Pull the plug

by Cem Basman

Om Malik states today:

Somewhere on some server, in some SAN your life is cached. We are living a cached life. And it is going to get even more cached, as we turn to always-on wireless devices. Our RSS will be cached somewhere. So will be our thoughts that appear on blogs. Our TiVo watching patterns to music listening patterns in iTunes, and other such new conveniences are part of a new cached, convenient albeit less private life.

Scott McNealy, CEO of Sun pinpointed already in 1999:

You have zero privacy anyway… Get over it.

Is privacy possible in the digital age? If you want something to be private, don't store it on a computer. Pull the plug. Bury all your digital devices and gadgets in a junk yard. Chop your credit cards and your other plastic. Move to a computer-free zone. Next question: Are there any left? Let's search for it in Google, oops ...

Addendum: Mmh, 'The Free Zone' ... could be a good theme for a postcyberpunk novel ...

Comments

There is no absolute privacy. Neither in the digital nor in the "real" life.

It's all a matter of effort. People can watch you, silently search your flat while you're gone, or just ask questions to your friends... it's all a matter of effort. In the digital world, people can try to tap into your WLAN, google for you or try to gather information from social networking sites... a matter of effort again.

The real question is: Is the effort to gather personal data in the digital world high enough to create a "felt privacy"?

Btw, "The Free Zone" sounds like a good idea. ^_^

Florian Sander, 2006-01-21 14:27

Maybe there is a deep feeling inside of some people who believe that their data belong to them. More in a world where data of all kind is an asset, be it a clients list (company point of view) or just the know-how of how to handle efficiently a piece of software (employee point of view). So indeed it is finally everyones own responsibility to take care of his own privacy, which leads to questions like:
How can I secure information I consider important to me?
What is a good place to store a private key?
What happens if privacy is defined as a hostile move?
Article about acountability: http://www.schneier.com/crypto-gram-0601.html#1

Luis Folch, 2006-01-21 14:49

Of coz, you're right, Florian. That's why I wrote "oops ..." at the end. I admit, it was quite cryptic ...

What's the plot of "The Free Zone"? In three sentences: A ordinary guy in the year 2030 is accused of capital patriot search crime. He is on the run and tries to escape to a computer-free zone. But nobody knows where this zone really is. Will he make it?

Cem Basman, 2006-01-21 14:54

The free Zone... Have you read "The Shockwave Rider"? I think this novel and your post basically talk about the same thing. I re-read it last summer. It's worth the time.

Michael Keukert, 2006-01-23 15:43

Pose yourself the following question: »What level of privacy do I have in my neighborhood?«

The same result you get from answering yourself this question applies for the Internet — except the fact that the network neighborhood is quite a bit larger…

Karsten W. Rohrbach, 2006-01-24 20:48

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

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