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  1. #1
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Default Do you care about the "Death of Privacy"?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-11524041

    Personal privacy is in danger of being killed off by the profit-making motives of firms which hold our data, security expert Bruce Schneier has warned.
    BT's chief technology officer expressed his concerns at the RSA Security Europe Conference in London.
    While the death of personal privacy had been predicted for a long time, rapid technological changes posed a mortal danger to it, he said.
    Mr Schneier urged lawmakers to do more to help preserve and protect privacy.
    The death of privacy had been predicted before with the emergence of many different technologies, he said. But before now that threat had been largely overblown.

    "Just because the technology is there does not mean that privacy invasions must happen," he said.
    The difference now, he said, was that the falling cost of storage and processing power made it far easier to keep data such as e-mail conversations, Tweets or postings to a social network page than it was to spend the time managing and deleting the information.

    The migration of human social interaction from ephemeral forms that took place face to face into data that never goes away and does not allow us to forget or leave behind our past actions was undoubtedly going to change society, he said.
    "Forgetting is a very powerful social tool that helps us get by and get along," he said.
    As lives are lived more and more online or via the phone it has led, said Mr Schneier, to a situation in which everyone has to be the guardian of their own privacy policy.

    "That's new and fundamentally unnatural," he said.
    Deciding what data we are prepared to surrender would be fine if people were given a proper choice, he said.
    Unfortunately, he said, users of social networking sites or any online service were being presented with choices defined by priorities they did not choose.
    The choices are filtered through the law, which is being outstripped by technological change, leaving people with only what net firms give them or can get away with.
    "The social rules are being set by businesses with a profit motive," he said.

    Facebook has faced a barrage of criticism about its privacy settings and despite effort to address user concerns, has continued to worry privacy campaigners.
    Google boss Eric Schmidt said, after the row about its StreetView service scooping up wi-fi data: "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place."
    Talking about privacy policies on web sites, Mr Schneier said they were hard to find and understand because it was in the interest of those sites to confuse people into disclosing more than they were comfortable with.

    The more data about their members that sites gathered the better they can serve advertisers or use the data for their own marketing purposes, he said.
    "We are now seeing the death of privacy," he said. "Those CEOs are doing it and doing things to hasten its demise."
    In some senses, he said, this was not their fault because the production of data was a natural by-product of the way that computers work.
    But, he said, this did not mean that legal and technological protections were not needed. The law was currently abdicating its role and there was a pressing need for tools that could help people manage their online presences.
    He said that how we deal with privacy now would define how future generations regard us in the same way that commentators now look critically on the pollution produced as a by-product of the industrial revolution.
    "They are going to look back at us and look at the things we do to deal with the pollution problem of the information age and judge us," he said.
    Related stories: Google Buzz breaks privacy laws
    How online life distorts privacy rights for all
    People who post intimate details about their lives on the internet undermine everybody else's right to privacy, claims an academic.
    Dr Kieron O'Hara has called for people to be more aware of the impact on society of what they publish online.
    "If you look at privacy in law, one important concept is a reasonable expectation of privacy," he said.
    "As more private lives are exported online, reasonable expectations are diminishing."
    The rise of social networking has blurred the boundaries of what can be considered private, he believes - making it less of a defence by law.
    We live in an era that he terms "intimacy 2.0" - where people routinely share extremely personal information online.
    "When our reasonable expectations diminish, as they have, by necessity our legal protection diminishes."
    So what do you think? Does it concern you? How do you protect yourself and your family? Do you understand the extent to which your personal data is tracked and mined? Do we need more legislation/public awareness campaigns/grass roots protest? Is personal privacy a right worth defending from commercial and other exploitation or do you think the tradeoffs compensate for the infringement? What about this idea of "not being able to forget" and your past indiscretions being forever immortalised in data vaults across the globe?
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Moiety's Avatar
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    It's sad and true that it is unnatural. I've been trying to disassociate myself from internet dealings with this in mind too (and disliking the nature of the interaction...it's all a lie). I used to have my profile in social networks but dislike the idea more and more because it lacks a certain substance.

    It's a great way to filter biases though. I've come to understand how hypocritical people can be when it comes to processing written messages. You can say barbarities in the internet that would not be tolerated in real life speech and you can't get away with a lot of sarcasm and subtleties in
    written text that you could if you said it out loud and with body language irl.

    I do believe in transparency and not exaggerating personal life problems by keeping secrets in excess. At the end of the day, we all share a lot of the same kinds of problems.

    Family and friends are sacred for me when it comes to privacy though. I will disclose very superficial data but for the most part be smart about it.


    I still think it's ridiculous one can't edit past posts in this very board.

