And with recent hacks like Ashley Madison, consumers are understandably increasingly worried about the safety of their personal data, but a new article in New Republic argues that such hacks might not be the biggest source of concern for consumers.
Paul Ford’s article gives a fascinating take on the rise of the internet, and how an initially decentralised and democratised platform has, over its history, become more centralised.
As Ford says: “There’s an obvious connection between a decentralized internet, in which individuals create and oversee their own digital identities, and a functioning democracy, in which we make informed choices about who rules us and how we are ruled. Yet too few people make that link. We live in a world in which sensitive information of every conceivable sort–financial, sexual, medical, legal, familial, governmental–is now kept, and presumably guarded, online. It’s guarded in gigantic treasure chests labeled “important data here.” So many plums for hackers to pluck.
“If you don’t take care of yourself online, someone else will. That someone is likely not a peer but a megacorporation that is tracking and selling your preferences in a silent auction, a government surveilling your movements and religious affiliations, or a hacker collective that feels entitled to publish your sexual indelicacies. That someone probably already is.”
Read the full article here.