Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Loss of Anonymity – Déjà Vu All Over Again

Lots of Internet buzz about facial recognition and how it scaring privacy geeks.
Just over the Internet horizon you can have on your IPhone or other communication device an app for facial recognition.  It’s already out there in a sort of beta form, but it’s going to get a whole lot better.
If anyone has ever been arrested and ID’ed or tagged in several photos on any social media, that person will be identified to anyone who points their device at a stranger and runs the app.  At a party, business meeting, or just walking down the street, that person’s name will pop up on the device of whoever runs the app.  And, any other information on that person will be readily available.
The anonymity of being lost in the crowd is going away as surly as Key West’s days are number due to Global Warming.  But unlike earth’s warmer climate that has not happen in millions of years, living in a world where everybody knows who you are was the way it was for most of our ancestors’ lives.
Only a few hundred years ago, most people never traveled more than 50 miles from where they were born.  Anyone you ran in to not only knew you, they knew your family’s history, too.  They knew all about you – as you did them.
Even today, anyone reading this who grew up in the same small town their parents and grandparents did, know exactly what I’m posting here.  You can’t walk down the street of your small town and go into any store that you and your family’s history and reputation doesn’t go with you.  So, anyone who moved from that small town and is currently living the city, as unknown as any out-of-towner back home, has a special understanding of the loss of Internet anonymity.
Our world society seems to be returning to yesteryears when we all lived in the same community or one just over the hill.  Social media has taken on a whole new meaning, but that “meaning” is déjà vu all over again.  The days of knowing everyone you come in contact with is not too far in the past.

We seem to do OK then, and will probably do just as well – if not better – in the Internet community “where everybody knows your name.”  In this info is a click away world, life will be different from those older days when most people struggled to feed, clothe, and house their families, but knowing everyone around you will be the same.  And they will know you, too.