Much ado about privacy on Facebook (I wish Facebook were MORE open!!!)

Facebook Like Buttons

Jeff Jarvis wraps up a couple of weeks of bloggers’ angst about Facebook in a post titled “Confusing *a* public with *the* public.”

Some things.

1. I +love+ the Facebook like button. More on that in a minute.
2. So far only about 50 of my more than 1,300 friends have disappeared from my Facebook friend network. Hardly an indictment by the tech elite (and some of those probably haven’t deleted their accounts, but just removed me as a friend, something that’s pretty common and has been seen every year — keep in mind that’s since last August, so I don’t even think I’ve lost 50 friends in past month).
3. There’s a competitive social network, Pip.io, which answers all of Jeff’s concerns (has much better thought out model of privacy and publics) but so far it hasn’t seen any major adoption.
4. Isn’t this the fifth time Facebook has pissed off pundits? What happened the previous four times it pissed off people? Oh, yeah, it saw huge growth.
5. When I was in Tel Aviv Facebook’s like buttons were so popular people were wearing them as fashion statements and at the biggest tech conference there, Marker.Comvention, they were handing out Facebook like buttons as stickers.

But over the past few weeks I’ve talked with lots of people about Facebook and my attitude toward privacy. It’s clear that Facebook has messed with something and that some of us are having a tough time with that. I think Jeff nailed what it was.

Instead of calling it “publics” I say we wanted to be in control of our story. I said that Facebook had brought us an inch closer to the end of privacy.

The thing is, my wife says she doesn’t care. My wife is closer to a normal user than I ever will be. I haven’t cared about privacy for years. If I don’t want you to read something I don’t put it on a computer. Period.

Remember, I worked at Microsoft. What happened in 2000? The DOJ took all of Microsoft employees’ supposedly private emails and put them into public. So I knew back then that anything I put on a computer could end up on the front page of the New York Times.

This is why I took a very transparent attitude for the past decade toward my life. I have always set my Facebook to the most public setting possible.

Whoa?!? Here’s the deal: I wish Facebook had NO PRIVACY AT ALL!

That’s called the open web. I wish Google could index every word I write on Facebook. Hint, it can’t.

The thing I hate about Facebook is that people who want to see my profile can’t. Even now only 5,000 of you can look at my Facebook profile. That’s lame.

I want to live my life in public. Why? Because that way none of you can exploit me more than any other.

Right now 1,300 people have access to my Facebook profile. That sucks.

I wish you all had access to my profile.

Yes, I know some of you have delusions of creating the equivalent of an exclusive dinner party, or, even, something bigger like a TED conference in your Facebook page.

I’m just so bored with all that talk. Just what are you doing that needs to be so damned private? Are you having sex inside Facebook? Doing illegal drugs? Cheating on your wife? Damn, your Facebook life must be SO interesting!

Me, count me out of this whole privacy thing. I want everything I do to be public and then I don’t have to spill thousands of words crying when Mark Zuckerberg takes my stuff and exposes it in a search engine.

Now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about why I love Facebook’s new features so much.

1. I’m finding new restaurants, thanks to Yelp‘s use of Facebook’s likes.
2. I’m finding new hockey players to follow thanks to NHL‘s use of Facebook’s likes.
3. I’m finding new questions and answers thanks to Answer.com‘s use of Facebook’s likes. (That’s the #18th biggest site on the web, and they just turned on likes).
4. I’m finding new music over on Pandora thanks to its sharing of my Facebook’s friend’s music listening behaviors.

So, cry me a river. Your “publics” have been destroyed. Your privacy is gone.

Come join us in the open web Facebook! Get rid of all the walls, including the stupid limits of 5,000 friends and the stupid kicking people off of the service (which continues to this day).

I applaud that Zuckerberg is trying to be less like AOL and more like the open web.

Now excuse me, I’m off to click “like” on some more things and, even, have added a new bar from Wibiya where you can see other people who have clicked like on my blog. Oh, yet another cool feature thanks to Zuckerberg’s throwing our publics under the bus.

Thank you Mark!

About Robert Scoble

As Startup Liaison for Rackspace, the Open Cloud Computing Company, I travel the world with Rocky Barbanica looking for what's happening on the bleeding edge of technology and report that here.

167 thoughts on “Much ado about privacy on Facebook (I wish Facebook were MORE open!!!)

