Other posts related to privacy

 | August 23, 2010 6:01 pm

The Internet is ForeverOver on ZDNet, Dana Blankenhorn, who writes the Linux and Open Source Blog, wrote an interesting piece entitled “We are all an open book.”  He was responding to something that Google CEO, Eric Schmidt, said last week:

Young people may one day have to change their names in order to escape their previous online activity.

To get his post started, Blankenhorn said that Schmidt’s comment may be the “dumbest thing said all year.”  And if you look at it superficially, it is.

There is small chance that all young people of the future will change their names to disown past mayhem.  (Or for that matter, that it would do any good.)  That’s just not how most people think.

If you drill down a level, though, you realize that the comment wasn’t stupid at all.  Or … maybe it’s better to say that the thinking behind the comment wasn’t stupid.  It shows that Schmidt (and thereby Google) is aware of two very powerful, and mutually exclusive, human desires – the hope for fame and the wish to preserve privacy – and that the web is requiring us to rethink our relationship to both.

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 | March 20, 2009 2:01 pm

One of the nasty secrets of the computer world is that even when you delete a file, it isn’t really gone. Instead, the computer marks the space as available will overwrite it at some time in the future. But all of the data is still there, ready for anyone to look at it, provided they know how.

When it comes time to dispose of an old computer, this can be a major problem – especially if the computer held sensitive data like patient records, personnel reports or financial information. Short of smashing the hard drive with a hammer, the best way to destroy the information is by overwriting the entire hard drive several times with unreadable gibberish; a process known as scrubbing.

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