The Age of Privacy is NOT over

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http://www.downloadsquad.com – An article recently popped up on ReadWriteWeb covering Mark Zuckerberg's interview at the Crunchies. Unfortunately it starts on entirely the wrong foot: it puts words straight into the Facebook CEO's mouth. Words that he never says. He doesn't say the age of privacy is over, damnit, so how can you claim that he does? That's what they call sensationalism, ReadWriteWeb. Looking at the number of retweets and its rapid proliferation throughout the web, I'd say it was very well-executed too -- but it's still lies, damned lies. This is the premise: Zuckerberg is interviewed by Michael Arrington (video after the jump). Unsurprisingly the two topics that pop up are Facebook Connect and the privacy changes in 2009. Zuckerberg spends about a minute discussing the ongoing changes and why they've been instrumental to Facebook's continued domination, and fast becoming the most popular site on the Internet. Most of the interview is about how Facebook keeps ahead of the rest. Now, he discusses privacy, but never at any stage does he suggest that The Age of Privacy is over. Notice how by giving it capital letters, it makes it sound more important than it really is. Nice work, ReadWriteWeb... for a high school kid. Zuckerberg, for about 60 seconds between the third and fourth minute in the interview, talks about how the face of the Internet has changed. At Harvard, where he developed Facebook, people would ask him "Why would I want to put any information on the Internet at all? Why would I want to have a website?" -- and that's how Facebook started: to connect us up with friends, family and classmates, but also to satisfy our need for privacy. But that was then, and this is now. Blogging has bloomed. Lifecasting exposes your entire life with worrying candor. We're tweeting from the bathroom and befriending people on Facebook that we've only ever met while blind drunk. Put simply: current social norms have shifted. Whatever concern we had for absolute privacy has, for some of us, disappeared. I don't know if this is a generational thing -- it's been a whole decade since the dot-com bubble, and 20 years since AOL and CompuServe first brought Internet to the homestead. Things are moving quickly. The average Internet user today isn't the same as five or even two years ago. I don't think people quite appreciate the magnitude of the speculation and calculated maneuvers Mark Zuckerberg has had to make to keep up with contemporary society. You're looking at the fastest-growing website in the world ever, ReadWriteWeb, and you have the brazen tenacity to put words into the CEO's mouth? You could argue that we're no longer living in The Age of Privacy, but it certainly wasn't Facebook's doing: you can still lock your private details up as tightly as before. If anything this is the age of liberty and freedom, where you can share as much or as little as you like; where music and media is free and ideas are transferred at the speed of light. And It's all thanks to the worldwide connectivity provided by the Internet, and invaluable services like Facebook. Share tweetmeme_url = 'http://www.downloadsquad.com/2010/01/11/the-age-of-privacy-is-not-over'; tweetmeme_source='DownloadSquad'; tweetmeme_style = 'compact'; The Age of Privacy is NOT over originally appeared on Download Squad on Mon, 11 Jan 2010 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Read | Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments (General)