Tag Archives: privacy

Can privacy and problem solving go hand in hand?

Week 5:
Analyse critically the following statement by Mark Zuckerberg while comparing it to privacy issues raised by online social networking collaborative practices: http://www.tubechop.com/watch/146252

Here’s a short clip by Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of social networking site, Facebook.

http://swf.tubechop.com/tubechop.swf?vurl=sWDneu_w_HQ&start=25.89&end=38.84&cid=146252
(video can’t be embedded. Click on the link to view it!)

In the clip, he points out that
1) People tend to share more when they feel that they have control over what they share.
2) By limiting the sharing, the world becomes more connected
3) Problems faced by people would be easier to solve.

His rationale: There may be many people who face similar problems. When they share it, there is awareness, and people are able to brainstorm, and help solve the problems.


Gif Bin

Credits to lucario515

How does that work? How are we being more connected with the world, when we only allow certain people to view whatever we post on Facebook? Does this allow the rest of the world to interact with me, or what I said?

The fact is – nothing online is private anymore (Tapscott, 2009). Cached posts, screen shots.. Let’s face it, technology is so advanced, even if the Black Box is crushed, information still can be retrieved.

Here are some statistics. According to Solove (2007), 87.8% of Facebook users reveal their birth date, 39.9% list their phone number, and an astonishing 50.8% of them list their current residence. How are we going private, when we’re putting personal information for the world to see?

How can we ensure that private data online will never be seen by others because of the “privacy controls” we have set?

Like what Joyce Chng said, the whole need to explain privacy settings is indeed ironic. Setting privacy controls do not make a world more open and connected. In fact, privacy controls limit the amount of information being shared with the public.

Numerous times, companies send me emails like these:


(own images used)

So, I shared my email with a certain company, and other companies buy my email and send me those mails? How do these emails help me solve my problems in any way? I do understand that “the Internet” wants to solve my problems, but I’m a little shocked that they’ve predicted the problems I may, or may not face in the future.

In reality, the more you control over what you share on the internet, the less your personal information is spread. Thus, whatever “problems” one may have, it’s hard to get the world to solve it together, because only a few “trusted” people in your social networking site would be able to see the problem.

For those interested in looking at the full-length video (I didn’t just take it out of context), here it is

I admit social networking has helped us:
1) Keep in touch with friends around the world
2) Share views on topics of interest
3) Being able to spread awareness on issues

Point 3 probably has the biggest impact in solving problems, and indeed, it has been one of the more useful tools in social networking. It’s probably what Zuckerberg was referring to. I just don’t get how making your privacy setting to be set as “super restricted” will help you solve problems.

Matt Cohler, Facebook’s former strategy chief once said “Privacy meant it’s a secret, or it’s something that I don’t share with other people” (Tapscott. 2009). However, for the new generation privacy means being able to control what you share with others, not keeping information totally private (Tapscott. 2009). Have definitions changed?

Maybe I’ll ask my 5 friends (I can’t trust the other 600 of them so only 5 can see what I post) on facebook and see if they’re able to solve this problem for me.

References
Tubechop. 2011, ‘Extract form Mark Zuckerberg on Making Privacy Controls Simple’, Tubechop, viewed 25 April 2011.

Tapscott, D 2009, ‘A generation bathed in Bits’, in S Scott (eds), Grown up digital: How the net generation is changing your world, McGraw Hill, USA, pp. 39 – 69.

Solove, D. (2007) ‘How the Free Flow of Information Liberates and Constrains Us’, in The Future of Reputation: Gossip, Rumor and Privacy on the Internet, New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 17-49.

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