I've been considering for the past few weeks a new project. In my operating systems class, one of our projects was to create a really basic shell, that can search the path for executables and run them, change directories, and forward errors from the prompt or programs back to the user. No pipes, no directory stacks, no functions, no configuration files. This project had a couple quirks, but was pretty straightforward, and accomplished its purpose -- teaching the section how to effectively use system calls. However, it got me thinking. The shell hasn't changed much in a very long time.
I've decided to start taking my concerns about privacy one step further. There's already a lot of information about me on the internet. The vast majority of my emails run through servers that are not mine, and I can't see the code they run. My code repositories are hosted on machines that are not my own. Many of these machines, I have no idea where they are. Worst of all, I believe that there is no chance that I could ever completely remove my digital footprint at this point.
I recently had a friend who couldn't continue a weekly activity we were both involved in, due to feeling borderline overwhelmed by the college life. Here are a few lines from my response to her. I hope you may be able to gain something from it as well.
A year ago, I was posting on Facebook several times a week, and an administrator to multiple pages/groups. I had an inkling of an idea that Facebook wasn't a great site to be on if I valued my privacy, but it seemed wrong to leave such a great tool for communication behind, especially since I moved halfway across the country for school less than two years ago. Yes, sure it didn't value my privacy, but how bad was that? If I had anything to hide, I'd just not post about it, or mention it on any website where I could be personally identified.