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When It Comes to Security, We’re Back to Feudalism | Wired Opinion |

December 2, 2012

When It Comes to Security, We’re Back to Feudalism | Wired Opinion |

Personally, I think that the data-mining capabilities of Google and Facebook make them the two biggest threats to information security and privacy that have EVER existed in the history of the world.

Whatever they may offer (privacy tools???) and whatever they may say publicly, the reality as I see it is that there is an absolutely monstrous gap in the public consciousness between what it even MEANS to digitize information (those permanent footprints or fingerprints or whatever dopey thing you want to call them – that are there indelibly and irretrievably) and the potential implications and effects of that digitization.

These companies aren’t evil in any way. They’re just  – how do you say it? A-moral? Or Neutral when it comes to impact? We’ve seen this when it comes to the exposure of places like (well, really any big company) using Chinese (what is essentially sweat-shop) labor.. and countless ways that defy imagination.

The point is – people can’t even conceive of how their information could be used. In fact, I surmise that even these companies themselves have only just begun to figure out how they can use the untold terabytes of information that flows into them every single day. I’m not even sure there is a means of quantifying it. But, they hire the BEST and the BRIGHTEST and well they should.

The conundrum remains though. You can’t teach people about something they don’t even know exists. It’s just not on people’s RADAR in general. It won’t be until there’s a critical mass of exploitation. I’ve got NO clue as to what that breaking point will be – but it will happen.

Unfortunately, it is already too late (in a sense)  for most of us – who have been (including myself – and I’m a cybersecurity student!) streaming information out there for countless years… all in cleartext – all sitting on countless redundant servers in countless places around the world.

I’m staggered by the implications and I don’t even think I know the extent of the implications 🙂  Until encryption is (hate this word) UBIQUITOUS there is really not much hope. And until people stop putting their lives online (which is almost inconceivable actually at this point in how society functions) – or are much, much more selective about it – it is probably hopeless. We can only true to accelerate the seepage – and keep writing about it until it seeps into public consciousness and then maybe we can (or some generation can) come to grips with the Matrix that we’ve already created. Right now though? We aren’t even putting on the bandages that are out there – because people don’t even know they are bleeding!

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