You can’t have your privacy and eat it
Amid the furore over the bungled EU Cookie law there seems a real hysteria over ‘Online Privacy,’ with some effectively suggesting the term constitutes an oxymoron (a bit like ‘English summer’).
Take a few minutes to watch this TED video featuring Gary Kovacs, CEO of Mozilla.
Ostensibly, Kovacs’ points are alarming. But before we get all outraged about it, isn’t this what the Web was meant to be all about? Wasn’t it all about providing content relevant to the individual rather than generically to the entire online population? Without some form of identification associated to the individual, how is any Web mechanic supposed to provide relevance? You can’t have your online privacy cake and eat it.
I think the problem here is actually one of definition. Privacy is black-and-white. A lack of privacy implies an invasion, therefore a Bad Thing. However, if instead we talk about (and provide) transparency, then things change fundamentally.
If the language around this emotive issue was based upon providing transparency as opposed to removing privacy, then I believe attitudes would change entirely.