Privacy? What privacy?

Privacy Hoax

I had an interesting exchange at the Net Squared conference last week involving privacy and tags. It came down to a question from someone new to tags: “So if you tag everything with this tag, doesn’t that mean that everyone can find what you’ve tagged?”

The answer is, of course, yes.

Which drew some rather wide eyes and a breath, “Oh”.

And that’s when I went off on my anti-privacy rant. About how privacy is like sand between your fingers and that the more you try to hold on to it, the less you really can maintain control over. And subsequently, over time, more and more spills out into the hands of others, often those who you least expect or want to have information about you.

Like the government or like your paranoid employer beholden to laws of the government. Like insurance companies or the folks who run the ATM card networks. Like people who determine how much you should pay for certain things.

Anyway, sniveling aside, a long time ago I decided that there is no privacy in anything digital (which is both a beautiful and a terrifying thing, depending on how much you know about technology). Knowing a bit myself, but not quite enough, I’ve decided to try and flood the network with as much information about myself as possible in the naive and desperate hope that by creating more positive and truthful information I can counter whatever lies may someday be advanced against what I’m really up to. I mean, when the government is spying on your cell phone calls, your boss is paying people to read your emails and who knows who’s snooping on your WiFi connection, what else can you do? Certainly not pretend that you have an iota of privacy anymore! Enh, whatev. At least the kids get it.

Author: Chris Messina

Head of West Coast Business Development at Republic. Ever-curious product designer and technologist. Hashtag inventor. Previously: (YC W18), Uber, Google.

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