Oh, you’ve heard me say it long and loud: everything we do online is monitored, and it’s heinous. Our online information and activities is much more than a data collection for targeted advertising, it’s social engineering and a means to control us. Did you know that Facebook is going to be implementing facial recognition software?! That Google now tracks your entire online activity through all its services and there’s no way to opt out? That Instagram and other photo-sharing social networks can do anything they want, free of charge, with your photos? What the heck happened to our personal rights, our privacy, our personal property?!
I’ve been waiting in the wings for the geeks to finally get sick and tired of being mere cattle in the online social networking pool. I am stoked because I fond something called Sgrouples! It’s pronounced “screw-pulls,” by the way. It blends scruples with social networking. There’s really good video interview I saw on FoxNews with Mark Weinstein, founder and CEO of Sgrouples. It’s very informational. Mark Weinstein thinks it creepy that the Internet has become this huge camera that monitors and watches everything we do and report it to other corporations. WELL SAID.
Sgrouples wears many hats, all intended to protect our online privacy and give consumer control back to the consumer while at the same time enjoying the social networking benefits. It’s called “privacy by design.” Here’s what I’ve managed to find out:
- Sgrouples does not track you. They don’t profile you, they don’t target ads to your kids, they don’t collect your information, they don’t sell your information, and they do not manage or store your data online.
- Sgrouples is a social media aggregator, which means they have apps and software that allows you to use Twitter, Facebook, and other social media in one place. The best part is that — unlike Facebook and everyone else — Sgrouples does not watch you, monitor you, or collect your data.
- WE USERS OWN OUR CONTENT. Sgrouples offers users “cloud” storage for photos and documents and etc, but they do not own it, they do not retain any rights or use of it, and they allow you to permanently delete it. You can get 4GB of cloud storage for free — after that, there’s a cost.
- Sgrouples maintains a Privacy Bill of Rights — I LOVE Bills of Rights! Click the link to view the document. I love the first one: “Your personal information is private and it is yours; it is explicitly not ours and not our business.” It gets better from there!
- You can create private Sgrouples user groups to communicate with ONLY the people you want to communicate with. NO “friends” suggestions, no profiling, nothing.
- How does Sgrouples make money if they don’t sell our data? They do have ads, but the ads are not targeted and you can shut them off. They also charge a fee for additional storage on the cloud, too. I wonder if they take donations because I’d definitely give these people my business PLUS donations because I am so happy that this company is doing all this.
- Sgrouples is free to join. Extra cloud storage costs money.
- Sgrouples is in beta, which means that it’s new and is still developing some stuff. I’m looking forward to more features as they develop them.
So I joined Sgrouples. I’ve added my Twitter and Facebook accounts, and so far it’s very nice. It’s a little like Seesmic. I’m going to be downloading the iPhone app later, and I think I will begin using Sgrouples as my media cloud storage for images and shared documents. I think it would be cool if the company made a desktop aggregator, right now everything is on the web.
If you are concerned about you or your kids’ online privacy, definitely check out Sgrouples. Read the Privacy Bill of Rights are prepare to be blown away!!! Huzzah for the Online Privacy Revolution!