I was having a conversation with a friend about online privacy. Few people realize the implications of posting personal information online. For an eye-opening example, consider the experience of Evan Ratliff, a writer for Wired, who tried to “disappear” in the digital age.

Evan, in August 2009, after writing an article for Wired called “Gone Forever, What Does it Take to Really Disappear?” he announced he was going “off the grid.” He offered a $5000 reward for anyone able to locate him in less than 30 days. It took an international group of “trackers” considerably less time to find him and claim the prize money.

Ratliff wrote about his attempt to stay hidden in the November issue of Wired. Blogs revealing the methods used to track him and ultimately snap his photo (to win the contest)  were posted online, as were links to post-contest media coverage.

I find this account both interesting and informative. This is a must-read for anyone who partakes in social networks (e.g. Facebook) or the sharing of other information online.


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