Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Problem With the Internet is that Nothing Is Temporary

The title is a quote from someone named Will Smidlein who said something that I've been thinking about lately.   In fact, since I read the quote two days ago, it has been rattling around my head like one of those musical "earwigs" that you simply can't get to leave.

Basically the way things work is that since computers are temporary, you always back your data up.

Well, ok we're supposed to.  We don't always.

But once you get out to the internet, it is expected to be "Professionally Run".  Someone somewhere is paid to slip a tape in a drive in a big ugly computer room half way across the world, start a backup and save the data that you put there. 

It could be the picture of your cat, your thoughts on this blog posting, the sound file you made of the train rolling past the house at 4AM before anyone else awakes.  It doesn't matter. 

If you put it out there, it will get saved.

The nature of things being so broadly distributed, you never really know where that information lies.  Unfortunately that means that you really do have to stop and think when you finally hit that save or publish button.   Someone out there will probably find a way to use it against you. 

After all, the internet being the least common denominator of human thought and the largest library that mankind has ever conceived of has a sizeable amount of people out there who will find a way to use it to their benefit, even if it isn't to yours.

If it's out there, it is out there forever.   It's the same thing that we all were told when we were kids - "a secret told is a secret no longer".  Or "you aren't paranoid, they really are out to get you".

Welcome to the Internet - the largest playground ever and your information is about to get used by the school bully.

Oooh deep!

No comments:

Post a Comment