Seen. Recognised. Tracked.
Can you imagine trying to explain today's privacy debate to your grandchildren?
I can. It's awful. I'll probably have to call it the 2010's 'Privacy Wars' just to keep them on the rug. 2007 won't be the year of the first iPhone for them, or the beginning of the age of the always-on-everythings that tracked grandpa and his friends around the world from space. They won't understand what, if anything, about that was considered cause for alarm. Even when I explain what Ashley Madison was.
It will mean nothing to them that in September 2017, the daily number of daily connections to the anonymizing TOR network from the UK was somewhere between 70,000 and 80,000 per day. In 2014, the estimated value of the global Virtual Private Network (VPN) market was $45 billion – expected to grow to $70 billion by 2019. And if you plot the value of the Pound against the sort-of-but-not-quite-anonymous Bitcoin, a baby economist dies.
Privacy – both the protection and breaching thereof – is big business. But are we already further along than we think? What comes after that? What will we tell our grandchildren?