Privacy and Logging
Privacy seem to be a popular discussion these days. While I do think it's a very very important topic to discuss, I sometimes feel there's not enough people who stand up and argue for cases when there's a reason to store data.
Let me give you an example; Log data. I'm sure many computer users find it scary with logs. Sometimes I do too. Especially if logs are stored for eternity and data mined. Worse so, if they are aggregated from many sources on the web. But the truth is, logs are great for many reasons:
- they make it possible to track down illegal activity such as fraud, cracking and hacking attacks. This makes it possible for banks to keep your online bank account safe. It also makes it possible for credit card companies to catch when someone is using your card for fraudulent activities.
- they make is possible for programmers and system administrators to figure out what has gone wrong. This makes it possible for many many online services to keep their services stable and running 24/7. Logs are a great tool as a sysadmin to understand what went wrong in a system.
Without logs, the Internet would be a much less stable and secure place to be in.
While logs can be used for evil, they can also be used for good. I just simply want to point out that the coin has two sides. Sometimes talking about how information is used is more important than what it can be used for.