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Monday, 13 August 2007



I should probably compose a full post on my own blog, as I seem to be one of very few who (vocally) disagree with the main argument here.

As your title clearly indicates, it is indeed "our own" privacy - so we still control the level to which it is breached, or not.

I think new and exciting forums for sharing like Facebook, also serve as challenges to us to maintain vigilance and consideration in our real and personal lives - which is just part of being a grown-up.

I'm not saying that we should think twice before we take a saucy picture, just in case it gets tagged - I'm saying learn and evolve with the world around you, so you know how it works and spread your preferences and fears to your mates, as you would normally do about everything else (dating, terrorism, the price of bread, etc.)

I balk at the litany of articles that give the impression that we have no choice in matters like these. As with the problems many parents face, which they claim they can do little about - I simply beg to differ.

In the same way that brands need to maintain vigilance on all their negative as well as positive representations in the world, so too should the individual. If it's becoming more difficult to maintain the image you want the world to see, then simply work harder on your PR. But first we need to accept responsibility for control of all aspects of our identites, on and offline.


I couldn't agree more.

There's something more (deep rooted and) worrying in this for me.

It's almost as though, on the one level, we don't seem to care about our privacy - still less to stop and even think about it and where we are heading. And yet, on another level, we kick off about Identiity Cards because that's 'just something that we Brits don't do' and cannot see the compelling logic in having similar media privacy laws, as exist in France and elsewhere. Why? Because the celebrity-gazer in us seems to want to look into other people's lives. It's become an unacceptable, acceptable norm.

The need for Refined Privacy is certainly there. But we have to recognise that need first - and then properly champion it.


This thing about privacy is definitely an issue. I disagree that we are still controlling our privacy (Onika). Some people would not want to join facebook because they dont want to be tagged in pictures. But you can still be identified on pictures in Facebook, even if you are not a Facebook member and never know about it.
Another thing on Facebook is that it although you control the level of information you give, you can also, because you are not careful or not necessarily thinking about it, disclose information on your profile/wall which could be used against you - say you give your postcode, put a picture of your house and say on your wall/status update that you are on vacation. The new media forces you to be more paranoid and responsible but a lot of people are not (kids just an example).


Nikki - your post worries me because of the assumption that you have that all of us are Brands: "If it's becoming more difficult to maintain the image you want the world to see, then simply work harder on your PR. But first we need to accept responsibility for control of all aspects of our identities, on and offline."
Suddenly it seems that there is no such thing as a private life anymore and that is actually quite a scary thought.

The other thing is that though we may "evolve and learn", the fact remains that all our past history remains captured and preserved online for all to see forever.

It seems that we all have to start thinking before we do anything in case someone, somewhere tags us, posts about us etc. That's a horrible future!


Totally agree with you on involuntary tags and therefore your fear - but I think we're already living in the scary future, thus the difference in our viewpoints.

Yes it's sad and creepy, but the dark side of celebrity deification is upon us and thinking of ourselves as brands is just one approach to survival - I think it's a matter of either playing the game too so you have some degree of control over it (as blurbed lengthily in my last comment) or ignoring it as best you can, with fingers crossed tightly.

The pros/cons of the past being preserved online are also up for debate.

This is making me miss debating society (as you can prolly guess, I was an avid particpant!)

Steve cater

great thoughts.

Big generalisation… I agree that people have become more transparent, but there is still a line. There is no invasion of privacy - yet.

I don’t think people are afraid to be more visible online. Whether this changes depends on the key sites… its scary to think that peoples listing may be put on google and anyone will be able to see you. I think this is a bit of a test by Facebook to see where they should go in terms of privacy.

Should people become wearier (e.g. they get random messages or stalkers etc) we will start to see them ‘switch it off’

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