You Can’t Opt Out, Even If You Didn’t Opt In

A byproduct of the internet, is the “tragedy of privacy of the commons”.  The original tragedy of the commons was where common grazing land was depleted and ruined for all because no single actor benefited from restraining their sheep from grazing.  The modern version is what happens when one person’s voluntary disclosure of personal information exposes the personal information of others who had no say in the matter.  We’ve known for a long time that one person’s personal information is never just their own to share. It’s the idea behind the old proverb, “Three may keep a secret if two of them are dead.”  This was recently punctuated by law enforcement retrieval of DNA information posted on an internet site being used to catch a criminal relative.   The tragedy of privacy of the commons means that, in some cases, your data is collected in ways you cannot reasonably prevent, no matter how carefully you or anyone you know behaves. Full story here.

DNA websites catch serial killer