A thought of Bruce Schneier I read1 in his March newsletter. I wanted to share it because I think it is spot-on:

“Data is the pollution problem of the information age, and protecting privacy is the environmental challenge. Almost all computers produce personal information. It stays around, festering. How we deal with it – how we contain it and how we dispose of it – is central to the health of our information economy. Just as we look back today at the early decades of the industrial age and wonder how our ancestors could have ignored pollution in their rush to build an industrial world, our grandchildren will look back at us during these early decades of the information age and judge us on how we addressed the challenge of data collection and misuse. That’s it; that’s our big challenge.”

The quote is taken from his book Data and Goliath, which I just put on my reading list.

  1. Well, actually I heard Dan Henage read it (check out the Crypto-Gram podcast