Shame, a powerful weapon in the online privacy fight

Shame, a powerful weapon in the online privacy fight

SEATTLE -- From reality TV to Facebook status updates, we live in a world of total showoffs.  But a newly discovered Twitter account demonstrates how dangerous (and stupid) over-sharing can be.

The account @NeedADebitCard is retweeting other users who have tweeted photos of their debit and credit cards.  A quick review of some of the recent photos shows many complete credit card numbers and expiration dates in full view.

“My credit card!  Yey!” reads one such tweet.

“My credit card came in the mail today,” reads another.

Both tweets include links to photos with fully readable credit cards.

The @NeedADebitCard twitter account’s bio reads, “Please quit posting pictures of your debit cards, people.”

While no contact information is available for the account, it seems to be in line with other sites which aim to shame people into better protecting their own privacy online.

WeKnowWhatYourDoing.com, for example, searches Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare for potentially embarrassing public updates and then posts them for all to see.  Categories on the site include ‘Who wants to get fired?’ and ‘Who’s taking drugs?’  The site calls itself ‘a social networking privacy experiment.’

Privacy experts have long cautioned against over-sharing personal information online.  Twitter accounts like @NeedADebitCard and websites like WeKnowWhatYourDoing.com prove just how readily available that information can be to anyone with any intentions.