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Future: True Transparency and No Anonymity

August 6, 2010

Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google recently gave a speech at the Techonomy conference. According to, “He said that addressing issues such as identity theft, for instance, required “true transparency and no anonymity”. In order to combat criminal behavior and anti-social activities leaders such as government will require that the general public lives with true transparency and no anonymity.

Schmidt continued on, “If I look at enough of your messaging and your location, and use artificial intelligence, we can predict where you are going to go,”. “Show us 14 photos of yourself and we can identify who you are. You think you don’t have 14 photos of yourself on the internet? You’ve got Facebook photos!”

What does this mean for our future? Are we ready for it?

Schmidt doesn’t think we are ready. He shared, “People aren’t ready for the technology revolution that’s going to happen to them.”

Today, Hewlett-Packard’s (HP) CEO Mark Hurd resigned over sexual harassment accusations. Like many others, it appears there are things he has tried to hide. Things he was not transparent about.

The technology industry is leading the way for most businesses in regards to change. They are not leading us in transparency and anonymity, but they are the tool by which these changes will come.

Is the Church listening? How will Christian’s respond?

If there is any group in the world that should be willing to be transparent and who do not live in anonymity, shouldn’t it be Christians?

What do we have to hide?

An incredible opportunity lies ahead. An opportunity to be transparent. An opportunity to lead the way in teaching others how and when to be transparent, and why transparency leads to truth, accountability, and freedom in life.

Transparency is not about painting a good picture, but about revealing truth.

The truth is, we are all broken and sinful people. We live in a fallen world.

It is time to be transparent about our weaknesses, to lay down our anonymity, and to testify to our identity as the family of God.

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)


2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 12, 2010 12:11 am

    This concept is one reason I blog, twitter, facebook and live life out loud. However, even then, those posts are filtered snapshots, a chosen picture, carefully selected words. On the very rare occasion I will comment anonymously if I’m not prepared to deal with the ridicule which might result from those who disagree. No one can guarantee my safety without removing a significant amount of my liberty. Still, those posts are my CHOICE. Some who want open systems want to be able to see everything whether you agree or not.

    • August 12, 2010 9:41 am

      Joyce, great point that even when we attempt to be transparent they are often filtered snapshots. Even when we have face-to-face in a small group, we often only have glimpses of people’s real lives. I am not advocating for absolute transparency, as we still need identity protection and there are current trends in technology that open doors for stalking, identity theft, etc. I just hope that as Christians, we will begin to move toward modeling transparency. Admitting our faults and our need for a savior because we are weak and do fail is a powerful message, and I am so sad when I hear about believers who have hidden their failures only to have them come out publically later in very damaging ways. We need to be people of authenticity, but also of radical grace who offer second (and ongoing) chances when failure does occur. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

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