A senior Facebook official has sparked anger by advising internet users to give fake details to the Government to protect their liberty.
Andy Smith, an internet security consultant at Facebook, said people should only give accurate details to trusted organisations, explicitly excluding anything with the word ‘government’ in its title.
He said names and addresses given to governments “can be used against you” by departments seeking tax revenue and to control your life in ever more invasive ways.
“Who do you want to have the real details about your life – that lad Mike you used to sit next to at school, or George Osborne.”
“Wouldn’t it better for all concerned if the Chancellor thought you were a middle-aged woman with a part-time job in a ceramics factory somewhere in the north?”
Use ‘fake details’ online
The government has criticised the advice, claiming that they are the only people you should trust with private information, and that they hardly ever lose it or let it get into the wrong hands.
A Whitehall spokesperson explained, “It’s really important that your friendly neighbourhood MP has all of the details of your life at their fingertips.”
“How else can we keep track of you when we want to take money from you, or stop giving you the money you’re getting.”
“If anything, you should give Facebook the fake details.”
Facebook’s Andy Smithy countered, “We tried letting people use fake details, but it seemed everyone wanted to be an 18 year-old boy looking to meet a cute 18-year-old girl.”