Privacy–A Luxury Foregone?

Hot on the heels of Jeff Stibel’s HBR post on Social Media Failures, here’s a piece from strategy consultant, Dorie Clark proposing that “Privacy is a Luxury You Don’t Have”.

Reluctantly, I tend to agree with her assertion that we have passed a tipping point driven, in part, by failure to appreciate or consider the consequences  of sharing so much personal information.  I can’t see that anyone will attempt to re-stuff and close Pandora’s Box.

The article reminds me of an interview with John Perry Barlow (which I blogged here) in which he observed that in reality the privacy we value is a relatively recent phenomenon: before the age of the Industrial Revolution city, our small-town and rural lives enjoyed little privacy / anonymity (Barlow placed the date more recently: the Second World War).

I don’t think that world-wide cultural differences will slow the adoption of social media but perhaps users in, say Switzerland, will remain more circumspect about what information they share. That wouldn’t be a bad thing and perhaps might encourage earlier adopters in the US and UK to consider more carefully what they share, and with whom.


About Andrew Munro

An independent business consultant, interim manager and writer, Andrew operates through his company, Burning Pine Ltd (
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