Today we hear the BBC has discovered that Facebook apps allow your “personal details” to be “stolen”!!!!11 In reality, it’s always been obvious that Facebook apps can see your whole profile, and anyone can write a Facebook app. Yes, two plus two really does make four.
The real problem is not identity theft, but corporate laziness. I am not my birthday. I am not my address. I am not even my name, or bank account number. I am me.
Companies often say they want to build a relationship with their customers, but in reality that’s the last thing they want. They fire the staff with whom I might establish a rapport, and hire anonymous call centre operators instead. Rather than verifying my identity (e.g. by saying hello and chatting for a minute) they verify my account number, my birthday and my mother’s maiden name.
I am not my bank account number, I am me. My birthday is no secret. Anyone who knows my family will know my mother’s maiden name, and if they don’t – then they can just ask her and she will tell them (probably at great length). No one can “steal” these details from me, for they are not mine.