Saturday, 1 May 2010

Digital identity rant


Ok, so not all of use have the patience to create a spam mailbox each time we sign up for a new internet service just to try it out. Recently I accepted a trial for some popular antivirus software (I'm ditching it latter btw.) and they asked me for a physical address, why?

It's this kind of un-necessary data collection that ends mcAfee to believe that most of their customers go by the name Bill, or that they all live in the north pole, or on Catsmeet street. (You may not get the cat's meet reference) My larger concern, is that it is not a case of Apple trying to gather data so they can geographically place their customers, and then provide geographically relevant services (read: outlets so they can take more money from us). No way, I mean all you need to do now is set up next door to the Apple store. But what happens when companies loose that data accidentally or on purpose. The Internet is quite often like a sports track events meet, there is no single main-event, millions of spectators, and a few kids who can do the 100 meters. Now if you just happen to want to participate, you have to step into the area in the middle, perhaps the long-jump sandpit. At first it does not look so dangerous, and that's where my analogy will switch off again. Because using the web is dangerous, and 74% of the people reading this are power users. But because we are not giving companies like Apple, McAfee and many others the finger when it comes to personal information, it becomes a lot like knowing that the long-jump pit is not for sand-castles.

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