Identification, the service of identifying, certifying Identity that is, remains one of the fiercest battles being fought within this modern day internet. As Google, facebook, Yahoo, Apple and others strive to collect this prize, this Holy Grail, this remedy for that dangerous sickness that is anonymity, they use all the dirty tricks within the repertoire of modern day market street fight. Anonymity was one of the strongest arguments for and one of the most powerful motors of the evolution of modern means of communication. And it has always been a thorn in the side of potentates, structures and autocratic systems. Anonymity is the sworn enemy of power and the natural ally of freedom. And as our features are being scanned and stored in databases, correlated with our habits, needs and darkest secrets, we may loose a quintessential feature of our humanity, our real identity as humans, what Martin Luther meant when he wrote his famous song “Die Gedanken sind frei”:
“Thoughts are free, who can guess them?
They fly by like nocturnal shadows.
No man can know them, no hunter can shoot them
with powder and lead: Thoughts are free!”
As Elizabeth I. of England famously put it, she had no “…desire to make windows into men’s souls”; well now we do.