Previously posted in www.planningmexico.com
It’s great to just disappear, grab a suitcase, switch the answering machine on and just go somewhere else. ~Dido
The last few days I have been paranoid. Saturday I saw a documentary about a man trying to disappear for a month. Showing all the ways we leave traces behind us. Nowadays mostly digital. Everything we do is saved somewhere, by governments, by banks and other private companies. Think ebay, Amazon, insurance companies. Even your grocery stores membership award program, what did you eat May 7 2009?
Later that night I stumbled across a site asking the question; Which check-in application (ie, gowalla, foursquare, facebook places etc.) do you recommend?
A CEO for a larger Internet company, which because of the current subject will remain unnamed, answered; “I don’t use location applications because I don’t want my whereabouts at a specific time will be saved online in a searchable format. For the same reason I don’t use cards to pay amounts below 500 dollars.”
Personally I don’t use check-ins either, people don’t need to know where I am all the time, and I don’t feel the need to broadcast I am not home to potential thieves. On the other hand if someone would like to wack me they just need to hang around my local coffee place and they don’t have to wait long for me to show up.
What I am doing is keeping in touch with friends and tell people what I am doing on facebook when traveling. And I always use cards to pay with when possible.
Does that really matter? Probably not, as long as you go on living your life not breaking any laws.
What if you would like yo disappear? The reason is up to you, but is that even possible today? And the fact that I am writing this post, does that put me on an alert list somewhere?
The man in the documentary Erasing David, David Bond had a 7 months pregnant wife which made things more difficult. But if you don’t have a family and no strong ties, is it possible?
I had my escape plan ready ages ago. For many years I traveled on a passport without social security number. For a short period I was even stateless, after what has to be the fastest legislation in Scandinavia that was taken care of and I got my country back. Somewhere out there it is a Lex Daniel printed.
Then some people crashed a plane into a building which led to more restricted air travel, so that didn’t pass anymore. Now I have to travel as everybody else; registered, finger scanned and photographed when passing through security.
I wouldn’t even know where to start. Of course no facebook, no twitter. Preferable no computer at all. No credit cards, no mobile. Avoid contact with old friends.
In a tent camp in Africa or a cave in Asia you probably make it, but if you want to stay in, at least, the semi-modern part of the world. Can you disappear?