Technology, Top News

‘Florida Man’ meme could be used to data-mine your personal details

Florida Man

What Florida Man might look like

YOU CAN’T trust anyone these days. Not even a meme.

If you’ve been anywhere near social media recently, you may be aware of the “Florida Man Challenge”.

The premise is simple – type “Florida Man” and your birthday into Google and post the best headline you find – because apparently, Florida Man has done a lot of stuff in his time, and a lot of it is ruddy hilarious –

“Florida Man Arrested After Hitting Dad with Pizza Because He Was Mad He Helped Birth Him”

“Florida Man Threatens to Kill Man With ‘Kindness,’ Uses Machete Named ‘Kindness'” and of course the classic

“Florida Man Caught on Camera Licking Doorbell

The reason it works so well is because Florida has some of the best public record laws in the world. Basically, if something happens in Florida and it gets committed to record, you can read it – it’s known as the “Sunshine Laws”. Combined that with a huge homogenous population from all corners of the world, and you’ve got a weird and wonderful story for every day of the year, and two for every Sunday.

Here’s the thing. Searching isn’t a huge problem. Yes, it’s not doing wonders for the Google algorithm, and indeed you’ll find that some of the more popular dates have been searched so much that they’ve started to auto-fill.

The problem comes with sharing the results. It may be part of the fun, but it could also be impacting your privacy.

The moment you share your result, you’re revealing your birthday, which is fine in itself, but when you get a few bad actors data-mining, it doesn’t take may slips of your privacy to build up a fairly comprehensive picture of you, which could be abused.

It’s a sad fact that we’ve reached the stage where a simple bit of Internet fun involves stopping and using a whole bunch of joined-up thinking, but that’s exactly where we are. μ

Source : Inquirer

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Founder and Editor-in-Chief of 'Professional Hackers India'. Technology Evangelist, Security Analyst, Cyber Security Expert, PHP Developer and Part time hacker.

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