  1. But privacy isn't simply autocratic. There's a share element to privacy.

    If you have an ex-wife anywhere who starts revealing lots of things that you regard as private, that still impinges on your privacy. But she doesn't need to go on a smear campaign or de-privating-Scoble campaign.

    If she shares private details on Facebook, thinking that only her best friends will see what she writes and posts from your joint past, having everything being completely indexible and Like-able is going to be a nightmare.

    Having everything that everyone ever emails or texts to a friend easily and widely available isn't the same thing as having your work email opened up during a court case.

  2. People are fired for sexual orientation every day. And yes, it's discrimination.

    And maybe Ireland is Catholic and repressed, but there are laws on the books prohibiting this discrimination:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_the

    In other nations, people can be sentenced to prison or death.

    AlexShleber's point about legitimate privacy issues is a good one: there are reasons many people want to choose the time and place and person to share information with.

    Even movie and TV stars when doing the talk show circuit, many who live lives much more public than dear Scoble will still arrange for their publicists to run interference with the show's handlers and bookers so that certain topics are not broached. (Case in point: all the 40+ actresses with newborns who are never asked whether they went to a donor for eggs.)

    The average person who was badgered into joining Facebook by their friends or family doesn't have the same sort of protection that a good publicist can give — or the same sort of protection constantly generating SEO friendly material can give, like Scoble has.

  3. I deactivated my account on Facebook yesterday. I found what I believe is a serious bug that amounts to a serious breach of privacy. I found out that one of my FB friends can see any post I make a comment to on a friend's wall even if he is not friends with them. The entire post shows up in his newsfeed. I checked all my settings 10 times. This is not the Recent Activity bit which tells him I commented on someone's status. Its the actual post which he should not be able to see at all if he is not friends with someone! IT IS A SERIOUS BUG / PRIVACY BREACH!!!! He says this has been going on for over a year or two.

    I also found out that this is happening to another person I am friends with and he is getting the same kinds of things showing up in his newsfeed from people he is not friends with, friends of friends.

    Now I don't know which of my friends has this problem in their newsfeed and which don't. I cant comment on any of my friends status updates anymore for fear that what I say is going to show up in his or someone else's newsfeed who shouldnt see it. Hence the deactivation. Some of us still care about privacy!!!

  4. Wow. This is wrong on so many levels, I almost don't know where to begin. Here's the short list, in no particular order:

    1. Confusing Facebook's stance on privacy with any reasonable notion of the “Open Web” is just dumb. I think this dead horse has been sufficiently bludgeoned in the comments above, but the fact that you continue to defend your position doesn't speak highly of your understanding of the complicated issues involved here. Facebook isn't eviscerating privacy for the sake of openness – they're doing it to facilitate corporate access to users. Anyone who suggests otherwise is just plain wrong – and astoundingly naive.

    2. You want to be totally exposed on the Web. Well, good for you. Then again, do you really think you're similarly situated to the vast majority of Facebook users? Again, this has already been said, but it deserves repeating. Just last week, I talked to a co-worker about her concerns that an ex-boyfriend was using Facebook to stalk her, and it was having a very chilling effect on her activity on the site. Do you honestly mean to just dismiss these kinds of concerns? Yes, hackers could expose her activity on this and other sites, and all online activity carries a certain amount of risk. But we're talking about a platform deliberately facilitating involuntary exposure. No difference in your mind? Really?

    3. Opt-in as a default vs. opt-out. If this were a debate, you'd be getting crushed, Scoble. Solves for your desire for total openness without sacrificing my desire for privacy. It is utterly indefensible for Facebook to put the onus on users to navigate their arcane privacy settings and keep up with their frequent policy changes just to maintain the level of personal security they enjoyed when they joined.

    4. Trust matters. In 2006, I was hired to consult on the social architecture of a new social platform. I was asked how to create a “new MySpace,” and my short answer was, why would you want to do that? From a social perspective, MySpace sucked. It was impossible to find RL friends, or even like-minded individuals, or to make relevant, meaningful connections. Instead,I suggested modeling Facebook's trusted social architecture. When Facebook opened up to the public, my various peer networks quickly migrated to the site – everyone from high school classmates (we'd graduated 20 years prior, FYI), former students, and collegiate debate colleagues – and the one thing I heard from all of them was that they finally had a place to (re)connect and communicate with REAL friends & family online. I'll stand by my initial assessment – TRUST is the primary reason behind Facebook's phenomenal growth, especially with non-traditional user segments (like my over-40 cohort). Take that away and Facebook will be in serious trouble.

