Thursday, 26 December 2013

Privacy is toast

Today's clever devices are one app away from making you a voyeur.  A few more tweaks, a few databases unlocked and you will walk along a street knowing who lives in the houses and their daughter's birthday, their voting habits and credit card spending. As you meet people, their faces will be decoded and matched to names, the car they drive, their credit rating and criminal record and their favourite purchases at Amazon and The Bay.

This information is there already. Some of it like licence plate registration, VISA spending and criminal records are behind firewalls. Much of it, thanks to Google, is in front of firewalls.  Are you ready?  There have been massive thefts of identify information ( 40 million cards at Target stores this week) and climate emails (Climategate database now on line) and NSA surveillance data  ( Snowden, selectively released).    At some point, a lot of this is going to jump into the public domain and be swept up by your smarphone.

Really, who is ready for this?

True personal privacy is a trade-off.  Some will opt to live in a dynamic web in public view and some will have traditional privacy in the backwaters of life.

And this just in:

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