Privacy: Did We Have Any in the First Place? - Slide 14

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Privacy Balancing Between Life and Death

Bill Ho, Vice President Internet Products, Biscom, Inc: "Like Schrdinger's cat, online privacy is both dead and alive at the same time. Our information is out there - it's collected by numerous entities, including banks, shopping sites, social media, and other business and personal sites we visit. In many cases, once it's out there, that bell cannot be "unrung," as they say. Once you put your information out there, especially on the Facebooks and MySpaces of the world, it's tough if you ever have to clean it up. Various search engines, ISPs, and other caching sites (like the Wayback Machine, a.k.a. the Internet Archive), will keep your information out there ostensibly forever. Even worse, you'll find several examples of young people who receive leniency from a judge for poor judgment or behavior, later post pictures online flaunting said bad behavior, are discovered, and then land back in trouble. What are they thinking? Obviously not too concerned about keeping things private. Others realize that their life is not an open book. They do not believe tweeting what they had for breakfast is noteworthy, while others find it absolutely compelling news. When you have these extremes, it's easy to see why online privacy is both alive and dead. But unlike the cat, it's up to the person to decide."

BentleyIs 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.


Related Topics : Cell Phones, GPS, Location-Based Services

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