"Trying to have security by obscurity is just plain stupidity."
Lanier said he does not doubt the good intentions of many businesses that control large amounts of data, but said there remains a danger that the next person who inherits power at the companies won't share the same ideals.
"It doesn't matter how nice we are," he said.
Insisting he is not all doom and gloom, Lanier proposed a solution whereby people get paid every time a company or other entity benefits from their personal information.
"By monetising information, we have potential to create a stable economy, a strong middle class and a social safety net without socialist committees."
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