See this picture?
It's a building just down from the EFF's headquarters in San Francisco.
That chap having a quick fag?
He's the EFF's main lawyer on privacy cases.
The picture? It's from Amazon's A9 search engine's building-by-building, street-by-street photography that adds images to its local search. If you search for a company you'll get to see just what their offices look like, and the landmarks around them. It's a useful tool that's not breaking any laws - but could be seen as a huge invasion of privacy.
A recent talk by the EFF's Danny O'Brien mentioned the fact that the truly rich and powerful hire librarians to scour search engines for their names, and then use the resulting information to track down leaks. And then erase the leaked information...
In today's information economy real privacy is only available to the very few. Which is why Google's spat with CNET is so very very silly. If I'm working on a piece, of course I'm going to use search engines to help me find out information that can help me write a good article - whether its from company websites, news services, or personal blogs.
Welcome to The Transparent Society.
It's not such a bad place to be now, is it...