Amrit Williams, CTO at BigFix: "Online privacy may not be completely dead, but a prudently paranoid person would assume that they have no privacy and conduct themselves accordingly. It's not so much that evil hackers or big brother are watching your every move, but almost any personal data revealed via the Internet has some value to someone, often in ways that are impossible to anticipate. Whether it's a bank, a car dealership, a real-estate agent, a government agency, a current or potential employer, or your kid's homeroom teacher, you are living your life in public. Not to be too fatalistic, but we are truly living in a world without secrets."
Is privacy dead or alive? Privacy advocates say it shouldn't be and that we need to be more careful about what we share and don't share online. Mark Zuckerberg, Eric Schmidt and others in similar positions say no one wants privacy anymore. And then there are those who stand to make a buck by convincing us that privacy is teetering on the edge of extinction, but their software or their service can help us keep our privacy alive.
Our Lora Bentley decided to throw the question out there to see if anyone else had a different idea. So in a completely unscientific poll of roughly 20 folks who responded to an e-mail, Lora found six who say privacy is alive and three who think it is dead beyond any hope of revival. The more interesting responses came from those who fell somewhere in the middle. Some offer tips for consumers who want to keep their private lives private, others point to what various businesses offer to help do the same. They agree that regulation plays a part, but essentially, they say online privacy is what you make it. You have to decide what you're comfortable disclosing and then do the work required to protect the rest of it.