The End Of Anonymity, by Sandra Bullock


Technology that matches faces to names can already single out criminals. What happens when it can identify anyone? (1)

An editor in a top science journal recently exposed the pen name of a blogger who criticized that journal. (2) She claims she is not afraid. (3) But even then, why did she use a pseudonym? Why did she even write in a false name in the first place?

People today like to hide their identity. We live in an era where personal data are sacred, where the law protects our privacy, where it seems good to write under a false name. “Human rights” they call them. But how humane can it be for me not to know anything about my next door neighboor? How “right” can it be to exchange arguments with someone on the Internet without knowing who he/she actually is?

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Technology has given us the tools to hide from the world. The tools of a coward, who likes to refer to others by name but who prefers to hide his own. The tools of a lazy person who just does not want to carry the responsibility of his own opinion. Such ways were always possible, but the era of technology makes it so damn easy to be anonymous. The more we progress the more lazy – sorry I meant anonymous – we become. Responsibility is a heavy burden. Why carry it anyway?

Yours faithful,
Sandra Bullock

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