[ExI] extropy-chat Digest, Vol 45, Issue 34

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Wed Jun 27 13:38:46 UTC 2007

On Wed, Jun 27, 2007 at 02:43:00PM +0200, Elaa Mohamad wrote:

> What good would that do? If someone/some thing really wants to learn

If you're consistent about it, you'll retain your privacy.
(Notice that it may well be that your life might be literally hanging
on it at some point in your future). Other personal information
is not that critical, but still important.

> all the info there is about me, they'll find a way. Google might not

There are simple ways to hide secrets, some of them even duress/tamper-proof.
But in the case of your retina and your fingerprints, DNA included, it takes 
specific readers (manipulating someone to yield a clean fingerprint without
them noticing is not easy), DNA is similiar. 

I would strongly recommend that you do not give that information to
anybody, and at least make sure that information is securely destroyed after use,
if you have to use it for anything critical (medical or legal use).

> have your personal info, but some database somewhere in the system

Really? Some database somewhere "in the system" has my biometrics? 
I don't think so; and I'd like to keep it that way.

> surely has. In such a high tech world as it is today, I don't think
> there is a truly secure way to escape from "being followed" or "being

Of course there is. It's a bit of work, but it can be done. 
Even provably securely, by using an one-time pad.

> bugged" - if indeed someone wanted to follow you or listen to your
> phone conversations :)

The point is that most smartphone users do not realize they're 
toting a remotely-controlled wireless bug with positioning info 
approaching GPS fixes, camouflaging as a consumer device. 

Most people also do not realize what consumer cameras with
face recognition and toll bridges with license plate OCR
and RFIDs mean, mid-term. Nobody would have believed George Orwell
if he included technology like this.

Any totalitarian system using surveillance and enforcement as
above is indefinitely metastable. Once you get there, there's
no easy way to get out of it again. 

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