Yesterday I received an email from American Airlines confirming my airline tickets flying out of Philadelphia. The tickets would be charged to my debit card and were only $680.00. The email included the downloadable attachment with the invoice and itinerary.
But, I wasn’t flying out of Philadelphia or anywhere else, for that matter. First, I did not open the attachment. Second, I did a quick check of my bank balance; just in case money had actually been deducted from my account. Third, I did a Google Search for “American Airlines Email Scam” and found that American Airlines was aware of the email and similar ones like it.
These days, very few people are naive enough to click on any attachments from an unsolicited email such as this. But, this doesn’t stop the email spammers and scammers from trying to get information from people using similar methods as this.
And, if we read a story online or hear in the news, about a person or people duped out of their information or money; we usually say, “They had it coming” or “How could they be so stupid to give out that info?”
And then we go to our Facebook page and tell our online friends where we ate, at what time we were out of our homes, what kind of car we drive, and what school our kids attend.
Back in 2005, I posted an entry about a guy trying to order a pizza. He soon finds out that the pizza place knew a lot more about him than he wanted.
The entry included a link to a flash presentation from the American Civil Liberties Union. According to the ACLU in 2014, it “has become the single most-downloaded piece of content we’ve ever produced.”
We think we only release the information that we want people to know, but more information about our private lives is being gathered each and every day and uploaded and downloaded to databases all over the world. In 2004, the little video about ordering pizza was made long before smartphones, apps that track our location in real-time, and social network sites like Twitter.
The ACLU is still asking us, “How much information do we want known and what can we do about it?”
We may still one day say, “All I wanted was a pizza!”
This Has Been Your Saturday Diversion.