Cyber-security breach and data leaks seem to be normal occurrences these days. The question of privacy seems to be naive when all information and communication is monitored and hackable. Maybe it is because I recently (read…finally) saw the new Jason Bourne movie or because I work with a variety of data and media, but I have been thinking a lot about how data storage is evolving. Space and convenience is not the issue. Security and longevity is what we still do not get.
Gone are the days when we would “search on Google” for our name and possibly freak out if there was one obscure mention of a link. Now we are all encouraged to have a professionally branded – but still personal – presence online. We are encouraged to sync all of our devices. We are made to believe the best way to back up precious memories, important documents, and big files is on virtual clouds and drives. It is funny how our discomfort in seeing our names pop up outside of the Yellow Pages has become hesitantly open to every device upgrade. On the one hand, that is the beauty of technology. It is constantly changing to push our potential and innovation further. On the other hand, values and concerns should be respected.
I am not sure if security will ever become a full guarantee as we progress in this cyber direction. From the recent Dropbox breach to apps discreetly linking information, ahem Facebook and WhatsApp, it seems that no information is secure. Nothing is hack-proof, regardless of good intentions behind passwords, two-step authenticity, fingerprints, and any other secret codes. Since this is the case, I urge you to be mindful of where you save your stuff. A printed copy saved in a locked drawer or a box under the bed is not silly. It will probably save you a headache. Regarding future developments in security, maybe we should not only focus on better passwords or bigger servers.
Since I have been working with media for a while, technology upgrades are bitter-sweet. Remembering how much time it took to convert footage from a Hi-8 tape to a DVD, I thought it would save those memories forever. What happens when DVD players join VCRs? With all the photos I diligently archive on external hard drives, what happens when USB ports join floppy disk drives? It is kind of scary to think about. A project I hope to start soon is to create a series of photo albums, I mean really old-school photo albums, for the majority of my photos. As convenient as Google drive and external hard drives are, I want to be able to share these memories with my children 10 years from now and my grandchildren 30 years from now. There is something about sitting around a table with family with an old suitcase full of photos in envelopes and albums that is really special. Watching a slide show on a screen does not compare to that.
I am intrigued to see how data storage and cyber-security evolves during my lifetime, but I do not think I will ever fully trust it. How do you think we can improve on this? How are you keeping your data safe? Let me know in the comments below.
Wearing: New York & Company blouse; Woodin skirt; Michael Kors shoes
Photography: It’s Sofia Emm