The best way to protect your identity is to lie

“Assume rational actors.”

Part of Nixon’s strategy for the Cold War was to act crazy. International politics, along with economics, assumes rational actors. If someone is crazy, then you can’t use traditional game theory on them. Who knows what they’ll do?

If you assume we are in a surveillance society, where everything you do is monitored, pretty much the only thing I can think of that you can do to protect your identity is to lie.

By this I mean, monitoring etc assumes you are a rational actor–that everything you’re doing makes sense. If I call a Pizza Hut, then I probably like pizza. If I “like” the NRA, then I’m probably a conservative.

Arguably (given what’s been discussed this year so far), you can’t protect this information. If your phone calls are being logged, then people can see that you called the Pizza Hut. There are many steps you can take to try to keep people from getting this information in the first place, but I’d argue you really can’t keep this type of information safe.

On the other hand, you can affect how reliable this information is. Right now, if 100% of your likes on Facebook represent what you like, then advertisers/others can trust your likes to build a representation of you.

However, what if 20% of your likes were totally ridiculous? E.g. liking leather shoes along with PETA, or liking the NRA and the ACLU, or whatever is against your typical personality type. Or, what if some of your calls were to your local union as well as to your small business agency? Basically, what if some of your actions were irrational?

In other words, there is another dimension of security that people don’t necessarily think about. If you increase the cost of verifying that the collected data is accurate, you introduce a new dimension of security.

(Note: I am not a lawyer and you need to read the terms of service etc for any services you use to determine if this breaks any rules etc.)