When Everything You've Ever Said Can & Will Be Used Against You By Anyone... Forever

from the anonymity-suddenly-seems-a-little-more-interesting dept

Leave it to Rick Falkvinge to add a bit of perspective on the various debates going on in the world today concerning both data retention and anonymity, by telling people to think about how you might act knowing that anything and everything not only can, but will be used against you, by pretty much anyone at some point in the future. I'm sure some people will insist that they have no problem with this. But think about how many little things you do that could be taken out of context or used against you in some manner or another.

It’s the equivalent of a police arrest in the United States, where you are told — very seriously – that “Everything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law“. What happens? Well, most people take the hint and shut up completely.

Now, imagine if it wasn’t just a court of law as in the arrest scenario, but that anybody that could see anything you had ever said. Future employers, dates, law enforcement… not just in your own country, but also every country you’ll ever visit in the future. Also, imagine that this holds true for the rest of your life, with the laws undergoing change in the next 60 years or whatever number of years you have left, and imagine what you say today is going to be repainted in the light of 60 years from now. (There was nothing said in 1941 which was common knowledge and social glue then, but which would be terribly embarrassing and a complete block-out if found today, was there?)

It would become practically impossible to say… anything remotely challenging. At least if you wanted a future. You may still talk about the weather.

Many people are willing to share a lot of their life online. But I think almost everyone likes to keep at least some aspects of their lives private. Efforts to wipe out anonymity and to record data for as long as possible put the things you'd rather be kept secret at risk.

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  1. icon
    eclecticdave (profile), 10 Aug 2011 @ 5:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I'm not convinced this is necessarily something to worry about either. Again you have to look at equivalent situations today.

    People do not generally "rejudge" peoples past actions without making allowances for the fact that such actions might have been considered OK at the time.

    For example today it is considered stupid and reckless for a man to promiscuously engage in unprotected sex with a number of women, but you would not consider someone who behaved like this during the 60s to be stupid. Instead you would correctly recognise that they could not possibly have known about things like HIV back then.

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