The Digital Universe, Information Shadows, and Paying for Privacy

In Innovation, Privacy, Technology on May 17, 2010 at 2:08 pm

"The Shadow Knows" by GregStruction on Google Images


Read my complete post on The Scholarly Kitchen. Excerpt:  

Everywhere we turn, we encounter debates over the risks and legality of uses of “private” data by social media mega-businesses like Facebook and Twitter.  

Google is the latest culprit to be caught in the spotlight.  

The lead technology piece in Saturday’s New York Times zeroed in on Google’s violation of German privacy laws, in connection with the company’s admission that it had systematically harvested private data from households in Europe and the US since 2006 — including email content and websites visited — in the course of capturing drive-by images for Google’s Street View photo archive.  

There are already books to teach Internet privacy “survival skills” and software downloads to “erase” your data  footprint. It won’t be surprising to find that some are willing to pay generously for services that sanitize their information shadows with virtual lye and steel wool. Privacy will be a scare commodity, and its market value will rise. When privacy becomes monetized, we may assign relative values to our own private information according to the type of information that is protected or made available.  

While papers have touched on the potentially inverse relationship that exists between user privacy and the efficacy of Web 2.0 social ranking and recommendation engines, social media engines are only the beginning of what is to come …  

Read more.


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