The end of privacy? What do you think?

15 Oct

Week 12 thoughts. ‘Can we prevent a future in which so much information about people’s private lives circulates beyond their control? Some technologists and legal scholars flatly say no. Privacy, they maintain, is just not compatible with a world in which information flows so freely.. It is still possible to protect privacy, but doing so requires that we rethink out-dated understandings of the concept…The generation of people growing up today understands privacy in a more nuanced way. They know that personal information is routinely shared with countless others, and they also know that they leave a trail of data wherever they go’ (Solove, D 2008).

I agree with the second part of this excerpt; that we know that our information is routinely shared, but we can to a certain degree control the level of online privacy that we have. For example, we could either NOT join Facebook, or if we do, make sure our privacy settings are set to accommodate our privacy needs. The only way to be 100% off grid is to either not join social media networks, or to put as little information as possible about ourselves.

Personally, the lack of privacy has not bothered me except for in ONE situation. A company based in India called my landline trying to sell me a fake phone contract, and in an attempt to convince me they were representing Telstra, they quoted my ABN (Australian Business Number) to me.

I didn’t fall for it, but that was a big wakeup call in terms of how much of your information is available on the internet. Apparently, most ABN numbers can be found on Google, and that’s what they would have done, “Googled” me, to get information to help their scam!

Has anyone else ever had a bad experience regarding privacy and the internet / social media??

One Response to “The end of privacy? What do you think?”

  1. akel12 October 18, 2012 at 12:53 pm #


    I question whether we can really ever be off the grid. The whole notion of privacy has changed due to the way in which we interact with new media and technology. Each time we make a financial transaction online, upload a photo, make a comment on Twitter or Facebook or complete a form online information about us is gathered and collated. This information collected by organisations and government departments then has the potential to be shared with other organisations or departments. I do not think we can ever really retain as much of our privacy as we would like too.

    For example even if l do decide to disconnect from it all and go to live on a remote island. The bank will still have all of my personal information, my transaction history, possibly even the transaction l made to pay for transport to the island, my doctor will still have all of my medical records on his database and various recruitment companies will still have details about every job l have had since l entered the workforce.

    On a side note, l find the voice recognition function when using automated telephone services particularly concerning. Right now l still have a choice whether or not l register for it but it makes me wonder if in a few years’ time this will be the norm.

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