On beyond statistics.

Though it's still a rumor, I doubt that the day that Google offers me a few gigabytes of storage for a virtual hard drive on their servers is very far off. And when they offer it, I'm going to take it. I'll still need a hard drive for the kids' games, and for programs that will (still) run only from my computer and not from the internet, but I'll be willing to pay for ubiquitous access with a change in the way I relate to privacy on the web. And when that happens, it's fair to say that the amount of information that they'll have on me (or be able to know about me) could, at least in the way that we relate to privacy today, honestly be frightening. I'm good at forgetting, but their databases will remember everything. They'll end up knowing more about me than I do.

Before we become overly upset with Google or some other service, we should remember that the poster-child of the benevolent web, the wiki, also doesn't forget. Part of the beauty of the wiki is its user-friendliness. Wikis are simple to use and to play around with. But because they also keep a record of all of the changes made to them, they're also capable of keeping tabs on us. Are we supposed to understand from this that even openness can become a threat?

Go to: Still running it up the flagpole