As part of my transition away from gmail, I’ve been updating email addresses on the various user accounts I have spread across the web (wow! didn’t realize how many of those there are). Some sites make it easier than others, but so far the Chronicle of Higher Education has been the worst. Years ago I created an account on one of their blogs to leave a single comment. When I logged back in, the only way to change the existing information they had was to fill out a complete profile with even more information. As I’m a little skittish about data promiscuity these days, I thought, “no thanks,” and looked for a delete button. There wasn’t one, so I emailed asking to delete the account. Here’s their response:
They won’t delete an account for “security reasons”?!? Seriously? They expect me to accept that bullshit security theater excuse for hoarding my data? I left one comment on a blog–what security could be at stake? There’s a whole lot more data on me in Google’s databases, but they at least claim to be willing to delete my data.
This may be the straw that broke the camel’s back of my hope for the future. If we as a society are willing to accept “security” as an unquestionable reason for every stupid decision, what hope is there that we have the ability to ever make anything better?