The Orwellian Nightmare: Version 2.0

With personal data being gathered on such a wide scale by both companies and governments, Tom Brewster asks: Are we in an updated version of the Orwellian Nightmare?

But surely there is a less disruptive way of ensuring our privacy, our data and even our identities are not open for access. Well, the irony is that technology could well be the answer to the problem, as well as a big cause of it.

"There is an opening as technologies allow people to control their information better," Killock said.

"Since personal data has value, controlling it and managing it yourself has an obvious market advantage, as well as a privacy advantage."

One recent intriguing idea came from the Netherlands. Researcher Harold van Heerde from the University of Twente voiced the concept of data that simply fades away "like footprints in the sand."

Advertisement - Article continues below

Although this would require reworking databases that are programmed to store information over long periods, data degradation is a realistic and achievable model, according to van Heerde. It can even be implemented without severely disrupting organisational performance, he said

If what the researcher believes is true, this could make it far simpler for people to manage their personal data, some of which could have been placed online years ago and forgotten about by the individual.

People power

And this leads to one final point; those worried about the issues at hand need to keep a more watchful eye on what data they are putting out there.

If we are living the Orwellian Nightmare Version 2.0 where our privacy has already been corroded away, or if we are on the precipice of such a scenario, then it is partly because of choices made by consumers since the dawn of the internet.

This was highlighted by the recent so-called "hack" of Facebook, where a researcher harvested basic data on 100 million users from the service. But, as the social networking behemoth rightly pointed out, it was publicly available information that people had agreed to put up on the internet in the first place.

Facebook could certainly do more to educate users, but it is as much up to the general public as it is up to companies and government to keep privacy alive in the UK and elsewhere.

Concerned people should not wait for the cataclysmic event that Llewellyn talked of. They should act now before the situation is irreversible.

Featured Resources

Application security fallacies and realities

Web application attacks are the most common vulnerability, so what is the truth about application security?

Download now

Your first step researching Managed File Transfer

Advice and expertise on researching the right MFT solution for your business

Download now

The KPIs you should be measuring

How MSPs can measure performance and evaluate their relationships with clients

Download now

Life in the digital workspace

A guide to technology and the changing concept of workspace

Download now

Most Popular

operating systems

17 Windows 10 problems - and how to fix them

4 Nov 2019
Business strategy

The pros and cons of net neutrality

4 Nov 2019
Domain Name System (DNS)

Microsoft embraces DNS over HTTPS to secure the web

19 Nov 2019
social media

Can Wikipedia founder's social network really challenge Facebook?

19 Nov 2019