Search engines generally treat personal names as search terms like any others: Data is data.
Thanks in part to the Patriot Act, the federal government has been able to demand some details of your online activities from service providers – and not to tell you about it.
Content zips around the Internet thanks to code – programming code. And code is subject to intellectual property laws.
People may be due the benefits of a democratic electoral process. But in the United States, content curators appropriately have a First Amendment right to present their content as they see fit.
Despite outsiders being invited to write software, the iPhone thus remains tightly tethered to its vendor – the way that the Kindle is controlled by Amazon.
Thanks to iCloud and other services, the choice of a phone or tablet today may lock a consumer into a branded silo, making it hard for him or her to do what Apple long importuned potential customers to do: switch.
The Internet’s distinct configuration may have facilitated anonymous threats, copyright infringement, and cyberattacks, but it has also kindled the flame of freedom in ways that the framers of the American constitution would appreciate – the Federalist papers were famously authored pseudonymously.
When I worry about privacy, I worry about peer-to-peer invasion of privacy. About the fact that anytime anything of any note happens, there are three arms holding cell phones with cameras in them or video records capturing the event ready to go on the nightly news, if necessary.
The Internet is a collective hallucination: one of the best humanity has ever generated.
Citizens identify with something larger than themselves – if one’s country is attacked, it can feel like a personal attack in a way that a fellow bank customer’s account theft does not feel like a personal invasion.