The other day TechEye posted a little rant about PR firms pimping out privacy. Since then, two important things have happened. First, the PR firm involved apologized and swore never to breach privacy in this way again, and secondly, an industry analyst on the breached list contacted us to offer us his view that privacy was dead in this day and age.
While that declaration initially shocked us, it occurred to us that perhaps other people felt the same way. Maybe most people really don’t value their privacy anymore. It’s possible the majority would rather be Facebooked than faceless.
Jon Peddie, of Jon Peddie Research certainly seems to think so.
“How can I/we take the notion of “privacy” seriously?” he asked this reporter, pointing to the incredible number of people today who reveal all on sites like Youtube, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace [perhaps not so much, Ed] Flickr and others.
“In the US I can get tax records on almost anyone (which tells me a lot),” he noted adding, “I can find out all sorts of stuff about company executives and how many shares they own, etc.
“I think this alarmist attitude about privacy is childish narcissism,” he continued, “Do you think everyone is looking at me, everyone is wondering what I’m thinking…. Horse feathers, who’s got time to think about someone else when we’re all so busy thinking about ourselves?”
In counterpoint, we retorted that people, for the most part, made a conscious choice whether or not to share their details on social networking sites, and that however lightly they took those choices, it was still their choice.
Taxes aside, what we share online and our contact details, should really be under our own control, not someone else’s, and especially not a PR firm. Because it’s just bad practice and a tad incourteous.
And whilst, yes, many of us may have a narcissistic streak in us, it’s all fun and status updates until someone gets a stalker.
Peddie agreed that it was indeed true that people should be able to make a conscious choice about their data appearing online, and admitted that he too had once had the unpleasant experience of having to deal with a stalker.
Question is, with the world taking a turn for the childish narcissist worse, are we here at TechEye simply being naïve, oversensitive and alarmist in highlighting what we see as privacy breaches?
You tell us dear reader. And while you’re at it, send us your mobile numbers so we can call you up anytime for a chat. Or sell it to the highest bidder.