Privacy: Does it Scale
Well it sure has been a busy day on the Privacy front. However as I watch all of this, I can’t help but ponder if people really understand the magnitude of the problem the Web faces. Lets talk about “Scaling”.
On a thermometer today would have Privacy scaling above boiling point. Something is going to happen for sure. Browser companies will have to make changes, Web services will have to make changes – but does it scale?
Let’s think about it for a moment in the context of the “Do Not Track” header which is proposed standard to help curb the Privacy problem. If the Do Not Track header is on then Web services “MUST” observe the customers requests and not track them. There is no ambiguity in the word MUST. It’s a have to do vs. a should or may do.
But what are the implications? Well no one really knows, but Web servers, ISP, all tiers of the Internet will be affected. They will have to add code, a lot of code, to accurately support this measure. We’re talking years of coding efforts in some cases.
Up until now we’ve been living in a free for all world. Then Mobile came along and the world changed. Now Privacy is Personal and that means everybody is going to have to honor my request to not be tracked.
And lets not forget “location”. What if I get on a plane and access a Web site from a foreign country. Before they can really service my request there’s a lot of context they have to determine. And that translates into code, which translates into bandwidth and processor issues.
People want a Choice – because without it there is no Privacy. Today was just a glimpse at what is coming down the pike. The temperature is rising, and it’s rising fast.