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In a world where everything is tracked and kept forever, like the world we’re for some reason building, you become hostage to the worst thing you’ve ever done.

Whoever controls that data has power over you, whether or not they exercise it. And yet we treat this data with the utmost carelessness, as if it held no power at all.

Eric Schmidt of Google suggests that one way to solve the problem is to never do anything that you don’t want made public. But sometimes there’s no way to know ahead of time what is going to be bad.

In the forties, the Soviet Union was our ally. We were fighting Hitler together! It was fashionable in Hollywood to hang out with Communists and progressives and other lefty types.

Ten years later, any hint of Communist ties could put you on a blacklist and end your career. Some people went to jail for it. Imagine if we had had Instagram back then.

From Maciej Cegłowski’s talk at the Strata+Hadoop 2015 conference in NYC.
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