Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Do we have an instinct for privacy?

Too much information

Our instincts for privacy evolved in tribal societies where walls didn't exist. No wonder we are hopeless oversharers.

Students at a Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus briefing to discuss the "Do Not Track Kids Act," concerned with protecting children and teen privacy online. Photo By Chris Maddaloni/Getty 

In October 2012 a woman from Massachusetts called Lindsey Stone went on a work trip to Washington DC, and paid a visit to Arlington National Cemetery, where American war heroes are buried. Crouching next to a sign that said ‘Silence and Respect’, she raised a middle finger and pretended to shout while a colleague took her photo. It was the kind of puerile clowning that most of us (well me, anyway) have indulged in at some point, and once upon a time, the resulting image would have been noticed only by the few friends or family to whom the owner of the camera showed it. However, this being the era of sharing, Stone posted the photo to her Facebook profile.

Within weeks, a ‘Fire Lindsey Stone’ page had materialised, populated by commentators frothing with outrage at a desecration of hallowed ground. Anger rained down on Stone’s employer, a non-profit that helps adults with special needs. Her employers decided, reluctantly, that Stone and her colleague would have to leave.
 
For the rest of the story: http://www.aeonmagazine.com/living-together/do-we-have-a-privacy-instinct-or-are-we-wired-to-share/

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