Consultant Blasts Web 2.0 Companies' Idea of Privacy

Lora Bentley

Earlier Thursday I wrote about Precursor consultant and publisher Scott Cleland and his concerns about Google's privacy principles. Turns out, though, that Cleland is concerned about more than Google. Actually, he thinks Facebook has similar issues.


When I asked him how he responds to those who would say that online privacy is a thing of the past, he said:

[They] have a "publicacy" view, (the opposite of privacy), that transparency is more important societally than privacy because that is what's best for them...These web 2.0 publicacy advocates and publicacy business models like Google and Facebook, are trying to make their publicacy view the norm by acclamation online; unfortunately for them the offline world does not work that way long term. Systematic abuse of Americans' privacy ultimately will be [sanctioned] by the FTC or force passage of federal privacy legislation.


He may be on target about the Federal Trade Commission, considering the agency has been considering and debating the merits of online privacy regulation for months now, but there's no indication yet how soon we might expect those regulations or just how many of the online user experiences they would address -- especially considering how quickly the number of services "in the cloud" is increasing.

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