“Privacy is dead, deal with it,” Sun MicroSystems CEO Scott McNealy is widely reported to have declared some time ago. Our unbridled love affair with technology has an “evil” byproduct – a seemingly unstoppable stream of encroachment over our personal privacy. The rise of e-commerce also enables marketers of all stripes to capture bits and pieces of our buying and Web surfing habits. Database technology enables those bits and pieces of your daily life – the matrix of your personal world – to be assembled and repackaged thousand of ways and sold to anyone wanting to target you for a quick sale… or an unwitting scam.
What I see is that, with the advent social networks, privacy and anonymity have become obsolete concepts. Maybe you think that if you avoid all social networks and maybe Google too, unlike us
fucking morons unenlightened people, you can save yourself. Grin as you much as you want, but the latest studies in computer security have an entirely different story to tell, which is actually kind of scary. Say for example, errors in your computer’s clock’s time (Even over Tor) can be used to identify you. Or most easily through your web browsing history or just the plugins and version (Information through JS or CSS can be easily stolen, and analyzing the history for inferring demographics is already patented !). Or the widely known timing attacks based on how pages load. And not to forget your typing is pretty surprisingly unique along with your handwriting (obviously) and even how you fill bubbles on tests! Speaking of handwriting, your writing style too is unique.
On the other hand, if you are on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, or even have a Google account, then there is nothing one can do ward of attacks on your privacy (Except maybe deactivating those moronic accounts, even though your personal data attached to it would never be promptly deleted). These attacks don’t exploit the observation that the choice of what data to remove is as interesting as what is left, what Julian Sanchez calls “The Redactor’s Dilemma”.
So to summarize, differential privacy is now impossible and you have to deal with it. (Or maybe disconnect yourself from the world of internet , which is not impossible yet).
P.S. : Mind you, the lack of privacy is two-way and public too can keep an eye on malefactors like the government, which in my opinion is the better outcome.
P.P.S. : Do comment, if you think I have missed some ideas.
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