Privacy is not dead, get over it

As typical, when danah boyd (it is she who uses the lower case) writes, it’s worth reading. In this post, she explains why it may be in Facebook’s interest to wish that “privacy is dead,” but why Facebook’s interests are at odds with our interests. Having a public discourse, a public conversation, a public glance into that which we don’t mind making public, is one thing. That’s not the same as making our entire lives public.

Says danah:

“Privacy isn’t a technological binary that you turn off and on. Privacy is about having control of a situation. It’s about controlling what information flows where and adjusting measures of trust when things flow in unexpected ways. It’s about creating certainty so that we can act appropriately. People still care about privacy because they care about control. Sure, many teens repeatedly tell me “public by default, private when necessary” but this doesn’t suggest that privacy is declining; it suggests that publicity has value and, more importantly, that folks are very conscious about when something is private and want it to remain so. When the default is private, you have to think about making something public. When the default is public, you become very aware of privacy. And thus, I would suspect, people are more conscious of privacy now than ever. Because not everyone wants to share everything to everyone else all the time.

As for me, I’m far more conscious of issues related to my personal privacy today than I ever was before people started claiming privacy is dead.