Privacy is Sharing, with Control

Posted on December 6, 2013
Tags: privacy information

Tim Lavoie

Privacy is a topic which is in the headlines for the last few months, thanks in no small part to Edward Snowden. The stepping-stone path of revelations has helped to greatly raise public awareness, where it has become painfully apparent how poorly-managed our personal data has become.

There are those who have tried to call attention to this ove the years, to varying degrees of success. Bruce Schneier, author of detailed analyses such as Applied Cryptography as well as other books and numerous blog posts, has long been such a voice of reason. Others such as Richard Stallman have been no less ardent over the years, but tend to turn off a certain proportion of listeners through viewpoints that seem extreme or are expressed in a difficult manner.

The problem is, these voices in the wilderness have been right all this time, and it is only through the efforts of whistleblowers that we are finally able to read confirmation of the poor stewardship of our personal data. We now see details, not just soapbox preaching, and it stings. Why? Because we haven’t listened, we haven’t demanded that others respect our data, and most of all, because we have been absolutely complicit in enabling others to see and understand us better in many respects than we do ourselves.

What we need to do is to manage the broad digital strokes of our lives, not by completely bailing out on the world, but through considered consent of help where it suits us, and by direct, intentional control of our own information.