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Monday, February 26, 2007

Privacy on the internet, a "quaint" idea

As I started reading yet another article about kids and their penchant for posting personal information on the internet, I came across a comment that made me realize that despite being young enough for visitors to ask what year I am in school once in a while, I am a fuddy duddy.

Consider these two points made by Emily Nussbaum, the author:

Younger people, one could point out, are the only ones for whom it seems to have sunk in that the idea of a truly private life is already an illusion.

So it may be time to consider the possibility that young people who behave as if privacy doesn’t exist are actually the sane people, not the insane ones. For someone like me, who grew up sealing my diary with a literal lock, this may be tough to accept. But under current circumstances, a defiant belief in holding things close to your chest might not be high-minded. It might be an artifact—quaint and naive...

I read the article after hearing about two cases of what I would call internet overexposure: an American Idol contestant's racy pictures being all over the internet and six University of Colorado football players being dismissed from their team for photos they posted on Facebook.

My reaction after reading the first story was of shock. Why would a college student (the Idol contestant goes to Catholic University) with aspirations to be in the public spotlight allow what I assume are compromising photos (I haven't seen them yet) to be taken? Now, I realize that the young woman involved might not consider the photos "compromising".

As for the football players, if Nussbaum is right, they see nothing wrong with the photos they posted and are completely blindsided by getting kicked off their team.

If we're witnessing the evolution of the way we use the internet, I wonder what's next?