Anonymity: it’s all the rage–Whisper, Secret–and it’s rage-inducing. A Brazilian court has ruled that Secret must be removed from app stores there, and existing installs must be remotely wiped. The UK’s House of Lords has essentially recommended the extinction of online anonymity.
As usual, judges and politicians don’t understand technology. Anonymity can used for awful things, yes; but it’s incredibly important.
Why? Because cameras keep getting cheaper, and better, and more ubiquitous, as does facial recognition software. As The Economist recently put it: “the idea that anyone will be able hide for long in Nepal, or anywhere else, looks quaint.” Have you ever in your life been photographed doing something embarrassing? Get your explanations ready now: you can expect every picture (or video) you’ve ever appeared in to eventually be connected with you. Traffic cameras, dashboard cameras, police body cameras, drone cameras — every time…
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