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The "privacy is dead" meme has been around for a while -- former Sun CEO (and present Trump backer) Scott McNealy uttered this famously in 2000.

"Identity is Dead" is the headline of a 2006 IT World piece, which puts an interesting twist on the concept.

itworld.com/article/2821693/id

@dredmorbius "In the future everyone will be anonymous for 15 minutes" - Banksy

uspol 

@dredmorbius
Wtf did they confuse "privacy" with "authenticity" ?

@Wolf480pl They didn't. Nor did I.

But "privacy" and "identity" are two dimensions of phenomena challenged by a glob-spanning, high-speed, high-capacity, hugely-interconnected, fragile, and tremendously interconnected and complexly-interacting information technology network.

I'm impressed that, thirteen years ago, someone had the prescience to consider identity challenged in much the same way that privacy clearly is. I've had the same thought myself, arrived at years later than they.

@dredmorbius
From the article you linked:
> A key part of the overall concept of privacy is the concept of identity. Who sent me this e-mail?

How do they define "privacy" so that this is true?

And as for identity - for me, it was obvious from when I started using the Internet that
pseudonymous identities are a thing, and it doesn't really matter if the person who sent the message I'm responding to is a PhD, really has "Edward Morbius" as their legal name, is a human being, etc. All I care about is that it's the same Doc Edward Morbious I talked with a couple months ago, and even that isn't always important.

@Wolf480pl Often, yes, but not always.

You might want to know with some level of assurance that "dredmorbius" and "Wolf480pl" are the same, or different entities. Or that 10,000+ accounts on a given platform are all controlled by a single entity. That an individual has at least, and no more than, one vote, or state pension account. That "dredmorbius" hasn't had control transferred, or stolen by, another entity. That your own bits are yours -- created, controlled, accessible, by/from/to you.

@Wolf480pl Mind, the relationship between privacy, authentication, and encryption / cryptography, is complex. I don't pretend to understand it, but I've been thinking about it for years.

(Including an exchange with @danyork, I think on Ello, possibly here, that I haven't been able to track down.)

If "privacy" is "the ability to define and enforce limits on the spread of personal information", then knowing _who_ you are sharing with, and enforcing that constraint, matters. Which means identity.

@Wolf480pl And identity itself is hugely complicated. First off, it's *who you are*. Most of what we discuss with "identity" is really "identifiers". And more generally, we use identifiers to signify relations: of trust, of access, of rights, of responsibilities, of credit, of debt, (both in financial and nonfinancial, e.g., social/institutional/political senses), of accountability, of ownership or authorship.

And no matter how you get it wrong, identity errors leave you fucked.

@dredmorbius only if you base your decisions on incorrect assumptions about identity. The less you assume, the less room for error.

@Wolf480pl Everything is *always* based on assumptions. We don't experience the universe, we experience *our model* of the universe. All models are wrong. Some are useful. For a while, or a time, or a place, or a set of circumstances.

At the societal / group level, if you find that models generally fail to correspond to reality, then you've got a societal/group problem that goes beyond atomic individuals.

Thatcher was wrong. There _is_ a society.

Otherwise "you're holding it wrong".

@Wolf480pl I've tended, strongly, to revert to using the Internet and Web as they were originally envisioned: as media and channels for information access, but not direct transaction. I've *always* limited the encroachment of my personal life to online (some exceptions, but few).

The implications of Gmail and Facebook struck me as strongly negative from the start. Society has come to depend on them.

It was the Russians who hacked Podesta's email. It was Google's Gmail who let them in.

@dredmorbius
sorry, I'm too tired today to respond to all this stuff you're writing.

What you write feels wrong to me, but I sense passion, which, while generally a good thing, means any discussion will be exhausting. So I'll pass.

@Wolf480pl Think you're talking to A when you're really talking to B? You're screwed.

Think that A, with rightful access or other association is B, and lock them out incorrectly? You're screwed. (And so is A.)

Think that B, *without* rightful access, is really A, and let them in incorrectly? You're screwed. (And so is A.)

Think that A and B have no relationship when they do? You're screwed.

Think that A and B *have* a relationship when they don't? You may be screwed.

@dredmorbius this is true. When the net was just the new ham radio, it didn't matter if the person you were talking to was a dog. These days, the net is a separate layer floating above the real world in the same that language is a separate layer floating above the real world. From a practical POV, they are as real as anything else about the social world.
@Wolf480pl

@Wolf480pl Persistence-over-time is only one dimension of identity.

There are identities which are shared -- group pseudonyms such as Nicholas Bourbaki, or Anonymous. "I am Spartacus."

There are companies which change names over time. Or which change ownership. If you have a relationship with some entity A and it is bought by some B, who do you trust? See Mastodon.cloud, Ello, GitHub, LinkedIn... This happens *all the time* in startups.

Ello's B-Corp status didn't stop this either BTW.

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