Much of what passes for privacy concern strikes me as overwrought reaction to minor problems, and completely dismissive of the other side of the story. There's no better example than public security cameras and police-officer body-mounted cameras.
Security strategies generally concentrate on keeping the bad guys out, but British security outfit ClearSwift has stumbled upon another approach: if the bad guys get in, let them out with something. But scrub it clean on the way out the door.
ClearSwift is the latest home for content-screening technologies first developed in the mid-90s by Content Technologies, which made hay when organisations like law firms that were adopting email figured out it wasn't a good idea for confidential files to fly out of their buildings as attachments.
Edward Snowden–endorsed cloud storage provider SpiderOak has added an additional safeguard to ensure that its users' data doesn't fall into the hands of law enforcement without their knowledge, in the form of a "warrant canary."
The term takes its inspiration from the practice of bringing actual canaries into coal mines that could potentially be filled with invisible noxious gases. If the bird drops off its perch, you know something's wrong.
There's a general trade-off between usability and security. It's an old phenomenon, going back well before the computer age. General Benjamin W. Chidlaw, while commander in chief of the joint service Continental Air Defense Command (part of what eventually became NORAD) in 1954, put it this way:
Simply put, it is possible to have convenience if you want to tolerate insecurity, but if you want security, you must be prepared for inconvenience."
Ever find yourself on a phone call or in a meeting where you realize people are speaking, but you don’t actually know what they’re talking about?
In this case, it’s not them, it’s you.