every real, factual detail of their real lives to it.

Re:Dear faux-outraged MPs... (1)

gman003 (1693318) | about a year and a half ago | (#41766779)

"The government are very keen on amassing statistics. They collect them, add them, raise them to the nth power, take the cube root and prepare wonderful diagrams. But you must never forget that every one of these figures comes in the first instance from the village watchman, and he puts down anything he damn well pleases."
-- attributed to Josiah Stamp, 1st Baron Stamp, circa 1930

Now the government has cut out the village watchman, in favor of letting the citizenry feed them bullshit directly (only fair, given how much they have fed to us).

So... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41764249)

Is there really anyone who doesn't do this already?

Vladimir Putin, c/o the Vatican

Really.. (3, Funny)

f3rret (1776822) | about a year and a half ago | (#41764269)

Am I the only one who does this already? I habitually lie, I mean I might add my real name if I *have* to, but far as Facebook is concerned I'm a Muslim communist who lives in Pyongyang north Korea.

Re:Really.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41764435)

You are far from the only one. I've never used my real name on the Internet. lol...

Re:Really.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41764455)

Extreme rendition to North Korea in 3...2...

Re:Really.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41764579)

I don't want to be you when you are pulled aside at the airport 'at random' for some extra screening.

Re:Really.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41764775)

I'm a 147 year old Iraqi living in the UK as far as any pr0n site knows.

Re:Really.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41764959)

Facebook knows exactly who you are and what city you live in because of all your friends. It's most likely that someone from N Korea didn't have 20 friends all from the same American (for example) highschool. You're boned!

Re:Really.. (1)

f3rret (1776822) | about a year and a half ago | (#41765737)

See thing about that is, I don't really have any friends who went to any american high school.

Well I don't really have any friends, but that's a different matter.

Re:Really.. (1)

gman003 (1693318) | about a year and a half ago | (#41766833)

I just give completely bullshit names, that a machine is happy to accept but a person would immediately know is false.

I always chuckle when I sign into a site under the name "Anon Ymous".

Good advice. Don't give out real information. (1)

concealment (2447304) | about a year and a half ago | (#41764287)

If a company wants your real information, they should pay you for it.

You are being exposed to greater risk for each copy of your information that is out there. Not only of identity theft and other scams, but of being targeted by more advertising that can waste your time. Spam is out; the new spam is like those ads on Facebook for products tangentially relevant to your life, but usually irrelevant.

Even more dangerous is that people are able to correlate information from different sources and form a good profile of how you live, work and shop. Spokeo.com is a prime example of this.

If I could do it again, I'd use fake information from day one. In the information age, it's better to be invisible than a known quantity.

Re:Good advice. Don't give out real information. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41764567)

Even more dangerous is that people are able to correlate information from different sources and form a good profile of how you live, work and shop.

Why exactly is this dangerous? Do the heavenly bodies object to having telescopes pointed at them? Does DNA get it's panties in a bunch that we know it's structure? A better understanding of human activity is a great boon for the social sciences and the internet is the lens through which it may be more effectively perceived.

This man is just a luddite trying to stand in the way of progress (not a particularly surprising trait to find in a tory).

Actually I am just playing devil's advocate here. My initial reaction to reading this story was to agree with what he says.

Re:Good advice. Don't give out real information. (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#41764633)

If a company wants your real information, they should pay you for it.

*puts pinky to lips* Five MILLION dollars!

Re:Good advice. Don't give out real information. (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year and a half ago | (#41764721)

Companies like Google and Facebook "pay you" for your personal information by giving you free service.

No, they pay for your attention. (1)

concealment (2447304) | about a year and a half ago | (#41764837)

Companies like Google and Facebook "pay you" for your personal information by giving you free service.

They're paying (with their free service) through the sale of ads. Ad sales do not require personal information. Think of a newspaper ad, or TV commercial. While those are targeted, based on what section of the newspaper (sports costs more than politics) or type of program they're featured in, they are also anonymous.

Monsignor de Plume (2)

Righ (677125) | about a year and a half ago | (#41764325)

It's possible that Andy Smith isn't his real name.

