MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA – Any idea how General Petraeus’ affairs were uncovered? The FBI used Gmail metadata buried in email exchanges. Now, if the government’s surveillance system can do that to the world’s number one spy, can you imagine what it could do to you? Whatever the reason, privacy is under attack.
This time though, Google is the one bringing proof of that trend. In its annual Transparency Report the company that owns almost everything online says the number of requests from government agencies to remove or survey content steadily increased in 2012. We get it; we have a curious big brother. It happens in every family.
From January to June of 2012, US government officials made nearly 8,000 inquiries about 16,281 specific accounts. Having said that, the likelihood of your user data targeted by authorities is very low – experts say – unless your name happens to be connected to a criminal investigation or your family fears for your safety.
The great danger of our time is not that our privacy will disappear overnight, but that it will experience gradual erosion. Is climate change to blame for that too?