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.

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About Andrew Munro

An independent business consultant, interim manager and writer, Andrew operates through his company, Burning Pine Ltd (http://burningpine.com).
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