“Privacy is dead” is dead

Or at least, there is an Oversharing Backlash based on this post on The Daily Dish  By Andrew Sullivan. His post has a rundown on how younger people are reining in the amount of sharing they are doing via the Internet. Some of this could be attributed to sharing fatigue (i.e. maybe people are tired of blogging). Some could also be attributed to younger people growing up and feeling that with more responsibility, the need to act more responsible on the ‘Net is greater. But I also think some of that is a growing awareness that the need to protect one’s privacy is important.

I expect to see more on this meme in the upcoming months. If someone is smart, they will come up with better privacy in the social networks they create. If they do, they could turn Facebook into the next MySpace / Friendster / AOL.

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2 responses to ““Privacy is dead” is dead

  1. Personally what I’d like is a decentralized sharing system. I am all for looking into decentralized computing concepts nowadays ever since I got introduced to Bazaar and Git.

    Decentralized is different from distributed in which there is no “central server” though there can be many trusted ones.

    Imagine I can run an “identity server” of my own which contains my information, but that information is replicated across other identity servers that I may trust (with some security and signing keys of course) and others would have it.

    Plus in the event of my server blowing up as long as I have kept my signing key somewhere I can pull back my data from somewhere else and continue with my updates.

    Or in case I really don’t want any, I can always send a “kill data” for my information which set it to expire after a certain time.

    Oh well I can always dream. :P Imagine if governments ran stuff that way:

    * no centralized servers means no single point of failure
    * decentralized means multiple copies of the signed data is available at any time (less network)
    * possibility of multiple update paths (standard TCP/IP, e-mail, USB keys containing diff files for those places where network is down, etc.)
    * Costs would be spent on hard drive space which is pretty cheap in comparison to the cost of paying for Bell/Rogers/Telus/etc monopolies for their network once the initial replications are done since ideally only diffs would be sent.
    * backup and archiving costs could be reduced because you’d ideally get the whole history of changes locally.

    For security…
    * although it is simple to hack a single signing key, you can stipulate certain data requires multiple signing keys
    * although it is simple to hack a single decryption key, you can stipulate that certain detailed information requires multiple decryption keys
    * the multiple key requirement will make things difficult for hackers, but at the same time we are placing the trust of those keys with individuals who may not be too secure.
    * the key can be protected using PIN, biometrics etc.

    meh just ranting on :P

    • smartpeopleiknow

      Great comments, Archie. I think a combination of centralization and decentralization is key. But centralization should occur when the benefits outweigh the costs. But my default position going in is decentralization/distributed system.

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