The Future of Privacy: Trade-offs in the Age of Context

The confluence of social media, digital mobile devices, sensors, and location-based technology is generating unprecedented volumes of information about society and individuals. A few years ago, a study found that taking stock of a person’s Facebook likes, for example, creates a more accurate personality assessment than one done by friends and family.

Armed with such insights, digital devices and services can anticipate what we’ll need next and serve us better than a butler or an executive assistant, according to Age of Context authors Robert Scoble and Shel Israel.

Of course, such benefits don’t come without trade-offs. A Pew Research report, The Future of Privacy, explores these changes, the growing monetization of digital encounters, and the shifting relationship of citizens and their governments.

As people increasingly value the contextual richness that highly personalized technology brings to life — Scoble and Israel’s Age of Context — the concept of privacy, particularly in the minds of Linksters or Generation Z, is drastically evolving. And as people willingly share more personal information — on social media, with location-based services, and elsewhere — securing that data only for authorized uses becomes more critical.

Classically-Conceived Privacy vs. Contextual Richness

We consider classically-conceived privacy as the time only a few years back, when sharing any information online immediately raised red flags for everyone, not just the paranoid. But now, we see that the trade-off between classically-conceived privacy and contextual richness will continue to evolve, just as the advent of the Internet and digital media changed the concept of property ownership and copyright protection.

With the Internet and digital media, came the ability to make unlimited copies, without depriving the original owner of use, which forced a significant expansion and retooling of legal protections of intellectual property and copyrights.

Similarly, we must adapt the way we protect privacy rights (Read more...)

This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog post authored by John McClurg. Read the original post at: Cylance Blog