    5. Just because Pip.io isn't a viable alternative (it sucks, for lots of reasons), don't think another one can't or won't pop up. Remember 2006? Pete Cashmore asserted that MySpace's dominance was unassailable because the network had attained “critical mass”. Of course, now we know that's a laughable statement. Facebook would do well to remember the lessons of the recent past. We can and will leave for greener pastures, and there's nothing Facebook has built that can't be relatively easily replicated – other than traffic, and that will take care of itself if they keep up these kinds of shenanigans.

  5. No, it wasn't Denny's, but I won't say which company it was, since my daughter loves her job and plans on sticking with the company long enough to rise up to a managerial position and take advantage of educational benefits, along the way.

  6. On this site (Insurance Information Insitiute) they list Washington DC as #1, followed by NJ, then Louisana. But since I don't consider DC a state (it's a city), that would make NJ #1 in my book, with Louisana at #2.

    http://www.iii.org/media/facts/statsbyissue/auto/

    Think about it. It makes perfect sense. NJ is the most highly populated state, per square mile. We are packed in here like sardines. So it would make sense that we also have quite a high number of cars per square mile, too. And the more cars on the road, the more accidents you are gong to have, and the higher it will cost to insure your car. We also have Newark, a hot bed for stolen cars, which contributes to the problem.

  7. Good, if you want FB to be more open, set all your privacy settings to “public.” That's your choice. But having the company set them that way for you after having sold itself a private network for years is a bait-and-switch for most users.

    And people DO care about privacy, they're just uninformed. For example, a post I wrote on the subject (educating users on how to adjust their settings to achieve more privacy) sat on the New York Times most-emailed list for months on end…and not just the tech articles list…the comprehensive list. It would probably still be there, too, except that it appears NYT no longer tracks stats for external sources.

    A follow-up post on the same subject sat on the most-emailed list for weeks. My own personal network of friends and family have shared these and other tips I posted about privacy with their networks of friends and the comments have been ubiquitously in favor of privacy.

    I agree with the commenter above that it should be about choice. Not everyone wants their kids' pictures and personal conversations public. That's their choice. Default settings should not be public. And FB should not be prompting you to accept recommendations and links that, by default, are public.

    The company knows that most don't understand these things and they're betting big on that fact in an ambitious takeover of the web itself. It's actually pretty amazing…and gutsy. But they will achieve this success by duping unsuspecting users & publicizing things people thought were private. It is very, very wrong.

  8. I don't think most people would have a problem if Facebook were open to start off with. They would've stayed away or they would've used the services appropriately, just like they use Twitter, with the knowledge that everything they post is public.

    All you need to do is to take a look at how Facebook/Zuckerberg has changed – conveniently to fit their business goals I might add – their privacy policy since 2005. http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2010/04/facebook-t… It is scary how diametrically opposite the current policy is from the one in 2005.

    Robert, I will challenge you to be honest and tell us that you wouldn't have a problem if your bank did that to you.

  9. Robert, it's good to be you, deciding to live in public. However, for the more discerning, the issue isn't always about having stuff to hide. I interact w/a number of communities of friends, some from family, highschool, college, kiteboarders, snowboarders, geeks and biz friends. In some cases there's overlap, but not overwhelmingly (at least not at this stage). The issue of control over how to distribute information is not about keeping secrets, but rather about keeping relevance. When I'm sending out updates about wind conditions, this does not need to go out to my entire list of friends, just kiteboarders. Too many irrelevant comments can result in many turning down the “din” on my postings. Having said that, for different groups I post very relevant information and know in advance who would care versus who wouldn't. Why shouldn't I be able to control this distribution? On Twitter I do this via two personas, which isn't ideal.

    As well, this don't “post anything you would want your mom or boss or {add your favorite heartfelt group here}” attitude is a cop out. Context is a very sensitive thing that keeps getting overlooked by you (it appears), Paul Bucheit and Mark Z (you're in fine company here :). The most innocent item under the wrong context can be heavily misinterpreted and that's just a fact of life. How I speak to one set of friends may be different than to another set. This isn't to say I'm keeping secrets, just that we have a shared past that enables us to communicate differently. In the physical world, the way this is dealt with is by selecting who I tell a story too and how I tell it, and knowing that there's a low likelihood that (a) they will talk to a friend from a different part of my life and (b) that they will communicate the thoughts and ideas in the same way as I relayed them. These are necessary filters that are poorly implemented online, and with the promise that Facebook made about catering to “you and your friends in the physical world”, they implied that they'd keep working on improving this. Now they've gone rogue, so to speak, and are doing the exact opposite by trashing and complicating these filters.

