Do we really care about our privacy?

Maybe it is time to re-consider the discussion about privacy. I completely agree that it is bad to have people, such as the government, spying at people. The funny things is how many person that willingly share what can be considered as their privacy. I know myself that I am very generous with my private information. Phone numbers, email, picture and other stuff is all available on the net. And with search engines such as Google even more can be found, such as different memberships.

Web-services that really fuel this are such as Twitter. I just found out about Twitter, but what it does is telling your friends and everyone else what you are doing right now. Either by your computer, IM or phone. Isn’t that intruding ones privacy or not?

AOL released today a new plug-in that allows your friends to see where you are. A little big-brother thing as well.

There have been discussions before about communities and the sharing of information. A lot of people share pictures and comments that maybe not are so suitable, either now or at later stages in life, for example when their new employer do an online search.

It would be interesting to find a search engine that specialises in mapping people online. I guess that most information are somewhat secure in communities but it can not be that hard to get access for a search engine through an account or some special deal. Maybe a business idea, to find juicy stuff about people on the net? My guess is that it already exist in some way.

Today there was also an article about how the U.S. Customs got a search warrant on YouTube an Hotmail. Doesn’t this mean that all your digital information can be accessed? This is probably something most people don’t think about, and the fact that everything can be traced back to the computer it came from. We had some cases in Sweden during the last election. Some party members sent email they thought were anonymous but they managed to trace it back to the account and computer from which it was sent.

Maybe is the privacy discussion still in its cradle, but I am sure it will increase even more now with what everyone call web 2.0 services that enables more data to be stored and accessed online. Examples of this is email that before usually were downloaded to a client, but today with services such as Gmail and Yahoo, that offers great interface and user experience, people such as myself migrates from clients to webservices.

Of course can all this about privacy also be a generation thing. Many of those who share their privacy online are innovators and early adoptors, and also within a certain age range. Maybe will future generations accept gps-chips and other accessories that today are classified as privacy intruding, as long as the provide some value as security, communication and socialising. Future will tell.

~ by Andreas Sigurdsson on March 20, 2007.

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