Cory Doctorow in full polemic flow in the Guardian.
"We should treat personal electronic data with the same care and respect as weapons-grade plutonium - it is dangerous, long-lasting and once it has leaked there's no getting it back
When HM Revenue & Customs haemorrhaged the personal and financial information of 25 million British families in November, wags dubbed it the "Privacy Chernobyl", a meltdown of global, epic proportions.
The metaphor is apt: the data collected by corporations and governmental agencies is positively radioactive in its tenacity and longevity. Nuclear accidents leave us wondering just how we're going to warn our descendants away from the resulting wasteland for the next 750,000 years while the radioisotopes decay away. Privacy meltdowns raise a similarly long-lived spectre: will the leaked HMRC data ever actually vanish...
But it seems to have entirely escaped the attention of those who regulate the gathering of personal information. The world's toughest privacy measures are as a wet Kleenex against the merciless onslaught of data acquisition. Data is acquired at all times, everywhere."
Brilliant as ever.