    Here's a simple thing they could have chosen to do (though it may not have supported their open distribution model from a financial gain perspective). Why not allow one to use the “friends groups” as an option when sending out a post? A rather mundane level of control that would have done so much for users and relieved many from feeling violated. An actual feature that would support better communications through more control and more welcomed messages from friends.

    Suffice to say, you don't want any privacy (aka. control over distribution of your words) in a system that offers it and claims to stand by it's model, but it's an entirely other thing to tell people who don't want to have their info exposed that the service has privacy controls and then systematically start reducing and removing these. Paul Bucheit's recent comments upset me too because neither of you consider that the need for celebrity is yours and not necessarily the rest of the 400M people out there. Note, your wife lives w/you and is exposed to how you have chosen to live publicly so I wouldn't put here in the group of the unwashed masses. For everyone you can point to who doesn't care about these privacy issues, I can point to several who do care and some of which are newbies. If anything, this latest noise will help keep those who have stayed away, away. I have lots of friends who have chosen not to be on Facebook and where I used to try and convince them otherwise and of the benefits of connections, now I'm being more supportive of their decision and recommending they stay off.

  10. i thought i read recently that Louisiana has the highest auto insurance in the US?
    Who Dat!

  11. the employees made “good”/positive videos of the business, and the business fired them for it? so, some businesses don't understand social media/the 'net, and they have retarded policies regarding it.
    (It wasn't Denny's was it, they are douchebags when it comes to their social media policies).

  12. Facebook is like shark bait. For those that like catching sharks, it's probably fine… but I don't want to be part of the bait.

  13. my 2 cents about it: FB is so unlikeable ohh,so hate-able even Evil…..it's HOT alright and people in Israel ar wearing Like buttons? ohh well , big deal…..regardless of all the FB users the fact remains the same:SHALLOW,STUPID ,STINKS & SUCKS BIG time!

  14. Yes agree……..Lot of concern already on FB privacy and i see daily posts about this on blogs…..i will also like privacy as main concern but at same time admit that vast FB user do not care about this

  15. Just because you as an internet celebrity see Facebook as “something that is much more public” than being for real friends doesn't mean most other people want it to be like that. I personally know every person who I am Facebook friends with and they are the people I want to communicate with in that venue. Want the open web? Use scobleizer.com. Facebook are already playing far too loose with privacy—please don't encourage them any further.

    If Facebook went open I would leave immediately.

  16. Agree with Robert here for the most part (the open vs. closed self indulgent debate is kinda funny – “Me, I'm right, me!”). ;-) No one is a Social Media expert, but i value other's opinions small or large. Privacy, get over it already folks.

    On a side note, I think the Zynga / Facebook war is far more interesting…

  17. I think they still need to have a degree of privacy and Facebook. is important not to violate their privacy all. friends can have access but the rest of the world? Why do I know everything.

  18. Whoa, the arrogance to believe that Robert Scoble knows what's best for everyone.

    “I’m just so bored with all that talk. Just what are you doing that needs to be so damned private? Are you having sex inside Facebook? Doing illegal drugs? Cheating on your wife? Damn, your Facebook life must be SO interesting!”

    Well, that's none of your god damned business. Get the point? Just because the high and mighty Scoble wants everything to be public, doesn't mean everyone else does.

    “Me, count me out of this whole privacy thing. I want everything I do to be public and then I don’t have to spill thousands of words crying when Mark Zuckerberg takes my stuff and exposes it in a search engine.”

    Ok, What would you do if Google decided to change its privacy settings so your emails are open to the public? If your life is SO NOT interesting, you wouldn't mind would you?

    This might come as a complete surprise to you, but there are people on Facebook, who only signed up because they believed that their stuff was private enough. Now techies like you and I might take that with a pinch of salt, but the rest of the world may not. Like someone else here said, stop sucking up to the establishment, and put yourself in other people's shoes. It's called empathy, you should try it sometime.

  19. “And I would go further. I would NEVER post something online that I don’t want my boss or wife to see”

    The thing is, FB knows the vast majority of people don’t use this same level of discretion. They specifically designed their service for people to post personal information, most of which people probably wouldn’t want being accessible to everyone. Whether they’re posting messages to their family, angry rants about their workplace, or drunken party pictures, there’s always some things that people expect limited access to.

