21 July 2010

The web means the end of forgetting

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Forgetting
Legal scholars, technologists and cyberthinkers are wrestling with the first great existential crisis of the digital age: the impossibility of erasing your posted past, starving over, moving on. Jeffrey Rosen, a law professor at George Washington University, reports in The New York Times Magazine.

“We’ve known for years that the Web allows for unprecedented voyeurism, exhibitionism and inadvertent indiscretion, but we are only beginning to understand the costs of an age in which so much of what we say, and of what others say about us, goes into our permanent — and public — digital files. The fact that the Internet never seems to forget is threatening, at an almost existential level, our ability to control our identities; to preserve the option of reinventing ourselves and starting anew; to overcome our checkered pasts.”

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