Online Privacy & Information Awareness

Recently, we came across a brilliant blog post from the folks over at Radian6 concerning online privacy, information sharing and the “opt-in/opt-out” debate. You can read the excellent article here written by Lindsay Bell of Radian6. Her article touches upon a number of aspects in the online privacy debate, essentially building on one simple quote:

“Publication is a self-invasion of privacy.” -Marshall McLuhan

As such, our own Josh Mackey was able to comment on Lindsay’s post, and we have reposted his comment here:

“This is a logical and practical post on online privacy in the age of self publication and social media, well done Radian6. For me personally, publicly “liking, tweeting, posting, publishing” and even joining networks is the “opt-in”. When online you should act as you would on live TV i.e watch what you say cause it’s recording. The quote “Once a word has been allowed to escape, it cannot be recalled” ~Horace has as a whole new meaning and is more true than ever!

Saying that, I believe everyone has a level of comfort and that level should be respected. But, as is mentioned in the post, personal control, knowledge and most importantly a individuals choice to PARTICIPATE is the key here. Facebook could help themselves by implementing small changes that I believe would not affect their revenue. For example, the same rules that apply to search engines should also apply to Facebook apps and Facebook connect. This would mean that if a user wants to use an app or connect to a site with Facebook, their own privacy setting (friends only, friends of friends, everyone) dictates the level of personal data that gets transferred to the 3rd party rather than than the current “all or nothing” approach.

At the end of the day Facebook (who pays operational expenses for the site) has the right to set their privacy policy and users have the right to participate or not. If you choose to participate on these sites then there is a trade off. Consequently, make sure the trade off does not include your actual DOB, SNN, phone number or street number.

Again great post R6, good to see some logic in this debate.”

So…what do you think?