    If everybody suddenly used Facebook to only post things they wanted public it would probably just turn into a place where everyone does nothing but play farmville.

  20. Whoa?!? Here’s the deal: I wish Facebook had NO PRIVACY AT ALL!

    Your opinion is valid but what if I don't want it to be public? What if I want a place to say things to my friends and family that competitors, employees, clients and recruiters can see?

    I respect your wishes but on this topic, you don't necessarily respect mine – put yourself in others' shoes and maybe you won't have such a hard opinion.

    Facebook is not pulling a “180″ but they are pulling a “90″ and most people that I've conversed with on the topic don't like it…

  21. Sorry, I disagree. Just ask the high school students who are trying to get a job after their friends posted those pictures from the party…..

    1. Here again, we must all learn to take responsibility some time. If you don’t want your friends taking pictures of you being drunk & stupid… don’t get drunk!!!

      We need to teach responsibility and take responsibility for our own actions & quite blaming others!!

  22. Facebook remains as a good bulwark against Google, the data-scraping ad agency.

    Facebook didn't grow because private scandals happened 4 times; most people didn't understand them or didn't hear about them, it grew because it was more private than email, which has become overrun with spam if you use the free Yahoo type accounts, and in control of your employer and not private if you use your work email.

    People came to Facebook to get better and more private email, essentially, with pictures and news. Your use of it obviously isn't typical.

    When geeks demand FB to become more open, they merely mean that they want their class of API makers to get access to a platform for their benefit. This isn't necessarily to the benefit of the rest of us normal users.

  23. My wife is pretty “normal,” Robert. She used Facebook as a way to share some things with friends and family that she didn't want on the open web. More and more, she's backing away from that, because she doesn't trust Facebook.

    I totally get the idea that if you put things out in digital form, they may end up on the web, in public. But we do have things we put out into the internet that we reasonably assume will be private. Email is probably the classic example. If you're so into being public, that you want to live your life in public, that hey, what's anyone got to “hide,” please start publishing all your email for all of use to read.

    I don't see Mark and gang suggesting that we want our email to be part of this great push toward abandoning privacy. Yes, people are more comfortable it seems to be sharing some things. That doesn't mean they want to share everything with everyone.

    Facebook's great genius was that it wrapped up Flickr and YouTube and Twitter and more social all in one package. That made it easy for sharing. Facebook's great mistake now is that it wants to force people to make everything public when some people still want to retain a sense of control on what's being shared.

    That's even more the case when we get into issues of web sites magically knowing who we are and reporting back to the Facebook mothership, that seems to unilaterally declare things that were private were now public.

  24. problem Robert is that you're very far from a classic Facebook user. Ask my 14 years old son and you will see, the LAST thing he wants is anything public on his Facebook data.

  25. I'm pretty annoyed with Facebook myself, but am thinking more about privacy as a cultural value. In some countries, people equate privacy with loneliness. I have friends in Vietnam who pour their hearts out on Facebook and are happy to friend strangers. Of 400 million users on Facebook worldwide, how many actually care about privacy in real life, let alone on Facebook?

  26. Yes, I get it. Post nothing online (including email, credit card purchases, bill payments) that you wouldn't be willing to see on a public billboard. Same goes for phone calls, and other mechanized communication, right? Privacy: two people, communicating face to face in a remote location. Otherwise, as the Zuckster said, privacy is dead.

    Horsehockey.

  27. app's point, bob, is that the promise of scope of privacy has been broken over and over. The audience to whom ones stored FB information is revealed, has grown by dramatically since 2005. Much to your pleasure, I'm sure: but please, allow for the possibility that there may be those who wish to share *some* personal information without taking their clothes off as you do.

    It isn't just “hackers” having access to data marked for “friend” access, but now, unspecified monetizing apps.

    1. LOL… Then don’t take your *clothes* off in public.

      We can’t expect a free service to ask for everyone’s permission every time it changes it’s business policies.

      If you don’t like it leave & go PAY for a private service.

  28. Hey Scoble, I'm totally in agreement mostly because I believe everything should open up for the betterment of humanity, I mean sure there's always going to be low-life's who extort people through networks like this, but they could easily do the same thing by going through someone's trash, and can find personal information in phone books, and google searches… I doubt I have much privacy left, having 26k search results for my name – so I'm to the point where I don't much care anymore, I can see where a lot of people value their privacy more than us though, there are those that seek after attention and don't care about privacy, and those that love their privacy and don't want people to have any access unless granted.

