Privacy in a glass house

We must give up privacy in order to participate in social networks.

Privacy in the sense that we know it now needs an overhaul. I’m referring to the information we place on a social media platforms with the expectation that it should be private for all time. Privacy, the ability to keep information about ourselves from the public is an art, not a science or a law. When we engage within society, people need to know about us. Its a pretty straight forward concept.

We transmit information in one form or another, by talking, socializing, interests, smiling, etc, and social media has simply provided us a repository to transmit (or rather dump) all of that information into. Instead of a 1:1 model, social media gives each and every single man, woman, and child the ability to transmit and broadcast to everyone at the same time.

Through sharing, liking, poking, commenting, and whatever else we do on social media, we are signaling what we feel, what we like, and what we are; we are consensually given up our privacy. The topic of privacy within the sphere of social networks is a non sequitur, better put, we must give up privacy in order to participate in social networks.

Monitoring and surveillance is now much a part of life

Monitoring and surveillance is now much a part of life as an mp3 is to music and it is a part of our lives that will stay with us and grow with us. Though we needn’t worry, what’s the big deal with privacy anyway? The sort of privacy that we’re demanding on a site like Facebook is not that important enough to be a secret, really, think about it. And if you really had a secret for world domination, it would be dumb to put in on the internet. (The purpose of that link is to show how porous the internet is)

The sort of privacy that we’re demanding on a site like Facebook is not that important enough to be a secret, really, think about it

Our level of participation in the social space determines our privacy

Our access to privacy is determined by our level of participation in the social space, which requires simply that we are present. The fact that we are on Facebook in effect abolishes our right to a certain degree of privacy regarding anything we disclose on the social network. While there may be laws and legislation to curb what Facebook or other social media sites can do with our information, its not so much about what Facebook, the entity, can do with our information it’s more about who has access to that information, and how they can get access to it. No amount of checkboxes and settings can circumvent the flow of information, and more to that, no amount of settings can stop an interested party from getting whatever you disclose on the internet.

In the end, existing online means sacrificing your privacy, a glass house does not easily permit secrets, nor can it.


Originally published at sambuno.com on December 31, 2012.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.