Here is the slide deck I presented at the “Studying Society In A Digital World” conference at the Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton University. They just posted most of the conference slides. I took some pictures and posted to flickr. Here is the slide deck I presented along with my talk at the conference.
The theme of mobile sensor data shared via social networks was one reinforced by the many presentations at the conference. In my talk, I focused on the idea that information want not to be free or expensive, rather, information wants to be copied. Like DNA, the goal of any string of bits is to make a duplicate copy of themselves. Several technical realities mean that while information may exist on a spectrum from private to public, it only moves in one direction (public) and almost never back. Once made public on the Internet, even if only for a moment, a photo, document, or other digital object is almost certainly to have been copied, indexed, backed up, or replicated. All efforts to delete a digital object once widely distributed is like trying to take wine out of water. This is because all cryptography become brittle over time, most bits end up exposed after they get distributed, and more events trigger widespread distribution of bits than expected (for example, linking a photo, and a location, to a tweet that gets copied to LinkedIn and Facebook, that then appears in an RSS feed and is copied from there to Friend Feed. As it travels, information looses more of the access controls that initially made it relatively private until it is effectively public.