Course blog for the second-year undergraduate module 'Hacking the Book' at the University of Birmingham.
Tuesday, 1 November 2011
Privacy is Dead
"People have really gotten comfortable not only sharing more information and different kinds, but more openly and with more people," he said. "That social norm is just something that has evolved over time." (2010 Zuckerberg)
In the UK, under the Human Rights act, ever citizen in the UK, has enshrined in law a right to a private life, however has the idea of privacy changed the the advent of mass social networks sites like twitter and Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg declared that the socially accepted view of privacy is dead, and the younger generation have different view of privacy than the older generation. Some have put this down to the fact that unlike adults, younger people have less control over other aspects of their lives and the internet is a place where they feel that they have control over the content that they give out. I would go with this argument however there are dubious grey ares surrounding privacy, when it comes to advertising. Social network users might have control of what they place on a Facebook page for example, but then they do not have any control over what then is done with that information. Social networks sell the information to companied which then can use the information, to create targeted market strategies for individual users, even a small piece of information like gender, or relationship status can heavily change the way you are targeted. For example, I single on my Facebook and on the advert bar, there is adverts for dating websites, which changed to other websites, if I changed that status to being in a relationship/married. To a certain extent we have to put up with this because we accept that we live in a consumerist/capitalist society, however it is taken to far then you could end up with something out of a science fiction film such as Minority Report, like the clip below. As a society we have to be careful about such ends and this probably requires some kind of global regulation to make sure that social networks have to work in a ethical way to protect peoples privacy, or people will leave the website in their masses I suspect.