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Todd Finley

"The Future of Privacy: How Privacy Norms Can Inform Regulation" - 6 views

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    In online public spaces, interactions are public-by-default, private-through-effort, the exact opposite of what we experience offline.  There is no equivalent to the cafe where you can have a private conversation in public with a close friend without thinking about who might overhear. Your online conversations are easily overheard.  And they're often persistent, searchable, and easily spreadable. Online, we have to put effort into limiting how far information flows. We have to consciously act to curb visibility.  This runs counter to every experience we've ever had in unmediated environments.  When people participate online, they don't choose what to publicize.  They choose what to limit others from seeing.  Offline, it takes effort to get something to be seen.  Online, it takes effort for things to NOT be seen.  This is why it appears that more is public.  Because there's a lot of content out there that people don't care enough about to lock down.  I hear this from teens all the time.  "Public by default, privacy when necessary."  Teens turn to private messages or texting or other forms of communication for intimate interactions, but they don't care enough about certain information to put the effort into locking it down.  But this isn't because they don't care about privacy.  This is because they don't think that what they're saying really matters all that much to anyone.  Just like you don't care that your small talk during the conference breaks are overheard by anyone.  Of course, teens aren't aware of how their interactions in aggregate can be used to make serious assumptions about who they are, who they know, and what they might like in terms of advertising.  Just like you don't calculate who to talk to in the halls based on how a surveillance algorithm might interpret your social network.    
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