USA Today has an interview with Frank M. Ahearn, an investigator who wrote a book about privacy, “How To Disappear: Erase Your Digital Footprint, Leave False Trails, And Vanish Without A Trace.”
Interestingly, Ahearn’s treatise contains some valuable tips you can use to reclaim some of the privacy you’ve relinquished, knowingly or not, by using Google, Facebook, Yahoo and most other popular Internet-enabled services.
For instance, he recommends deleting all social-media accounts and never making calls from home, work or a cellphone that can be traced to you. Taking legal steps to purposefully disappear, he says, can lead to “true freedom.” Technology Live recently interviewed Ahearn about his iconoclastic views on personal privacy. […]
TL: Why might a book like yours resonate in the digital age we live in?
Ahearn: I do not think people really think about where their information ends up. There seems to be a trend to hate the identity thieves since they steal our information. However, we are being tuned to love companies who give us 10% off and track our purchases. We are also being tuned to love social media and guided to put our information online never knowing where it will end up, or even knowing if it will ever disappear.
TL: Google CEO Eric Schmidt has said that you should not go online if you have anything to hide. What do you think about that?
Ahearn: Schmidt needs to think before he speaks. He is a profiteer, raking in millions and providing the gateway to people’s information. We all have something to hide, be it that stupid drunk photo from the office Christmas party, the DUI, the foreclosed home. We have all made mistakes. […]
TL: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg claims privacy no longer is a social norm. What do you think about that?
Ahearn: It’s not over. We need to rethink what privacy actually is in the digital age. We need to be more aware of our surroundings and accept the fact that if we do something stupid in public, it can be on YouTube in five minutes and viewed by the world. However, I think this will make us realize that true privacy is something one defines themselves. It should not be defined by a law or by technology.