AOL's data gush: Help, they're reading my postcards!

Stephen Baker

The fuss about AOL's data gusher reminds me of a story I heard a week ago about the advent of penny postcards in the 19th century. They provided a handy communications tool, and cost half as much to send as a letter. This fueled fear: What if the mailman reads my mail?! Eventually (most) people figured out that for personnel stuff they should spend the extra penny and put it in an envelope.

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