Fake social network PRSM demonstrates we're willing to share everything anyway

Summary:A spoof social network jokes to share absolutely everything (and then some), but then again, how much are you sharing with the likes of Google and Apple already?

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Are you sharing information about who you contact frequently, locations you've visited, or how you have used your credit card lately with a vast online network?

Sardonically advertised as the "sharing network," a new social media site dubbed "PRSM" promises to help you with those tasks -- all without requiring you to lift a finger.

Some of the immediate benefits to PRSM include unlimited storage (thanks to massive data centers and super-computers that can handle "a quadrillion requests per second") along with no pesky advertising to get in the way.

Boasting to serve more than 320 million people and counting, PRSM touts that "no matter where you go, there it goes" so that users will never "worry about not sharing again."

That includes sharing data about blog posts, TV shows watched, Internet searches, and so much more.

Before we go any further (and if you can't tell already), the site is a spoof.

At first glance, it is obviously meant to be a satirical version of the National Security Agency's now-infamous PRISM program.

But when you think about it a little bit more, how far off the mark is it when compared to what most Internet users are already willingly doing with products produced by Google, Apple, and Facebook, among many, many others?

The Wall Street Journal recently published a helpful infographic demonstrating what Google alone knows about its users, designed in a genius fashion by using an outline of the human body reminiscent of the board game "Operation" considering the Internet giant probably knows everyone inside and out by now.

Technically speaking, that's all based on information that people are volunteering to share with Google when they make the decision to sign up for Gmail, buy Android devices, and download content from Google Play.

The NSA controversy has sparked a hot debate worldwide about how much privacy we are all still entitled to in the digital age, with more nuggets of information emerging each day fueling the media firestorm to continue.

But how much of that is just hype? What might be getting overlooked is that many people are not all that surprised -- let alone upset -- about the NSA's surveillance programs.

A poll published by The Washington Post just after the initial news about PRISM broke in early June found that approximately 62 percent of Americans were said to be fine with allowing "the federal government to investigate possible terrorist threats, even if that intrudes on personal privacy."

Such attitudes -- if not complete disregard whatsoever -- are likely to continue given that most younger Internet users already share everything and then some via social media.

None of this is to say that the debate over the NSA's surveillance activities shouldn't continue, nor should we stop reporting about and questioning how the data is used (let alone obtained).

But the PRSM "sharing network" does do a good job of being thought-provoking and begging users to further reflect on their actions and choices online.

Screenshot via PRSM

Topics: Privacy, Data Management, Mobility, Security, Social Enterprise

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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