Is online privacy over? Findings from the USC Annenberg Center for the Digital Future

Discussion in 'privacy general' started by Dermot7, Apr 28, 2013.

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  1. Dermot7

    Dermot7 Registered Member

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    http://annenberg.usc.edu/News and Events/News/130422CDF_Millennials.aspx
     
  2. chrisretusn

    chrisretusn Registered Member

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    It's not over, simply because on-line privacy has never existed. Anyone who thinks it has is delusional. :)
     
  3. merisi

    merisi Registered Member

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    I was about to make the exact same comment. I'm beginning to wonder whether the effort I'm putting into my online privacy is worth the effort and the expense. Saying that I know for some people privacy can be a very different concern.
     
  4. DesuMaiden

    DesuMaiden Registered Member

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    Privacy and anonymity are completely different things.

    Anonymity can be achieved online as long as you don't mix your anonymous and non-anonymous identities. For example, I'll never tell anyone what age I'm, what I do for my living, where I live, my nationality, race, and any other personal information. Revealing personal information online compromises my anonymity. Plus it is extremely unsafe since anyone could use this to find me and do harm to me.

    However, revealing very private information, which I wouldn't want my relatives and close friends to know about (i.e. if I am into very gross fetishes), doesn't compromise my anonymity. Only when I reveal personal information in this anonymous mode does my anonymity get compromised.

    Similarly I wouldn't be revealing highly private information in my non-anonymous mode because this could jeopardize my career.

    In summary, the internet is a place where you reveal highly PRIVATE information, which you wouldn't want to reveal in your non-anonymous mode, in an anonymous manner.
     
  5. Techwiz

    Techwiz Registered Member

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    I agree, there are varying degrees of privacy. To suggest that privacy doesn't exist or is dead would be a hasty generalization. I'll concede though that even if you don't share all of your most private/intimate details there is still room for some inference/guess work. So yes, in theory you could make a estimated guess based on the data some folks share online. But even so this doesn't mean people are incapable of keeping secrets, even from folks that have physical access to their homes, offices, etc. I do agree with the article though, that some folks within the millennial generation seem quite open to sharing detail of their lives online. I known people like this and I can tell you a wealth of detail about their lives. Even so, I don't see this information being evidence of game-over for privacy, but social learning theory does explain why they are so open to embracing "what's new" and to sharing it with others. 1984 made it fairly clear that even if the government had cameras and listening devices everywhere, they still wouldn't known every detail of our lives. Not to mention that the internet has introduces an element of disinformation (trolls). Something that didn't exist in the society of the novel. Sure you can start by matching up information with public record. But the most important details of someone's life are usually not public record to begin with. So you can't compared A to B to weed out what is true and what is fake.
     
  6. chrisretusn

    chrisretusn Registered Member

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    Never said they were the same. I standby my statement. There is no privacy on-line, never has been, most likely never will be. Sure you can "hide" behind anonymity but you do have to remain diligent to ensure you do not compromise that anonymity. It's not a sure thing.

    Everything you post on line is vulnerable. If you post anything on-line you cannot expect it to remain private. If you don't want the world to know, do not post it.

    You can gather information about me in this forum. In this very post in fact. It bothers me in the least. It is information I am whiling to share or I would not have provided it. Of course this assumes that the information is in fact truth and not fiction. :)

    Only I know for sure. ;)
     
  7. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Loose lips sink ships ;)
     
  8. Nebulus

    Nebulus Registered Member

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    IMO, online privacy existed in the past, because of two reasons:
    1. The data storage costs were very high at the beginnings of the web (early nineties), so it wasn't exactly a good investment to store data about everyone. This changed though in the last years, because of the sharp decrease in data storage costs.
    2. At first, companies/governments were not very interested about data, because data mining was not so popular at the time.
     
  9. Krysis

    Krysis Registered Member

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    Yet another survey with results that may, or may not, tell us anything of consequence – but which is most often used by others as a 'them and us' scenario! Seems to be the trend these days.

    So - Jeffrey I. Cole, director of the USC Annenberg Center states:
    "Online privacy is dead - Millennials understand that, while older users have not adapted”
    What a nice provocative and sensationalist comment – no doubt intended to arouse emotions and defensive angst.
    In Australia, the media has long since compartmentalised online society into the generation X-ers, Y-ers and Babyboomers. (No prizes for guessing which is the most maligned) Now we have another 'term' for the marketing gurus – 'millennials'!
    Not sure how Cole derived such a definitive statement from this survey – but don't you just love being told what the new reality is?

    My take on this survey using Coles' statement:

    'Online privacy is dead'
    There are different levels of 'privacy' - savvy online users (no matter what age group) can limit what is known about themselves.

    'Millennials understand that'
    Really? perhaps it's just that younger 'millennials' have grown up in the 'share everything' brave new social media world! (or perhaps they are just naive and don't yet comprehend the implications?)

    'older users have not adapted'
    Oh, dear – looks like over 35s are dinosaurs already! OR, is it that experience has taught 'older' users to be more circumspect in sharing their personal details with the rest of the world!
     
  10. PaulyDefran

    PaulyDefran Registered Member

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    I agree on the "Survey" comment. Aside from that, if you decide to be private/anon, the tools exist to be so. I know people that think and practice what we do, that were never served subpoenas in an online hunt. Others, who that survey would consider "normal"...were served.

    Look at it this way: How many hackers in Anon/LULZ etc...? How many have been caught? They are probably the most digitally hunted people on the planet, yet only 20(?) or so have been caught.

    "If you hide it, they won't come" :D

    PD
     
  11. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    The Internet was not designed with privacy (or security) as goals. Trust was assumed. You can have as much privacy as you're willing to create.
     
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