Anonymity, privacy and security online – 2013 Pew Report

A new survey by Pew Internet reveals that:

  • 86% of internet users have taken steps online to remove or mask their digital footprints—ranging from clearing cookies to encrypting their email.
  • 55% of internet users have taken steps to avoid observation by specific people, organizations, or the government.
  • 21% of internet users have had an email or social networking account compromised or taken over by someone else without permission.
  • 12% have been stalked or harassed online.
  • 11% have had important personal information stolen such as their Social Security Number, credit card, or bank account information.
  • 6% have been the victim of an online scam and lost money.
  • 6% have had their reputation damaged because of something that happened online.
  • 4% have been led into physical danger because of something that happened online.

Although the survey was completed in the United States, there’s certainly transfer of thoughts and anxieties that affect Australians as well. Read the whole report here.

Archiving the digital world

Recently the British Library announced an ambitious project – to collect and archive the internet. The Guardian newspaper (UK) explains:

six major libraries will be able to collect, preserve and provide long term access to internet based information, including blogs, e-books and even the entire UK web domain. An estimated 1bn pages a year will be available to researchers through the new archive.

This means that everything published on the web will be preserved pretty much forever. And although only archiving UK sites at present, perhaps the National Library of Australia and other national libraries will follow suit.

Of course, the implications of this are enormous. A poor digital footprint will definitely follow us around now.