We believe that privacy is a fundamental human right. No matter what country you live in, that right should be protected in keeping with four essential principles:
First, companies should challenge themselves to de-identify customer data or not collect that data in the first place.
Second, users should always know what data is being collected from them and what it’s being collected for. This is the only way to empower users to decide what collection is legitimate and what isn’t. Anything less is a sham.
Third, companies should recognize that data belongs to users and we should make it easy for people to get a copy of their personal data, as well as correct and delete it.
And fourth, everyone has a right to the security of their data. Security is at the heart of all data privacy and privacy rights.
Technology is capable of doing great things. But it doesn’t want to do great things. It doesn’t want anything. That part takes all of us. We are optimistic about technology’s awesome potential for good — but we know that it won’t happen on its own.
– Tim Cook, October 24, 2018
…we respect and honor the pigness of the pig and the chickenness of the chicken.
Joel Salatin is an innovative farmer / agricultural philosopher(!) who has inspired me personally for quite some time. One of his farming tenets is respecting the inherent nature of the animals and the environment under his care. That resonates with me deeply. And I think it applies to programming.
We need to vigilantly avoid forcing logic against the grain of a language or its associated culture. Instead of asking “can I do this in language X?”, we need to be asking “should I do this in language X?” all along the way.
Because it’s never as simple as just writing logic a new way. Before writing that magical brilliant code in language X derived from paradigm Y, we need to ask ourselves questions like:
Do you signup with the same username/display name on every web service?
Twitter? Instagram? Amazon? Myspace? Livejournal? That Beanie Baby phpBB forum from twenty years ago? WebMD? Goodreads?
If you do, I’d suggest googling that username if you haven’t done that before. There is a high chance you may see a rather exhaustive history of everything you’ve ever done across the web. And that maybe fine depending on your personal POV.
But it can also be a bit freaky. And, if you fall in the camp that finds such an expansive, public, one-click view of your personhood a tad uncomfortable, I have a solution for you: digital identity diversification.
The idea is quite simple1: choose a unique username per service.2
1Hat tip password managers.
2Obviously, if you divulge details about yourself or expose a different unique attribute (eg: your real email address) that will break said compartmentalization. Just a heads up.