Monday, November 25, 2013


Writing for the Financial Times, Robert Shrimsley comments on how some relationship break-ups have been broadcast in public by third parties and how "social" media is getting ever more intrusive. He summarises:
"Where once the onus was on an individual to respect someone else’s privacy, now it is on the individual to protect it. Everything is on the record; anything that can be captured is fair game. The companies that are shaping our future, the Facebooks, Twitters and Googles, do not believe in the right to privacy. To them, insisting on privacy is a selfish, wilful denial of something to others. As the protagonist in Dave Eggers’ new tech satire The Circle puts it: privacy is theft.
It seems ironic that as the web breaks down virtual boundaries, it is enticing people to recreate physical ones. You need higher fences to keep out Google Street View. Keep your conversations behind closed doors if you don’t want to read them on Twitter; and wear sunglasses and a hoodie if you don’t want to be identified by Google Glass. With potential intrusion so widespread we can now all experience the trappings of celebrity – well, apart from the designer clothes and accompanying riches. Although in the future, it is not so fanciful to believe that having spent years building their profile, the most successful people may minimise their online presence to safeguard their privacy.

Perhaps the largest irony of all is that at a time when many are complaining about governments spying on citizens and the harvesting of personal data by tech companies, the greatest threat to the privacy of the individual is the action of other individuals."

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