Re:Monsignor de Plume (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41764507)

True, but it would have been more plausible if he gave his name as Adam Smith [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Monsignor de Plume (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41765563)

I'm pretty sure that it is his real name. But I'm saying this anonymously. Read into that what you like.

But (1)

symes (835608) | about a year and a half ago | (#41764369)

Social Networks are just the tip of the iceberg - there are vast databases out there used by corporations to better understand their customers. Supermarkets and banks for example will know just about everything there is to know. If someone is stupid enough to post so much personal information on a social site that can then be used to comprise their identity, then that is a problem but one shared by the user... but if an organization fails to secure financial data, gets hacked and that information is used to exploit users, that is potentially more serious. Or if Facebook, Google or whoever are selling user information with users consent to anyone who will pay, no one seems interested. Yet the latter doesn't seem to be discussed to the same degree. It is not just about telling people to obfuscate, to "make stuff up" we need some good privacy laws that protect individuals and their data.

Re:But (1)

macbeth66 (204889) | about a year and a half ago | (#41764523)

For the most part, none of the information about me on any site is correct or consistent between sites. I like the idea of being a Muslim Communist in North Korea ( credit goes to f3rret ). I do not use any online sites for my financial, health or government needs. So far, snail mail, phone calls or showing up in person has done the trick.

I am concerned about the day when I will be forced to used these sites. I get an email almost every month from bank to activate my on-line account.

major points here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41764393)

In some places it's a federal offence to give incorrect information or conceal your identity, in others it may not be an offence but it puts you among the terrorists and their suspicious behaviour bringing you into increased scrutiny and making it more likely that the authorities will start harassing you once they do find out who you are.

As long as you're okay with that, no problem.

Re:major points here (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | about a year and a half ago | (#41764557)

This bit of news is nothing to do with your country. "UK Gov't Official ....." was the clue.

Re:major points here (3, Interesting)

PPH (736903) | about a year and a half ago | (#41765287)

Its a federal offense to give incorrect information to a federal official. Or to any entity that has a statutory duty to make reports to the federal government.

Some businesses have tried to leverage this second point to make the claim that they might have to turn data over to the gov't. So what you have on file with them must be correct. But I don't think courts have backed them up on this one. Yet.

Common Sense (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about a year and a half ago | (#41764397)

Wow, who would put real information on sites like Facebook, MySpace etc... If your going to put real details up use a site like LinkedIn, anywhere else if someone needs to know who you are then you can take it offline. The security risk of putting your info online is huge.

"Andy Smith" said that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41764413)

That's a pretty suspicious name for this sort of thing...

whatever happened to neutrality? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41764425)

Between this and the Aussies recommending IP proxies, this is a serious threat to governments' perceived integrity. Some people might take it as a government change from neutrality, toward a pro-citizens position, directly in opposition to all the various parties who wish toi harm that government's citizens.

Are you sure you want your government to openly declare that it's on your side? They might no longer be trusted to always sell you out whenever convenient. And if they're not trusted, their candidates might not get paid, and you might end up being forced to vote on candidates' positions, instead of based on who has the best ad campaign.

Be careful what you ask for.

"...only give accurate details to trusted sites.. (1)

John Hasler (414242) | about a year and a half ago | (#41764509)

Ok...

> ...such as government ones."

ROFL.

Better yet, only give details to trusted sites. Don't tell the untrusted ones anything.

Thank You! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41764513)

Finally a little sane advice on the subject...

If you want your personal information kept safe, DON'T PUT IT ONLINE.

Re:Thank You! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41765465)

If you want your personal information kept safe, DON'T PUT IT ONLINE.

And if others put my information online because Facebook prompts them to enter some info about me? Or their Android phone syncs its address book with Google+?

What then?

Steam Users (4, Insightful)

baoru (1023479) | about a year and a half ago | (#41764525)

Someone should tell the 27 million Steam users born on January 1st [thenobleeskimo.com] that they should not use their real birthdays.

New field of expertise (1)

GeekWithAKnife (2717871) | about a year and a half ago | (#41764547)

Protecting security is paramount to the security protection agency in charge of defense. I suppose that in this day and age you really do need to protect your security.

