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"Privacy is Over" -- Part VIII Privacy-Publicacy Fault-line Series

"All our information is being sucked into the cloud. Privacy is over." That was the bold declaration of Attorney Steve Masur at DCIA's P2P Media Summit per Washington Internet Daily.

  • Wow. As stark an assessment that that is, what really disturbs me is the thought process and tech ethic that underlies this view.
  • Mr. Masur is not alone, he is part of a growing publicacy mentality/movement that looks at privacy as:
    • A neandrethal expectation in the Internet Age,
    • Buzz-kill for Internet innovators, and
    • Road-kill for the cloud-computing bus speeding down the information super-highway.

My pushback here is the blind worship of technology or tech-determinism.

  • I define tech-determinism to be:
    • if technology or innovation can do it, it must be good; and
    • if something stands in the way of technology and innovation, like privacy, it is in the way and should be terminated. 

Did it ever occur to the tech determinists that if there is no privacy in the cloud, many won't go there?

  • Most users appreciate that technology should work for them, they don't work for technology.

Privacy isn't over. 

  • Ask consumers if they think privacy should be over --
    • Consumer Reports Survey from 9-28-08: "Consumer Reports Poll: Americans Extremely Concerned About Internet Privacy: Most Consumers Want More Control Over How Their Online Information Is Collected & Used."
  • Ask the FTC if they think privacy should be over...
    • See their revised Behavioral Advertising Principles... 
  • Ask Privacy Groups like EPIC if privacy should be over...
  • Ask House Internet Subcommittee Chairman Boucher who is working on new Internet privacy legislation -- if privacy is over...

The privacy-publicacy faultline tension only grows.

  • Privacy is far from "over."


    Privacy-Publicacy Faultline Series here:

    • Part I: The Growing Privacy-Publicacy Fault-line -- The Tension Underneath World Data Privacy Day 
    • Part II: Implications of User Location Tracking
    • Part III: Extreme Publicacy -- Does Privacy Stand a Chance?
    • Part VI: Why FTC’s Behavioral-Ad Principles Are a Big Deal
    • Part V: Privacy prevailed in Facebook's privacy-publicacy earthquake
    • Part VI: Do People Own Their Private Information Online?  
    • Part VII: Where is the line between privacy and publicacy?