By Deb Shinder for WinNews.com published by GFI Vipre
I’m writing this week’s editorial at 30,000 feet again, on the way to the
TechRepublic Live 2011 conference in Louisville, KY. I recently wrote an
article for my Cybercrime column that’s published by TechRepublic, discussing
the issue of online anonymity, titled Does Anonymity Enable Cybercrime?
Fact is, regardless of the pros and cons, it seems to me we’re headed toward a
future where remaining anonymous may be impossible, or at least increasingly
difficult. More and more of our everyday activities seem to require us to
produce identification documents. We need ID to fly, to cash a check (and
sometimes to use a credit card), to buy certain products (even when we are
obviously way past the required age to do so). Even when we pay cash for a non-restricted
item at a store, we’re often asked to provide our phone number so the
retailer can identify us and track our purchases.
For a long time, the Internet was a safe haven for those who wanted to stay
anonymous, but that’s changing, too. That’s not always a bad thing; as I
discussed in the Cybercrime column, criminals have used that easy anonymity to
avoid detection and escape the consequences of their illegal actions – but it’s
not only about crime. Anonymity also enables legal but nonetheless harmful
This excerpt is shared with permission from WinNews.com published by GFI Vipre.