The most obvious approach to improving the security of private data is to store less of it in public places.
This truism does not seem to get much attention, yet it is an obvious concept and I think worth considering more seriously.
Does info that a person or company doesn't feel comfortable sharing really have to be shared? Would it bring the economy to its knees, for instance, if a business interacted with me on the internet without ever knowing my name? I interact with brick-and-mortar businesses without them demanding to know my full particulars every time I enter and exit their premises. So, do web-based businesses REALLY need all the data they collect on customers, or is it just more convenient for them?
It might help to look at this problem with the attitude (regardless of how completely accurate it is) that the WWW was designed to collect personal data on individuals for purposes best known to the corporate interests that have supported its growth. That was NOT the purpose of the internet before the dot com boom. So, was that change progress, or was it a hostile takeover?
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