Use the Internet, lose your privacy

it's far past time for our legal system to develop a technology-aware approach towards privacy

Bruce Schneier, author and computer security expert, wrote a good reality-check essay on the subject of online privacy, or the lack thereof.

In it, he points out how using Webmail or an online document service like Google Docs not only allows for more easily snagging your information, but also severely waters down legal privacy protections. For example, he points out that "the courts have ruled that the police can search your data without a warrant, as long as others hold that data. If the police want to read the e-mail on your computer, they need a warrant; but they don't need one to read it from the backup tapes at your ISP."

Sobering stuff, and I agree wholeheartedly with Schneier's assertion that it's far past time for our legal system to develop a technology-aware approach towards privacy that doesn't use different standards for our personal information when it's on a home computer, as opposed to when it's on a Google server. It's all our data, and it's all getting more and more spread out.

I'm a huge fan of cloud-type services like Google Docs and Webmail in general, since they allow for anywhere-access and protect against data loss. But when you combine these privacy concerns with the recent spike in data breaches, and note the absence of any real penalty for companies that collect and then lose our data, it becomes clear that we have some catching up to do.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags internet privacy

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Erik Larkin

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?