Privacy Is Dead

One of the main reasons I went to The Last HOPE was to hear Steve Rambam speak.  I heard Steve talk at HOPE four years ago and it was eye-opening.  And, since then, it's only gotten worse: given just your name and one or two other identifiers (not even your SSN or anything like that), in a few minutes guys like Mr. Rambam can find out just about anything, and I mean anything about you.   And now we are all helping by self-contributing with blogs (like this one), twitter, myspace, facebook, etc.   And it's not the government you have to worry about--all the information is in private hands, available for companies who want to sell you stuff.

2600 has now posted free audio files from the conference.  Steve's talk is broken into two MP3 files, Part 1 and Part 2.  It's three hours long, but I found every minute of it riveting.  Most fascinating, perhaps, was stories about a bet that Mr. Rambam made with Rick Dakan, betting him that he could find him 10 times in a year, even with Mr. Dakan knowing Mr. Rambam was looking for him.   This is all detailed in a book and I already reserved a copy.

I feel conflicted about the easy availabilty of so much information, and the fact that I now have so little privacy  But I also get a lot from it.  I guess the moral is, unless you want to live like Ted Kaczynski. there's not much you can do about it.  If you want to do something and keep it private, take the battery out of your cell phone, don't drive a car, change your face, the way you walk, and pay everything with cash.