Privacy is NOT about remaining secret. Privacy in todays digital world is about managing and maintaining control over information about yourself that others may use to hurt you.
As the technologies and methods of spreading information spread through the population, what options are going to remain in our society of increasing transparency?
Do we hinder the growth? That’s impossible. Do we push for equal vulnerability? That’s improbable – there will always be those with greater capability. Do we push for social change which reduces threats from the disclosure of personal information? If that were possible we wouldn’t be asking these questions.
Privacy online is very much an illusion today and the most common way of dealing with is seems to be denial. You could always live a life so utterly boring it’s not worth tracking. You could make yourself naked to the world. You could live fearlessly and not worry about reputation.
Most people don’t make these choices – only realize the choice was made for them by someone else.
And it comes back to the beginning. Privacy is about control.
What’s to come of the future? People will need not to worry about private investigators or government spooks, but of those in the security of their homes who have it in for you.
To whom will you go to when your reputation is messed with, when your secrets exposed – your actions recorded and published? Sadly, the truth, however damaging or dirty it may be to someone, is absolute defense to any claim of defamation for the publisher.
The playing field will not be level and we’ll find ourselves in a “reputation economy” where the rewards go to those that understand the rules of the game.