How much do you cost?

If I gave you 48 dollars, would you tell me everything about yourself?

That's what you would pay for 4 GB USB key, and 4 GB is how much space you get on Google's Gmail. An additional 10 dollars would get you 5 GB of space on Microsoft's HotMail. So, 58 dollars would yield 5 GB of data on you. I would consider this a very good deal—for me.

As many (should be all)  companies now have privacy statements outlining the protection of your personal information, this "protection" may be somewhat different than what you are inclined to assume. For example, let's take a quick look at Google's privacy policy ( and some of its implications.  Gmail Privacy Policy (as of November 2, 2007), the paragraph for Information security states - 'We restrict access to personal information to Google employees, contractors and agents who need to know that information in order to operate, develop or improve our services.'

Now, I have read many legal documents over the years. If there is one thing I've learned, it is that it is as important to understand what it does not say as it is to understand what it says.  In the above statement from the Gmail Privacy Policy, what isn't stated is what "new or future developed services" might be referring to. Remember, Google achieved their greatest success not because of a free search service, but rather by developing a model of linking people who are looking for something with people who have what they are looking for, be it a product or service.

What's the difference? Take for example, an online job site. These days the economy is good and in some areas it is hard to find the right people to fill vacancies. Let's assume there is a new online service that can link employers with potential employees. As you know, there are plenty of websites already where you can post your resume and have it available to be searched by potential employers. However, what these sites don't offer is the ability for a potential employer to search topics about your personal life, your habits, or build your emotional profile. Google, on the other hand, can do this.

Yes, Google clearly states that it won't resell any private information to a third party. However, there is nothing stated that would prevent them from using your personal information internally. So don't be surprised if Google calls you for a job interview... or perhaps less obvious, but more to the point... don't be surprised when your next great idea is launched by them. Having said that, I am not here to pick on Google. You could replace "Google" with any other on-line provider of email, storage, etc. and the implications are the same. What I am trying to bring to your attention is that a solution that would truly give you secure access to your secured private information wherever you are either doesn't exist yet or is far from being mainstream.

Why? Well, ask yourself who would benefit from a secure distributed solution? Would Microsoft benefit from such a solution? Not really. Their objective is (among other things) to keep the desktop alive and well by selling as many Operating System licenses as possible. Furthermore, the PC industry depends on Microsoft. A centralized storage solution (mainframe [evil laugh]) means nobody would need more diskspace, backup, updated systems, etc. Would Google benefit from such a solution? Again, not really. Google is in the business of knowing exactly what is stored on their system -  their business model depends on it - so they can sell you to the highest bidder. With a stock price above $700, this would especially not benefit Google shareholders. Perhaps the Government would benefit from such a solution. The Government? You are funny.

Really, the only one who stands to benefit from a truly secure distributed solution is you—and who cares about "you"?

I had previously posted  in my blog about utility computing, where a friend of mine described how computing could become similar to electricity. So, here is a message to the tech industry: 'Provide us with utility computing, we will you pay for it, but let us, as individuals, choose what information is private and what is to be public.'