White hat hacker Ben Caudill is halfway through his sandwich when he casually reaches over to his iPhone, swipes the screen a few times, then holds it up to me. "Is that you?" he asks.
It is, but nobody was supposed to know. He's showing me one of my posts to Secret, the popular anonymous sharing app that lets you confess your darkest secrets to your friends without anyone knowing it's you. A few minutes ago I gave Caudill my personal e-mail address, and that was all he needed to discover my secret in the middle of a Palo Alto diner, while eating a BLT.
My secret is pretty lame, but Secret's stream is slurry of flippant posts, Silicon Valley gossip, and genuinely personally confessions like, "He proposed?I had to say no. And it broke my heart to do the right thing." At this moment, Caudill could type in any Secret user's e-mail address or phone number and decloak that person's secrets.