    One more thing – thanks a bunch for the Pip.io link – it looks pretty awesome, though it needs a lot more people to join. I like ho you can start little mini chatrooms and groups.

  29. I think most have missed an important point. Facebook is *selling* privacy. They are opening more of users' information up so that they can turn around and sell that information to advertisers, who can now target their advertisements better because they have unlimited access to our profiles, and can hold the information forever. They don't care about an open and free web, they care about using our information to increase their revenues.

    Also, your car analogy is illogical. Surfing the web is generally safe for one's privacy, while driving a car is taking a known physical risk each time you get on the road. If I don't know there is a risk for anyone tracking my personal information on Facebook (as most users don't), that's not the same as checking an “I accept” box each time I log into my account. In fact, I never checked the “I accept” box, Facebook checked it for me.

  30. I have to say I like the idea of opting in instead of out. Just make it easy to opt in.
    As fare as being indexable by Google or other search engines. It would be nice if Facebook had “Share with World” check boxes all over any content you put up. Then you can expose what you want to the outside world.

    And Robert, I'm a geek… but the only people I have as friends on FB are real friends, family members, and a neighbor or two. That is what it is really good at. If I want to post out to everyone I use some other tool.

  31. While I'm out of Facebook now (public's cool, but choice, transparency, trust, and consistency are better), it's how they implemented the new menus that finally got me to cut the chord.

    Totally agree that physical safety for drivers is a more immediate threat, but you we're talking privacy right?

  32. Actually, she doesn't want to drive, it's not green enough for her yet. And she is fully aware of how dangerous it is, being that she has a dad that's a bad driver and a mother that's too chicken to be on the same road with him and all the other crazies. (I practically have an anxiety attack trying to cross the street)

    We live in a state that has the highest car insurance rates in the country, and it's that way for a reason. Insurance here isn't for if you get in an accident, it's for when. (I am pretty sure you've been to NJ before and know just how it is here)

    Someone is going to come along and make a nice online service that will give everyone the privacy that facebook originally did, by default, and come up with a way to import everything from facebook. They will make a commitment to maintaining that privacy and make that the focus of their startup. When they do, a lot of people may give facebook a second thought, especially as their friends start signing up for the new service. What facebook will be left with is a bunch of casual gamers that post nothing but mafia wars crap and people like you that don't care what the whole world knows about them.

    1. ROTFLMAO… And I thought I was an idealist!!! Get real there is no money in it. How many of Facebook users do you think would PAY for such a service. Hahahahahahahaha Funny lady.

      Thanks for the laugh…

  33. I completely agree. The more open the better. if you don't want something on the Net don't put it there. And I find it bizarre that some are appalled that FB friends might know what you listen to on Pandora. Like, why is that even an issue?

    Like Scott McNealy said, “You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it.”

  34. That's very true. However, the fact remains that the companies who say privacy is dead will be the same companies 3-5 years from now who are saying – what happened?

  35. It's rare that big companies stay big for long. How many companies that existed 100 years ago are still here? How many do we see as innovative and on the bleeding edge? Even Microsoft is starting to wane its influence.

  36. Of course it's a walled garden. Good analogy. I want it to be more open. I want there to be many Facebooks too. But then there's only one Scobleizer, so can't be too hypocritical here. That said, Google can index what I write here. But Google can't index what I put into Facebook.

  37. Oh, I care about privacy in real life. I don't want you to watch me having sex, for instance. But you'll notice I've never put that online ANYWHERE. If I had, I'd expect that eventually to leak (as have several sex recordings of people in the past). My advice? If you don't want other people to see what you are up to, don't put it online. That way you're always pretty safe.

  38. Interesting, thought-provoking post. Thing is, I see these statements as contradictory:

    1. “I haven’t cared about privacy for years.”
    2. “If I don’t want you to read something I don’t put it on a computer.”

    Although perhaps you use “privacy” purely in the online context, in which case it's not a very interesting argument. I would love to know how many people don't care at all about privacy. There's no reason to believe that hoping/wanting/expecting privacy is anything other than a normal human trait. Wanting privacy shouldn't be interpreted as some admission of guilt.

    If parents are able and willing to supervise their children online, many a faux pas can be avoided. But many kids effectively grow up on their own in a highly connected and intimidating world and we need to educate better. What your argument says to me is that, with the doors thrown open, adults and kids alike might get a better idea of exactly what the consequences are of exposing their every thought and movement to the global archive. If they're not careful, it will bite back. Privacy in the hands of the beholder.

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