Sunday, May 01, 2011

“The End of Privacy” Economist 1999

I remember reading this article when it first came out – in 1999.

It was titled: “The End of Privacy”

Looking at the world around us today, and specially with the latest round of stories about how Apple as well as Google track phone location data, the article seems remarkably prescient.

The article is well worth a read. It talks about not just the technological but the social aspects of this development and concludes that: “People will have to start assuming that they simply have no privacy. This will constitute one of the greatest social changes of modern times.” While it has not gotten quite as far as that yet, I don’t think most of us realize how far it has gone already. I’m amazed at how naïve people are when it comes to computer security even after two decades of wide spread computer usage – and that is nothing compared to how naïve they are with regard to the new devices they carry in their pockets.

And if it has been right so far, perhaps the concluding advice from the article is also the right one “Get used to it”.

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