Sitting here watching TV and thinking about everything that is traversing the globe, I start to wonder how often my digital self moves around this blue rock. Then I start to think about where digital me has rested or how many copies of digital me there are in the ether.
Are there full copies of digital me or partial? Maybe it is a combination of the two but I wonder how many. I am going to go with thousands. Yes there are thousands of copies of digital me running around or kicking back having a digital brew.
Now these digital representations of me are in the hands of the government (maybe I should say governments) and commercial entities. There may even be some copies in the hands of private individuals for all that I know. Though it does make me wonder why, I mean I am great and all but you have to have somebody better to collect.
With thousands of copies here, I could go off on the ‘Many Worlds’ theory in which there are infinite numbers of copies of biological me with thousands of infinite numbers of copies of digital me but I will not do that…today. No I want to think about the type of entities that hold my digital self and who I should be most worried about at this time.
First I am going to drop the private individuals from my thinking just because I do not think I have a stalker at this time and I am not that paranoid. Maybe as I get older I will bring this type back into the mix. For now I will focus on the government and corporate entities.
Of the two I am more worried about the digital me that is held by the corporate interest versus that digital me held by the government. I feel that the danger to biological me will come from the corporate interests. When I say danger I am not focusing on physical arm though it could come to that. No I am looking at mental and financial arm from the misuse of digital me.
Google, Microsoft, Apple, insurance, banking and even the fast food industry to name a few have a digital image of me that I could probably not duplicate in years. This image, this digital picture of me tracks biological me, it predicts what biological me will do. Digital me carries my various usernames and passwords. It can be used to determine what types of restaurants I like and where I travel. My health information is out there and not all of it is protected.
Health information, it is sometimes so hard to get the doctor to release health information to the patient. It is your information is it not? It took a week for me to get dental records and they charged me $20.00 and I watched as the receptionist stuck it in the machine and waited on someone else. I could have gone to Kinko’s brought the originals back and had money for KFC with a cookie desert for two.
Ok I digress but it came to me and I had to get it out. Needless to say all this information out there can be used against me or it can be used not to my interest. The worse part of it is I don’t own digital me. Whoever owns where I am stored or transits owns me. I have knowingly in some cases given away parts of digital me for free stuff. Those loyalty cards are from the devil.
Ok enough prattle, why is this a security issue, why a cyber security issue? Well my worry is predictive behavior. The worry is that these companies will have such an excellent picture of me and that their computer models will be so accurate that they will model my behavior and sell it. What if it could predict how I choose passwords.
Now I think that I have a good method for choosing passwords but if the model is that good then maybe the model is not that good. I am not as random as I think. Am I not as secure as I thought? Are my 16 character passwords weak though they do not repeat, use letters, numbers and special characters? Can my encrypted data stored in the cloud be retrieved and unencrypted in less that a day?
Can my identity be stolen not by a breach at the local Home Depot but by purchasing digital me from Google or some unknown commercial data warehouse? Are these corporate entities making it easier?
What do you think?