In “The Web Means the End of Forgetting,” Jeffery Rosen focuses on the emerging realization that it is nearly impossible to erase the information that we post about ourselves on the Internet. While the article focused on the obvious concerns, bits of information put on the Internet that in hindsight we regret posting --that drunken party picture, the problem is even more serious when we consider how the internet allows even comparatively innocuous information to more seriously compromise our privacy.
Imagine, for example, collecting the times of blog posts to learn someone’s free time schedule, or triangulating the coordinates of geotaged locations in an online photo gallery to get a sense of where someone lives. Technological advances in aggregating and mining large amounts of data coupled with robust statistical correlations can render even relatively benign facts revealing and actually prove as problematic as that persistent drunken party picture.
Dov Greenbaum, JD MPhil PhD
Mark Gerstein, PhD
Unpublished letter in response to:
Jeffrey Rosen's "The Web Means the End of Forgetting," NY Times 7/19/2010