Privacy, lost.

About five years ago, I had the good fortune of meeting MIT Media Lab's Nicholas Negroponte. I asked him what we should be doing to reverse the ever-increasing loss of our privacy.

To my dismay he replied, "Don't bother - we've lost it anyway and we're not getting it back. Get used it."

I'm a natural optimist, so it takes a lot for me to look at the gloomy side of something. Today I came across the following three posts and wondered if Nicolas might be right after all.

The last post, if confirmed, is a disaster.

Seth Godin:

"This morning, it was phone spam from my bank (when I told her it was okay to send me a brochure, she said, "please tell me what your business does." When I mentioned that my bank already knew what we did, she said, "oh, we just call people. They don't tell us that.")"

Alex Bosworth:

"Social software offers a new degree of concerns. MySpace, Orkut, and LinkedIn aim to graph your entire network of friends and acquaintances. Suddenly services don't simply know as much information about you as you release yourself, they also know what your friends think about you and information about them as well. "

The Scotsman:

"The personal information of British motorists is being sold to independent companies by a government agency, it has emerged.

The information commissioner has pledged to investigate whether the actions of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) are in breach of data protection laws.

It was revealed that the agency supplies the names and home addresses of those with driving licences to 157 firms presently on its list - some of which are run by convicted criminals."

Comments (1)
  1. J D Moore says:

    It’s amazing the amount of information that is collected and aggregated about us. Part of the reason information privacy is held in more esteem in Europe is that many Europeans lost loved ones to the ovens. When the Nazi’s came through, they searched public records looking for evidence of Jewish blood in your family history.

    I have seen new services that will collect your DNA for geneaological purposes. You get to pay for this service that catalogs your exact racial history.

    Power is always abused. Name an industry, government, or organization that has not abused power in it’s history. As we know – information is power.

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