Friday, July 26, 2013

Don't you forget about me...Don't Don't Don't Don't

It is unlikely that Simple Minds knew how perfect their song, "Don't You (Forget About Me)" would be for information privacy back in 1985 when it hit #1 on the U.S. Hot 100 Billboard. Nearly 30 years later, "Don't You (Forget About Me)" could be the anthem of computing and privacy.

In 2009 Viktor Mayer-Schönberger's delete: the Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age was published. In it, he explored just how un-forgetful the Internet can be. Using real life examples, like Stacy Snyder (the student who was denied a teaching degree allegedly because of a MySpace picture) and Andrew Feldmar (a psychotherapist who was detained for four hours by a border guard after a Google search revealed an academic article written by Feldmar mentioning that he had taken LSD nearly four decades earlier), Mayer-Schönberger communicated the need for information privacy in our daily lives and considered potential responses at the end of the book.  If you think you might be interested in reading the book, check out an excerpt provided by NPR here.

Now, four years after publication, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow on "Strengthening Privacy Rights and National Security: Oversight of FISA Surveillance Programs." The Committee is chaired by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), sponsor of the bi-partisan FISA Accountability and Privacy Protection Act of 2013 (S. 1215).

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