I have been reading a lot lately about the digital footprint that people are leaving on the web. Coupled with the debate around Googles seemingly anti “do no evil” stance against anonymity on the web, and Facebook’s total disregard for privacy, I have been giving more and more thought to my own digital footprint.
A recent google search of my name had relevant information about me on the front page. Granted, it was the bottom of the front page, but the front page nonetheless. Watching the way the world is going has also been making me more and more nervous. What if did come down to the line and I had to go “off the grid”, or even something not as harsh, but what if I have to hide my actions from an overzealous govenment/organization looking to cause trouble. How would I disconnect my personal life from the digital life?
I know that this sounds alarmist and crazy, but the more I read between the lines, the more I see something bad coming. The future is no longer the bright, happy place we all though it was at the turn of the century, or even eight years later when the “hope and change” bus came steamrolling in. Nor is it truly the dark dystopian future that we see in movies and television, read in books, or play in our video games. I see the world coming to an, Event Horizon, for lack of a better term. The point of no return, but also the point beyond which we cannot see and we do not know.
But enough of this high handed ‘no one can tell the future’ talk….there was a point to this when I started and I need to get back to it….
I have begun to identify and consolidate my digital information as best I can. No doubt I will miss something…or more likely several things. I need to start somewhere though. It will begin with standardizing my ‘username’ on the web. From there, I will begin to remove the unique identifier that is my given name from what I can. Eventually I hope to have just the ‘username’ out in the wild, and severe as many connections between it and my real life as possible. I cannot disconnect myself completely, without scrapping everything, so there will remain a few strands left.
Once the consolidation portion is complete, we’ll see what happens. The dreamer in me hopes that physical security and self sustainability would be next, but knowing myself I just cannot see me doing it. Who knows though. 😉