Monday, February 27, 2012

Building privacy

A couple of terms today that aren't new, or not very. Both represent the verbing of some buildings, but what struck me was that I found them in successive paragraphs in the same article. Here we go (with non-essential text edited out):

Up until March 1, 2012, the data Google collected on you when you used YouTube was carefully cabined away from your other Google products.

The same siloing took place for your search history.

I've heard to silo as a verb about a million times; people at work are always talking about teams being siloed or the like. The most traditional definition for to silo is "to put into or preserve in a silo," the act of using an actual physical silo. Other senses of to silo derive from the metaphor not just of storing things centrally (information, say), but separation. This is how teams can be siloed — for example, a set of teams that cannot, for whatever reason, exchange information and work together. Example: "SEO can’t on its own rescue an online presence, and particularly not if an SEO team is siloed." [#])

And this is the sense in which the article writer uses siloing — information (which is stored in your browser) being kept separate from other information (also stored in your browser), and the two are not to interact. Wikipedia, not surprisingly, has an article on information silo that describes siloing, tho in what I think are more formal terms than what's intended in the cite above.

What surprised me was to see cabin used as a verb. This is apparently not very new or exotic. For example, lists one definition for cabin as "confine to a small space, such as a cabin." I could have sworn I'd never heard this verb before. If I have, it certainly hasn't been in the context of data storage.

Of course, the point of the article is that information won't be cabined and siloed any more. Perhaps that's what I should really be worrying about.