Best of the 2010s: Some of my favorite pieces from the last ten years

At the end of 2009, I launched a personal blog. It was hosted on, then, and eventually finding home at this final domain, It has been my homestead on the web for almost a decade and has survived the vagaries of the modern Internet. Social networks may have taken some of the … Continue reading Best of the 2010s: Some of my favorite pieces from the last ten years

Big data intentionally creates a concentration of data and has a corrupting influence. It really concentrates the power in the hands of whoever holds that data — governments, companies. The PC revolution of the late 1970s and 1980s and the later early Internet (of the 1990s) seemed to hold so much promise and empowered the individual. Now with big data there is a shift of power in the other direction as it concentrates power in fewer hands.

Phil Zimmermann, creator of PGP

Taxing Personal Data

What about a tax on the sale of personal information, including the use of personal information for ad placement? To be clear, I’m not talking about a tax on collecting information or on using the information collected. I’m talking a tax on two-types of commercial transactions; selling information about individuals to third parties, or indirectly selling information to third … Continue reading Taxing Personal Data

It is time to ask Twitter the same privacy questions

Updated: Media rightfully has been focused on Facebook and its outsized role in what are calling the surveillance economy. But focusing just on Facebook is a mistake, for data accumulation and its subsequent abuse can happen anywhere, anytime. Various data streams are being reassembled for hyper-targeting. And one of these could be Twitter, which sells its data to others.

Continue reading “It is time to ask Twitter the same privacy questions”