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September 17, 2005

Comments

Pete

Around half the UK population has web access.

If someone wanted to get their hands on personal information from EVERYONE in the UK, they would offer to carry messages to any address in the land.

They might subsidise it to make sure prices were low enough to keep virtually everyone else out of the market (say 20-30p for a small message).

To make sure the service was convenient, even for people who don't get out much, they might offer to pick up our messages from our homes - or because we are not always in, it might be even easier to let us drop our messages off in little boxes on virtually every street corner.

To really capture the market they would have to be efficient - delivering to anywhere in the UK within a couple of days, with a level of reliability that means people got indignant when things went wrong.

Of course it would help if really important messages were also labelled in some way, so they might offer a premium service so that we would identify special messages that need guaranteed delivery, a more rapid service, or extra insurance.

If they did this well enough, over time virtually everything we did would be passing through their hands: bank statements, credit cards; job applications; books and magazines and most of what we bought on-line; messages and gifts from our network of contacts (including foreigners). With a presence throughout the land they maight to start moving into other services - say banking, which would give them access to even more personal information.

The privacy and hard-won freedom of everyone in the land would be under threat. Heaven help us if the government ever got its hand on a system like this. We might never be allowed to close it down.

We must make sure this never happens, for our own sake, and for the sake of generations to come.

Tom

Yes, but of course you'd have to give them a bottle of something every Xmas, wouldn't you?

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