humphrey bennett miniSoon, every time you travel, you’ll have to give all kinds of intrusive details. And you can bet they won’t be securely stored. From time to time, when low in spirits, I find solace in websites on “How to Disappear”. It is not an urge to deceive loved ones and insurance companies like the appalling canoe man, but merely to toy with the idea of slipping below the official radar. Imagine walking cheerfully through the world: harmless and innocent, untraceable, unlisted, unfollowed, private.

The guides make it clear how hard this is. It is not only CCTV and biometric passports that betray our whereabouts but also banking, bills, phones, cars, laptops (how ironic , just as you completed your escape, to be outed by web records showing you surfing for advice on how often to throw your prepay phone in the river). As technology moves on, not only fingerprinting but facial scanning may betray you, and if - while remembering your gloves and refraining from sneezing your DNA - you take your sunglasses off to see the cash machine screen on your secret bank account, then iris-recognition technology will get you, snap!

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