The Fediverse is abuzz — Keybase has been acquired by Zoom. For some, this is an event akin to opening one of the Seven Seals.

And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him.

For others, it is a logical move for a company mired by privacy and security concerns and an opportunity for Zoom to try and improve their biggest flaw. For me, the move feels like another retelling of an old tale. That of the Pied Piper of Hamlin.

In the original tale, set in 1284, a piper dressed in pied (multicoloured) clothing appears to solve the town’s vermin problem. The mayor agreed to pay the piper for his work, only to renege on his promise. The piper returns on a saint’s day when the adults were in church and, playing his pipe, spirits all but three of the town’s children away.

In a sense, our online privacy is much like a child, vulnerable to the world and easily spirited away by a platform which offers ease of connection. And much like the mayor of Hamlin’s greed and indifference to consequences, our online choices make it possible for our privacy and security to be spirited away.

Pied Piper by Kate Greenaway (1846–1901) is licensed under Public Domain.

This post is day 006 of my 100DaysToOffload challenge. If you want to get involved, you can get more info from