What? The Internet Isn’t Private?

Nigeria.  Women in politics.  Persecution.  Ku Klux Klan.  Breast cancer. New York Times Best sellers.  Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. Weather forecast for Hawaii. Median house prices in Southern California. Air flight prices to India.

All of these are things I recently looked up on the internet.  Put them together and they tell you a fair bit about me.

Our internet searches reveal a lot, which is why internet companies know so much about us.  And now our president saddled us with a new law that lets those companies sell all that collected data to advertisers–without our permission.  And not just to advertisers, either.  They can sell to anyone.  Insurance companies, for instance, who might want to know every detail of our health history before setting a price for insurance.  Or political parties, whose calls never end.  Or potential employers who want details of our personal lives.  And what about all those who have something in their backgrounds of which they aren’t too proud?  Could this new law even open them up to blackmail?

A whole new door to our privacy has not only been thrown open, but it has been completely ripped off its hinges.  And what can we do to protect ourselves?  Not much.  Except possibly going off-line.  Which is totally unfair.

Thanks a lot!

“The future is already here;  it’s just not evenly distributed yet.”

William Gibson, Novelist

About kaystrom

Kay Marshall Strom, who am I? Well, I’m a traveler, a railer against social injustice, a passionate citizen of the world. I’m a follower of Jesus Christ. I’m a 21st century abolitionist who speaks out against slavery of all kinds. I am a beach walker and a gardener and the off-key singer of songs. I’m a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a friend. Most people, though, know me as a writer and a speaker. So here is a bit more about that part of my life: Of my 43 published books, eight have been book club selections, seventeen have been translated into foreign languages, and two have been optioned for movies. My writing credits include numerous magazine articles, books for children, short stories, television scripts and two prize-winning screenplays. Along with my husband Dan, I also have produced a series of booklets for writers. My writing has appeared in a number of volumes including three versions of the NIV Devotional Bible and the devotional book My Heart, Christ’s Home, Through the Year. I love to write, and I love to share about topics close to my heart. I speak at seminars, retreats, writer’s conferences, and special events throughout the country. And because I do enjoy travel, I even speak on cruise ships! More and more my writing and speaking are drawing me to countries and cultures around the world. Because I don’t see how a writer can really reflect another people and land without spending time there, I’ve been trekking through India, China, Indonesia, Cambodia, Sudan, Senegal, Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt, tape recorder and camera in hand, to gather stories from the world-wide family of God and to speak on their behalf. I’ve traveled to the hard places of the world to tell “the rest of the story” of our donor dollars at work. Thanks to my “virtual friendship” with 17th century John Newton, slave ship captain turned preacher, I traveled through Ireland with the preview team of the movie Amazing Grace (John wrote the hymn). I recently spoke in Japan and South Korea, and my husband Dan and I taught writing classes in India. And, oh, how thankful I am for every bit of it! I went to West Africa to work on a non-fiction book, but when I toured an old slave fortress off the coast and saw a tiny set of baby manacles bolted to the wall, I was struck dumb. All I could think was: “How could good, God-fearing people ever get to the place where they think that is okay?” From that horror came a story question, and from that question, my foray into fiction: The Grace in Africa trilogy. My seven trips to India led to the Blessings in India fiction trilogy. Come join me as I travel and rail against injustice. Join me as I walk along the beach, or work in the garden, or warble a tune. Be my friend. Maybe you will choose to also be a 21st century abolitionist.
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