The Internet Never Forgets
ONLINE PRIVACYJuly 21, 2010
"The fact that the Internet never seems to forget is threatening, at an almost existential level, our ability to control our identities; to preserve the option of reinventing ourselves and starting anew," Jeffrey Rosen, author of The Naked Crowd and past IAPP keynote speaker, writes in a feature for The New York Times Magazine. Rosen explores issues raised in Viktor Mayer-Schönberger's Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age in the context of privacy concerns raised by social networks and search engines and the real-world implications of online photographs, opinions, status updates and allegations. Because of the Internet's inability to forget, he writes, "the idea of a home self, a work self, a family self and a high-school-friends self has become increasingly untenable." Efforts to protect privacy and reputation abound, with new startups attempting for-profit online information management while, as Rosen writes, "All around the world, political leaders, scholars and citizens are searching for responses to the challenge of preserving control of our identities in a digital world that never forgets." (Registration may be required to access this story.) Editor's Note: Viktor Mayer-Schönberger will deliver the keynote at the IAPP Europe Data Protection Congress in Paris later this year.