Another dot in the blogosphere?

Is your privacy a choice?

Posted on: May 14, 2014

Video source

If you already know about Heartbleed and have taken what action you can (like installing this extension in Chrome), then you might click here to skip the first 1.5min of this video.

The content of the video on privacy choice is not as long as it appears. For almost half of it, the host, Mike Rugnetta, responds to comments to a previous video. He also probably asks more questions than he provides answers about privacy.

Large corporations and a segment of the public might make the point that we choose to have our data online. Some of the data is what we want to share (public photos and videos) and some of it is private (email and bank account information). If the latter data is compromised, the corporations can say we chose to be part of their system.

However, I think the host tries to make the point that we have little choice. Essentially we are choosing to be part of a modern society or not. Each will come with its demands, compromises, and unintended consequences.

I think that what is private is subjective. It varies with changing expectations and the affordances of technologies. Personal photographs were private to physical albums. Then they could be shared via carousel slide shows. Then they were sharable with the whole world with Flickr and Instagram.

There still are things like bank account information that we would like to keep private. But I do not know of any modern bank that is not online. There are even banks that are only online. Nothing is absolutely private online even though banks will do their level best against hackers doing their level best.

We take calculated risks, we compromise, and we put our trust in many things we do not fully understand (e.g., powered flight, filtered water, online privacy). We evolve with our technology. In terms of privacy, what was sacred yesterday might be less so tomorrow.

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