Zuckerburg was right, “privacy was no longer a ‘social norm’,” being public is the new social norm, though most people will still tend to reject reality, even myself. I’ve finally gotten over about 90% of privacy issues, I might get upset by/at them, but even if there is something exposed, I’m preparing for it now. Anyone under the age of 21, within the US, who has ever used the internet has already lost their identity, so why should they worry, about what any company is exposing about them? It’s time to get over these feelings and accept the change that is coming, a ton of privacy isn’t worth an ounce of knowledgeable protection.
Our most personal data in the US, social security numbers, is insecure, especially if you were born after 1988. The numbers can be defined through 2 data points, date & location of birth, and a little brute forcing. So for the younger generation, nothing is private, not even our government provided personal identification. If we aren’t protected in that regard, should we really be worried about those images from last weekend or who our friends are, what our opinions are? I think Eric Schmidt said it best, in an interview where he discussed privacy, “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.”
I know I jumped on Facebook, but they aren’t the only sites that have huge inventories of data on their users, in hopes of adding relevancy, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, et al. Facebook is the simplest site to jump on because of it’s repeated transgressions in the area. Google has faced it as well, though, when it didn’t take enough discretion in opening up their Gmail users privacy through Buzz. As the web keeps advancing, privacy options are going to be set to off on default, it will be up to the users to change the settings to keep themselves private, this has been called ‘publicy’.
Are you prepared for the next generation, the age of publicy? Are you ready to get dirty mucking around with settings to protect what little privacy, you will have in the future? Will you let everything go, and change how you interact on the web? These are questions that we will all face, but I think I’m prepared to be completely open in my environment when it comes to social matters, they aren’t anything compared to my financial information or my social security number, which can apparently be brute forced by a bot-net of 10,000 machines in ~1.27 seconds.
Update: Tyler Romeo’s latest post, Why I Dislike Facebook & Foursquare, makes a great point in contrast to the opinions I made here, I agree with quite a bit of what he has to say as far as respecting your users and offering secure protocols, to help protect your users. Take your time and go check that post out.