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    National Public Radio: Digital Data Make For A Really Permanent Record

    NPR has the last of its series on data privacy (parts one, two and three).

    Information doesn’t fade the way it used to. Documents that once upon a time could be counted on to be filed and forgotten are now finding an afterlife in digital, searchable form. […]

    “Everything you’ve done is now preserved forever in the world of Google,” says veteran computer hacker Jeff Moss.

    Moss has lived this reality a lot longer than the rest of us. His personal information has been floating around since the 1980s when he and rival hackers would post each other’s information online.

    “That’s called ‘pulling your docs,’ ” he says. “Somebody pulled my docs and posted them — just other hackers, screwing with me.”

    Since then, data like Moss’s Social Security number and old phone records have been part of our searchable universe. “Once they’re out, they’re out,” Moss says. “Maybe that’s why I care more about it.” […]

    it’s the culture that will have to adapt to the age of deathless data. Moss predicts future generations will simply have a higher tolerance for embarrassing information.

    And maybe we’ll all just feel more compelled to be honest.

    One Response to “National Public Radio: Digital Data Make For A Really Permanent Record”

    1. Logical Extremes Says:

      This segment in particular was a bit one-sided, with little to no presentation of alternatives or legal changes for more protection against secondary (not to mention fraudulent) uses of personal data. Even having sensitive “public” records, which used to require a visit to the local courthouse to access, widely available on the web, is a dramatic shift in social norms. Legal consumer protections are desperately needed.

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