Semantics

“Owning someone isn’t just about taking his things; it’s about diminishing him as a person”

“Owned” is borrowed from hacker slang. If you got owned, that meant some hacker jimmied the lock on a virtual back door, snooped around your property and rifled through your stuff. The word speaks of a literal possession: annexing another person’s virtual space and stealing private information. But “you got owned” also animates a simple theft with a violent spark. Owning someone isn’t just about taking his things; it’s about diminishing him as a person. With enough specialized technical knowledge, you can actually seize control of another human being, or at least the person’s virtual presence.

Amanda Hess, “Identity Theft”, The New York Times Magazine (2 April 2017), 12.