  3. #3
    No moss growing on me Giggly's Avatar
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    I have great respect for my freedoms and am a proponent of privacy, so long as it's not at the expense of others' safety as whole. If people want to post private details of their life online it's their business, but we need some measures put in place that don't allow employers or businesses to REQUIRE that everyone divulge private details of their life in order to be employed or to consume. We already have things like background checks or credit checks, isn't that enough? I don't even mind being constantly monitored for safety (which is different than being highly regulated) by the government or other powers that be.

    In terms of what people post online, I think children need to be educated that posting online is similar to print publishing, in that it is not as anonymous or forgettable as one may want to believe.

  4. #4
    XES 5231311252's Avatar
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    "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place."
    Although I hate sites like Google- that track almost everything you do, he's got a good point. This is why I no longer say or do things I wouldn't want to be seen.
    “'Fuck', I think. What a beautiful word. If I could say only one thing for the rest of my life, that would be it.”

  5. #5
    nee andante bechimo's Avatar
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    Not sure why people use real information on Facebook or any other social networking site or include coworkers as friends. Why not use Linked-in for work and Facebook for social, privacy settings maximised?

  6. #6
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giggly View Post
    I have great respect for my freedoms and am a proponent of privacy, so long as it's not at the expense of others' safety as whole. If people want to post private details of their life online it's their business, but we need some measures put in place that don't allow employers or businesses to REQUIRE that everyone divulge private details of their life in order to be employed or to consume.
    Aren't we already there?
    We already have things like background checks or credit checks, isn't that enough? I don't even mind being constantly monitored for safety (which is different than being highly regulated) by the government or other powers that be.
    Wow. You trust your government too much. I forget that Americans don't take this stuff seriously.

    Quote Originally Posted by 5231311252 View Post
    Although I hate sites like Google that track almost everything you do, he's got a good point. This is why I no longer say or do things I wouldn't want to be seen.
    You think that's an appropriate restriction to your civil liberties?
    I don't want anyone to routinely be able to see ANYTHING I do, irrespective of whether it's morally questionable / embarrassing or not.

    Am I the only one? Damn... "Apathy is the glove into which evil slips its hand".
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  7. #7
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Denial is not a river in Egypt.

    I am annoyed by those who deny the death of God, the author and privacy. They are living in a fool's paradise. They are clinging to their neurotic privacy like a drowning man clinging to a straw. They are deniers.

    Privacy is dead. Privacy is only found in a book. And who reads books these days? Look, what are you doing now? If you want privacy, log off and put your nose in a book and absolutely no one will care.

    What next?

    Soon they will be denying gender is dead.

  8. #8
    No moss growing on me Giggly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morgan Le Fay View Post
    Aren't we already there?
    Not quite. I've heard of employers deciding whether to hire a candidate or not based what they find on their Facebook or other internet sites.

    Wow. You trust your government too much. I forget that Americans don't take this stuff seriously.
    I take it very seriously. I am fairly content with the current level of laissez faire vs. government regulation we have here in America.

  9. #9
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Look, what are you doing now? If you want privacy, log off and put your nose in a book and absolutely no one will care.
    Not so. Did you read all 3 articles? Other people have power over my privacy too (unless I'm going to be a complete hermit).
    And I don't have the luxury of going Unplugged - I need technology to make a living. Most of us are already far too deeply ensnared to extricate ourselves completely. All security is only as strong as the weakest link - now our friends/associates pose a real threat to our security and privacy. I find that thought horrendous. I cannot understand how people can be so blase. What will have to happen to make them wake the fuck up?

    Quote Originally Posted by Giggly View Post
    Not quite.
    I disagree. Everything you do online is being monitored and stored and sold to third parties.
    Don't you differentiate between the information an employer should be privy to and having that same information made available on a commercial basis, without your agreement or knowledge?
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  10. #10
    XES 5231311252's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    I am annoyed by those who deny the death of God, the author and privacy. They are living in a fool's paradise. They are clinging to their neurotic privacy like a drowning man clinging to a straw. They are deniers.

    Privacy is dead. Privacy is only found in a book. And who reads books these days? Look, what are you doing now? If you want privacy, log off and put your nose in a book and absolutely no one will care.
    Finally something I can agree with.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morgan Le Fay View Post
    You think that's an appropriate restriction to your civil liberties?
    I don't want anyone to routinely be able to see ANYTHING I do, irrespective of whether it's morally questionable / embarrassing or not.
    Did I say any of that or did you project that into my post? Most of the things I do, say and think aren't morally questioning/embarrassing, but I still don't want Google or whatever to have it all cached on the damn internet. Sites like Facebook are privately owned companies, and if you don't want your business out there, don't put your business out there.
    “'Fuck', I think. What a beautiful word. If I could say only one thing for the rest of my life, that would be it.”

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