Part of me is always stretching to come up with a unique perspective of privacy and disappearing. You know, that buzz that catches fire. Yet, other days when unsure of what to write, I get comfortable and reach backwards to grab a story of interest, one of privacy invasion, examples of pretexting Verizon, Chase Bank or Scotland Yard. If this were some old gin joint, I would probably sound like the old drunkard on the corner stool. Perhaps and even worse, I am that old social engineer pining for some old school action.
Today’s dish of words derives from when I was working on my website and tuning it up with a new service that searches the vulnerabilities of offline information. The type of information that can be pulled from T-Mobile, Cablevision, Bank of America, ConEd and the rest of the big guys.
As I am tweaking away I am knocking my head around being honest, is this a valid service or some mumbo jumbo to twist a buck. However, some thoughts came to mind, the first being the future of the internet, technology and information. Naturally, I think about how that information can be used against us, by big business, big brother and a deep pocket predator.
The internet is loaded with our data and connections. This type of information is like a virus, it keeps growing and the goal is to eventually link all of our information. The offline world is super loaded with out information and connections. Our identity consists of three components, name, social security number and date of birth. In most circumstances these items must be used to provide, shelter, banking, employment and other much needed services. Keep in mind this is strictly offline information that is tucked away in the databases of big business. A name, social security number and date of birth are the triple crown of privacy invasion.
The second thought was about the deep pocket predator and this derives from the Gawker/Peter Thiel situation. Peter Thiel, financed Hulk Hogan’s case against Gawker and basically annihilated Gawker and Ex-Gawker editor A.J. Daulerio. A.J. is now in the hole for a hefty some of millions and millions of dollars. The reality is most of us will never come up against an aggressor like Thiel. Then again I am confident A.J. never thought such.
If you mix information, technology, internet and a deep pocket predator you have a Gawker/Thiel scenario. This is a very similar to stalking where an aggressor has an objective and uses whatever means are at their disposal. The difference, there were no acts of violence as in typical stalking situations. However, destruction occurred. I have been involved with a number of David and Goliath cases and unlike the story, in the real world Goliath usually wins. Forward thinking suggests that you question how, information, technology, the internet and Goliath can step on your world.
Frank M. Ahearn
Author of: The Art of Disappearing, According to Sun Tzu’s, Art of War: Book One: Laying Plans