Gary Ujifusa got paid well for 28 years by a Fortune 200 company to travel and conditionally learn new things. Now, he’s retired and his travel and learning are non-conditional and unpaid. He finds this to be a great trade.
Much has been written (here and elsewhere) about Facebook’s intrusion into our lives. After reading this website’s blog article, Armed and Not Dangerous, I wondered why I was not more concerned and upset about Facebook’s “what’s in my brain” algorithms.
I wondered why Facebook has to be so damned sneaky about it. And really it’s only the sneaky part that mildly bothers me.
- Want to know who my friends are? Hey, no problem. Poke around until your fingers are all blue.
- Trying to determine my purchasing patterns? Ask me and I’ll tell you.
- Wondering what music I like? I’ll send you a few sample cd’s.
Sharing this information really doesn’t bother me much and I sense it bothers my children and other adult Gen X’ers even less.
Can I Tell You What DOES Bother Me?!
What does bother me (and I think should bother everyone a great deal) are the private banking financial institutions.
These banks employ thousands and thousands of young 20-something college graduates who occupy pretty ordinary worker bee positions as collections representatives, consumer loan representatives and mortgage clerks.
My son worked for 6 months after college at a major bank and my daughter’s best friend worked at another major bank for two years after he graduated. The amount of personal information they had access to is truly scary.
What They Know
The information your average consumer loan representative who earns $25,000 a year can find out about you would make your hair stand on end. I know because my daughter’s friend and son told me what information they could access.
Think Zuckerberg is a loose cannon 20-something guy? These bank kids make Zuckerberg look like The Pope. They make little money and have big information power about their peers, parents and neighbors.
Do you think they never let the genie out of the bottle? I mean they sign confidentiality statements, right? Any bank employee with access to your basic banking information can pretty much tell everything about your purchasing habits, how much money you owe and to whom, how much money you have in the bank, any financial problems you’ve had in the past and the list goes on and on.
This Time It’s Personal
I worked closely with XX Bank for four years. It was a signed confidentiality and non-disclosure relationship. After the first year I seriously thought about buying a safe, purchasing gold bricks with all my money and burying the safe under my concrete basement floor.
I’ve also worked closely with XXXX Bank. They had good external security, but rubbish for systems and internal information security. I could rant on for days about my experiences with them.
UBS is one of the largest financial institutions in the world. I have a very close friend who is a high level financial advisor for UBS. He’s been trying to persuade me to move some of our secure, but hardly-making-money pension money, into more profitable vehicles.
We had lunch one week and I asked him about security and audit at UBS. He talked about it through the rest of our lunch. "Absolutely no need to worry" he said.
Two days later a young man was charged with $2.3 billion dollar fraud. That’s a billion. You guessed it, the young man was a UBS day trader working out of his home. He is no doubt smiling because there is probably another billion in gold bricks buried under his concrete basement floor. If he had not been so greedy, maybe kept it under a billion or $600 million, he might have been just fine.
I immediately called my friend and he said he would get back to me. He did, but had no good answer about how this could have happened.
They never do. They never do because their internal systems are not that smart and they have very smart, dishonest people working inside their institutions, sometimes at relatively low levels, sometimes at C-levels.
The Ground Floor
That’s why Facebook or Twitter or Linkedin or Myspace are little peanuts to me. There are other really immense privacy issues people should know about.
I hope many citizens and those in government do not stop looking into the business of banks and key financial institutions. There is nothing wrong with asking those institutions what they do. If they’re doing good things, like all reputable companies who do good things, they should be proud to open up their books and talk about it.
Until that happens, does anyone know a contractor who does cement floors?