Our online persona is not directly within our control. Moving through digital space, we leave traces that can be accumulated into a profile that is more real in a sense than any other public or private persona. It is a fingerprint that defines who we are for commercial purposes and increasingly to government agencies. The idea that we are being profiled using buying patterns and online remarks may be distasteful but it is a fact of life.
Those of us who lived in the pre-digital era often have a sense that privacy is being lost in the ‘new’ digital era. That may be true. It may be equally true that we could always be profiled by anyone who was willing to put forth sufficient effort. Interestingly, there is now a thriving market for individuals who possess skills to custom tailor online information. As digital profiles are increasing used to target us, we are finding ways to obfuscate our online presence.
The slapstick of Spy vs Spy is an amusing analogy for the digital game of privacy. It is the black hats and white hats endlessly dancing in a dark comedy. We live in a highly amplified technological world. There is a price to be paid for all those wonderful services and conveniences.