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Data Storage

+ - An argument for computer forgetfulness

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An anonymous reader writes "The Ars Technica news desk article summarizes an article promoting computer forgetfulness:



Why would we want our machines to "forget"? Mayer-Schönberger suggests that we are creating a Benthamist panopticon by archiving so many bits of knowledge for so long. The accumulated weight of stored Google searches, thousands of family photographs, millions of books, credit bureau information, air travel reservations, massive government databases, archived e-mail, etc., can actually be a detriment to speech and action, he argues.

"If whatever we do can be held against us years later, if all our impulsive comments are preserved, they can easily be combined into a composite picture of ourselves," he writes in the paper. "Afraid how our words and actions may be perceived years later and taken out of context, the lack of forgetting may prompt us to speak less freely and openly."

In other words, it threatens to make us all politicians.


A full copy of the article (pdf warning) is here."

"You're a creature of the night, Michael. Wait'll Mom hears about this." -- from the movie "The Lost Boys"

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