Yet, if you do this on a tax return you go to jail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41764719)

Just try following this advice the next time you have to deal with the government and see how far it gets you. What's good for the goose is good for the gander, no?

Truly intelligent people don't use social networks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41764739)

Of course that means most of you cretins will step right up and
eat that pile of shit and you will even recommend it to your friends.

But you are all still eating shit.

Policy statement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41764791)

It is important to concentrate all accurate information in the hands of the government overlords, and keep accurate info out of the hands of that greedy private sector.

This is news? (1)

inject_hotmail.com (843637) | about a year and a half ago | (#41764945)

Seriously, this is a revelation? Not to mention the only person "angered" was some douchey MP that likely has investments in social networks and online advertisers. Why else would she promote using real information? She (Goodman) is actually claiming that using false information promotes crime. Gawd.

Anyway, I was intelligent enough to refuse to provide real personal information to BBSes (all local public network for the neophytes out there...never mind the Internet...a global public network) since I started online in the early 1990's...and I was very young (under 13). If someone provides enough information to a social site to permit a theft of identity...they deserve it.

Perpetual naivete is ignorance, and widespread ignorance is social decay (how ironic)...for which I have little sympathy.

Wait, what? (1)

MrLizard (95131) | about a year and a half ago | (#41765139)

"....people should only give accurate details to trusted sites such as government ones."

I think my irony meter just exploded.

"Do not trust those fiendish corporations that want to sell you things, Loyal Citizen Unit! Trust only the government with your personal information! We just want to put you in GitMo, not show you ads! Remember! Failure to report mutants and commies is treason! Keep your laser handy!"

You're doing it wrong (2)

rickb928 (945187) | about a year and a half ago | (#41765141)

The solution is not to fake the data, nor is it to try and restrict visibility.

The solution is to redefine social networks, and admit that your address, personal info beyond 'I like chocolate etc lulz' is not useful in a social site, and go on.

But that guts the social networks. They derive their revenue from being able to sell YOU. And they can only sell YOU if they can sell Y O U .

That means selling your home address, the car you drive, your income and financial details, your friends, your employer, what you *actually* do, vs what you say you like to do, and whether or not you are able to be influenced by the advertisers buying you.

The first solution to this is to pay you for your data.

The second soluuion is to hold the purveyors of your data genuinely responsible for misdeeds. Not slap on the wrist fines, but punitive, stockholder-impacting penalties, and then both punitive reporting and montioring. If you don't vhange the rules, you won't change the brhavior.

And punish their clients as well.

And none of this will happen for the forseeable future. Just as Do Not Track cannot work, this personal data drives revenue, and makes the 'free' as in beer Internet work. Without it, you subscribe to Facebook, and I am not at all sure that FB is worth $0.19/mo to anyone. Much less the true cost of operation.

So we either live with this, or get off the networks.

Now, the real crimes are when your state sells your drivers license info. That is sinful and wrong.

Shocking (1)

cOldhandle (1555485) | about a year and a half ago | (#41765225)

Labour MP Helen Goodman was "genuinely shocked that a public official could say such a thing." I'm genuinely shocked that a public official (internet security chief Andy Smith) could actually be this competent and give citizens valid, practical advice about protecting their privacy.

wait a sec (1)

Bengie (1121981) | about a year and a half ago | (#41765363)

I thought posting false details is not only against the ToS, but is against the law. We're supposed to break the law to protect ourselves?

Re:wait a sec (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41765879)

I thought posting false details is not only against the ToS,

Yes, usually.

but is against the law.

Essentially, no.

The relevant company can attempt to sue you if they can show losses due to your incorrect data.
If you used your incorrect data to facilitate a crime such as stalking/harassment it might be relevant to the case.

Still too trusting (1)

JohnFen (1641097) | about a year and a half ago | (#41765415)

It's good, if incredibly obvious advice, to avoid giving real personal details to websites. But Mr. Smith is still too trusting, as he includes government and "large commercial" sites as places where it's OK to be honest. I disagree, particularly with the large commercial sites. They are more likely to combine your information with data from other sources, and are therefore even riskier than mom-and-pop sites.

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