No Take Backs … Texting Edition


According to the Urban Dictionary , “no take backs” is “the command that instructs another party that once they have given you something they cannot change their mind.” In the world of instant communication “no take backs” doesn’t appear as a mobile screen warning before you send that damning text. You know, that one where you tell the boss what you really think … sorry you’re toast. But maybe not.

Check out the On Second Thought app that holds a text for a little bit to let you take it back. For us old enough to remember the corner mailbox gag from old comedies, it would be like providing a trapdoor fix for the person who gets a hand stuck trying to fish out an ill-conceived love letter.

Taking back data might be a good thing more generally for protecting privacy.

Data Privacy Common Sense Rule #1--the most effective way to ensure that data are kept private and protected is for it not to be collected in the first place. Often times data protection analysts tell companies that an excellent way to minimize their data breach risk is not to collect personal information unless they really need it. 

The time-worn, but still standing Fair Information Practice Principles state, among other things, that organizations should only collect personally identifiable information that is directly relevant and necessary to accomplish the specified purposes for which it is collected. 

But that advice may be hard to swallow in an era of big data analytics that promises to find interesting stuff you didn’t even know you were looking for amid the flood of collected data.

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