November 20, 2009
No thanks. I’m hardly the target market for Chrome OS, but I fear (FEAR!) the privacy and security implications of moving to a non-local-storage model for everything I work on, especially when encryption of my data has no long-term guarantees whatsoever.
I appreciate science fiction’s portrayal of the future as a ubiquitous info portal (Accellerando) but this stretches my trust beyond its limit regardless of whether a company or government is in charge of the buy-in.
Diversification is the only safe route here. I want to see a plethora of physical-body devices with unique, user-programmable, layered encryption systems. I don’t want the data to be stored in a generic interoperable format; design an interoperable API instead. This abstraction means I can disable API access and my data is physically protected.
Google and co have clearly determined (I think correctly) that the way to ensure long-term freedom of the human race from tyranny is to enable unbroken communication, access to information and learning resources, and demand us to be altruistic and honest for fear of the greater trust-web being broken. I seriously think we’ll reach a point where the trust-web will be so important that it’ll become sacrosanct, with violators given the future equivalent of corporal punishment: the denial of access to information.
We see the roots of this in our economic system, where the greater good is served by maintaining faith in the value of others. Note how many regulations we need to hold this system together against the multitudes who want to cheat and scam for personal benefit; when exposed their punishment is the denial of further influence upon the system.
Until we make a diety of the trust-web, security and privacy are the biggest concerns. We should always have an exit, an opt-out in the form of personal encryption and removal of our data from the public eye. I don’t trust centralised systems.