the world has always been anonymous because of the lack of capability to track large amounts of data - until recently.
Anonymity allows you safety from any one who seeks to predate you. I think that safety needs to be maintained. People stupidly put photos of themselves online, then face tag their friends. This allows third parties to identify your friends and circles, and that's dangerous. All relationship should be reciprocal.
The first data privacy law ("loi informatique et liberté") were introduced in France around 1980, after a controversial government project to create a massive database of people generated a huge scandal.
So it's been possible for quite a while, it's just that it was reserved to state actors.
In a world without the printing press, anti-libel laws didn't exist. In a world without photography, rights to personal image and freedom from invasive shutterbugs didn't esist. Anti-wiretapping and phone-recording restrictions were necessitated by the telephone. The Bork bill protecting the sanctity of ... video store rental records ... was necessitated by videocassette technology, a video rental market, Supreme Court nomination hearings, chatty store clerks, and newspapers interested in publishing such details.
As technologies tear down and penetrate the long-standing barriers to snooping, recording, transmitting, analyzing, and acting on what had always. been personal and private behaviours, societies turn to law to reinstitute those protections.
Privacy is an emergent phenomenon and a direct response to intrusions.
The people who left or were forced out often died. The world is a scary and dangerous place without a support network, which civilization basically is.
> So if you were kicked from your group for a misdeed, sure you could continue your bad deeds in the new group or you could turn over a new leaf without the weight of your past mistakes holding you back.
Outsiders were often viewed with distrust. Why wouldn't they be, when most people can only associate their leaving the safety of the community with at best a foreign way of thinking, but more likely them being forced out for past misdeeds.
It's sort of like interviewing for a job a 35 year old that has no work experience to show for the last decade, and not a very convincing story as to why (or even if it's feasible, you don't really know). Why take the risk?
It's an awful dangerous place when you're alone out in the Wild West.