Surveillance is one of the key words in Europe at the moment. Yes, some people have always suspected that we were being watched. But what has come to light in the last few months would not have been believable if it was part of the plot of some spy thriller.

In a way, it changes the way we communicate. Are we now forced to weigh every word we write? Do we assume that everything is being transcribed somewhere, stored to be held against us at an opportune moment? We can't even organize surprise birthday parties or purchase presents anymore without some pesky social media system tattling. "Your friend X just bought a Y, don't you want to buy one, too?"

I use a different email address for each of the blogs I write. I have recently started getting emails from my "friends" at Google, asking one of my addresses if it doesn't perhaps know one of the other ones. Of course, I access the blogs with the same IP address. But I don't want to give proof positive that these accounts are both mine. Should I be forced to use one email and one email only online?

I think not. In a way, I am a number of persons. When I correspond for work, I use a work email. When I write as a private person, I use a different address. And since I perhaps don't want my comments on a cooking page to be tied together with comments I made about a hotel or with comments on a political page, I find it vital to have dissimilar email addresses. When is it really important to know who exactly I am? Perhaps only if I don't pay my bills?

We need to think hard and fast about what kind of a digital world we want to live in, and what kind we have set up for ourselves. I think the two don't match at the moment.

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