death on the internet
Tired of being policed, tracked, of seeing their data sucked up by the GAFA, some want to say stop. But can we really, in 2022, disappear like that from the Internet, erase a sometimes shameful past? Can we really quit the Internet?
The guest is
Nicolas Arpagiandirector of cybersecurity strategy at Trend Micro, specialist in cyber threat analysis, teacher at the École Nationale Supérieure de la Police and at Sciences Po Saint-Germain. Author of Borders.com at the Editions de L’Observatoire, Cybersecurity in collection What do I know? at the Presses Universitaires de France (PUF).
Internet, good or bad?
Cyril Lacarrière, editor-in-chief of Zoom Zoom Zen, gives us an overview of what this notion covers: “If we want to leave the Internet, it’s because the Internet has betrayed us. When we talked about the Internet, at first, we said to ourselves that it was a place of freedom, that we would do there what we would like, that we would learn a lot of stuff. When we were talking about the Internet, at the beginning, we believed in a new world. We thought we were going to create a big global community. Yes, it was going to be the revolution. In short, we were dumb.”
For our guest, it’s complicated to pass judgment on the Internet as such: “In fact, the digital is agnostic, that is to say that it is not good, it is not bad in essence, it is the use that will be made of it. From as long as we have expanded beyond the initial community, soldiers, a little from universities, people who knew each other, people who had in any case the same reading grids and common uses, we deployed, we consumed this space, that is to say that there was both business, politics and ideological clashes. And then everyone found themselves producer, publisher, consumer and relay of information. At that time, there may be large-scale damage. But that does not prevent the tool from being good or bad.”
As Nicolas Arpagian says, we do not necessarily assume our past, still present on the net: “What you have committed as an artistic work, the positions, the sentimental encounters, the choices… Before, there was, in the name of social peace, an oversight. Forgetting is what the law has conceived of under the term prescription. We will consider that at some point, in the name of social peace, we must forget what you have committed. From now on, with digital, there is a relative immortality. It’s not because digital is always available, but it’s mostly through duplication.” A photo posted on one site can very well end up on many others.
The guest adds an additional disappointment: “At the time when there was Cambridge Analytica, there were a number of scandals concerning abusive uses by large digital multinationals.”
How to do ?
It is very complex to disappear or even erase traces on the Web. We can ask a site to delete information about us. But it must be done for each site, and it will also depend on the legislation of the country. Sometimes you have to argue. It should also be borne in mind that when you transfer data, in particular to a social network, you transfer ownership of it, so to make it disappear, you will have to show damage.
Nicolas Arpagian explains: “It’s linked to the decentralized nature of the Internet. There is no interaction between the different actors. They are separate entities. A bit like in a street where you would have independent traders.”
Clearly, our uses are important to control the traces we leave: “The more enlightened, educated consumers we have, the more they will master their uses, and the more demanding they will be vis-à-vis the service providers they seek.”
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