Thursday, August 25, 2011


I can understand the occasional check on the bloggers' sign-in page, as much for security as for the occasional data cleansing exercise. ....... Does data cleansing happen? 

I was mildly irritated to have my usually smooth pathway to my blog site hindered by Google wanting a phone number.  Surely, I did not want to miss all the shimmering excitement of cell phone connections to the cyber world.  Well, here's news, I sure do!   

In the tiniest ever, almost diaphanous print, even smaller than that which is found in a telephone directory,  I just about discovered the option to choose to  click to move on without divulging a phone number.  It was blatantly obvious that  by such a devious, miniscule, printed option,  the designers of the page intended to frustrate as many individuals as they could, in any intent to  decline such a questionable magnanimous offer.

Another development, (it should not affect me) anyone with smart phones, or relatively up-to-date phones, who is a registered user of Facebook, (FB) will have their cell phone numbers published with their names and personal avatars on their friends sites.  To opt out of this feature, (note, no-one was asked if they wanted to opt in) you, the Facebook user, must find the pathway to request removal of your cell phone number, which could take some time to activate, and not only that, on some phones, something else has to be switched off, or, be negated by the user.  Do not ask me what has to be switched off, as I have not got the merest idea. 

It begs the question as to how Facebook has access to the users' cell phone numbers.  I can only assume, (though I could be wrong) that if Google is requesting their bloggers cell phone numbers, then the cell phone numbers displayed on the FB social networking site may have been supplied by the users themselves when subscribing to it.   Also, if you have to request to opt out of the publicizing of your phone number  amongst the vast global numbers of contacts, contacts that some people seem to collect as trophies, you have to ask what is a personal privacy setting worth.  To paraphrase The English Bard, ....Trust, trust wherefore art thou?


keiko amano said...


Once, one of my email was affected by a virus, so I cancelled it. So, if another one goes bad, I will just cancel it, and make a new one. It's better than giving out a phone number and restore the affected account. In the meantime, I enjoy using my current email account, but I won't depend my life on it.

Vincent said...

Whatever Google and Facebook do is surely to further their own interest. In this instance I imagine they are coming under pressure from the British Government (Home Secretary Theresa May) to hand over information to the police in case of any future riot organised by social media. So they have decided, I guess, to collect information "voluntarily" as a method of staving off worse interference.

ZACL said...

Hi Keiko,

I agree you cannot be secure forever with internet and email facilities. Changing email addresses because of the abuse of others is a nuisance.

ZACL said...

Hi Vincent,

I had included something similar to your comment in my first draft of the post, I then edited it out, as I wanted to see if someone else might pick up on the sane thought process.

I am rather disturbed though, about the 'voluntary' nature of opting in to disclosing cell phone numbers is almost imposed upon the us, because if the difficulty of dealing with and finding the opt out. It suggests that there is a tacit dishonesty in the disclosure request. It would have been so much cleaner to have made an opt out visible and easier to access.

We should not have to go to all sorts of lengths to find an opt out. This avenue is the easy way to collect information 'voluntarily', there are other avenues that would not take much effort. Others do not seem to have any trouble obtaining cell phone numbers from relatively legitimate and illegitimate sources

ZACL said...

Excuse typos I haven't noticed. The following are the obvious ones, Vincent.

sane = same (I quite like the Freudian nature of that typo!)

if the difficulty = of the difficulty.