Nov 15, 2008

Once it's out, it's out

Have you ever said anything you wanted to take back right after you finished the sentence? Well maybe you got lucky and there were only a few people around. But once you put something on the web, it's there forever. Internet doesn't have concept of delete button.

There is always omnipresent cache and archives, so even deleting content from you site doesn't help. This happened recently when Apple pulled biography of their new executive Mark Papermaster from their website, after court barred him from reporting to work in Apple until his lawsuit with IBM is closed. I will not go into details (you can read Ars Technica coverage of the issue) because my point lies elsewhere. You can say what you want, if it is connected to the Internet it is public FULLSTOP

Internet is full of stories where people wanted to hide their humiliations and errors from public by injunctions, lawsuits and whatnot. The end result is almost always Streissand effect. If you read the wiki, there are some nice examples why you should keep your private things private. Once it's out, trying to censor it will only make it worse (the more famous/sexy you are the worse for you). It might be a good time to read guides to privacy right now. I know you are not going to do that anyway, but it is still my dream that once, a new generation will be able to protect their privacy online. Unfortunately anecdotal evidence suggest otherwise.

By the way. Anyone knows a simple list of things to improve your privacy online?



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