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Schneier On a Generation Gap In Privacy 166

goompaloompa writes "In the Japan Times, Bruce Schneier writes that a passing conversation online is not what it may seem and that maintaining your privacy is becoming even more difficult as social media and cloud computing become the norm. Furthermore, while users in Japan may think they are secure, their level of protection may vary when the computers that store their data are overseas. At the root of the problem is a new generation gap: old laws incapable of covering current-day scenarios. Quoting: 'Twenty years ago, if someone wanted to look through your correspondence, they had to break into your house. Now, they can just break into your ISP. Ten years ago, your voicemail was on an answering machine in your office; now it's on a computer owned by a telephone company. ... We need comprehensive data privacy laws, protecting our data and communications regardless of where it is stored or how it is processed. We need laws forcing companies to keep it private and delete it as soon as it is no longer needed, and laws giving us the right to delete our data from third-party sites. And we need international cooperation to ensure that companies cannot flaunt data privacy laws simply by moving themselves offshore."

"Necessity is the mother of invention" is a silly proverb. "Necessity is the mother of futile dodges" is much nearer the truth. -- Alfred North Whitehead