Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Privacy in the Internet Age

As Bill Joy noted some time ago, and JLawr and colleagues recently found out, it's at best an illusion. Caught among the assaults of horny teenagers with time on their hands, curious corporations, and snoopy governments, your online secrets aren't. As ever more of our lives moves online, privacy becomes ever more illusory.

This is not really such a novel condition for humans. In hunter-gatherer bands of yore and small towns everywhere until quite recently, privacy was all but nonexistent and secrets very perishable. In the anonymity of cities and the automobile, a more private lifestyle took root, but it may be ending.