Monday, January 25, 2010

Is Privacy "Passe?"

If you haven’t read the Jan. 25 edition of Bloomberg BusinessWeek, I recommend you do so and turn to page 13.

In an Ideas column, Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg is quoted as saying that privacy “is no longer a social norm.”

Think on that for a minute.

Tech bloggers are chiming in. Marshall Kirkpatrick wrote on that “the notion of privacy can no longer be equated with absolute secrecy.”

Blogger Evgeny Morozov wrote on that some governments are “moving towards reinforcing privacy protections.” France for example is thinking about laws to allow citizens to have old online data about themselves deleted. The technology, however, doesn’t exist to do that.

With the growing number of social media web sites, it’s so easy for someone to bend, fold and electronically mutilate anyone’s reputation. A sober reminder that in a world where everyone has a camera, a picture of you is just seconds away from being posted.

Let me say that social media sites are great fun, a wonderful way to stay in touch with friends and family. As one of our employees here said: It’s a way for her to “have a high school reunion every day.”

But once something is posted, it’s out there. Forever.

We all treasure our privacy. These days you have to work very, very had to protect it.

The great thing about the Internet is that everyone has access to it; the bad thing about the Internet is that everyone has access to it.

Privacy need not and should not be passé.

John W. Scherer
John is CEO & Founder of Video Professor, Inc.
You can reach him at