Time to talk about privacy, again….
It’s one of those aspects of the (near) future where some significant change has got to take place in the flat world.
First, the term ‘privacy’ is ambiguous online. What you share online is out to be seen, unless you have limited access through changing your privacy settings. We all know Facebook has a lot of privacy setting, where you, as the user, need to take action if you want your profile and data to be hidden from the general public. I deliberately use the term hidden….because only the people who have been ‘cleared’ will have the chance to see your information, pictures, status updates, likes, ….
Once you have posted your data, pictures, …. on Facebook (and many others), Facebook ‘owns’ your information. It’s stored in huge data-centers where you aren’t allowed in to delete , or adjust your information, ….! You don’t have any rights regarding the posted/shared information. You can only hide it.
If you want to sign up on another social network you can take your data with you, so you have to start all over again. For instance, my LinkedIn profile is similar to my Facebook profile but I have to make 2 profiles and build the information twice. Nowadays you can embed information from different profiles, but the rough profile data remain property of Facebook, or LinkedIn.
That’s now….what’s up in the future?!
We need to switch so a social web environment where we, the user, own our data and are able to migrate those data between the different providers, social networks, shops, …. This means I have full control over my data, and not only the hide option. Do I control my privacy, YES, but we’ve got to understand that what’s out on the web, is not private but public. A lot of people still believe that privacy in the 21st century is the same as in the 1980-ies. Privacy is not a right anymore, it’s a verb! You work on keeping things private.
The open data option, where we can move data around free and data isn’t stored in closed data centers, is gaining more success recently. Small steps have been taken to set up open data streams….off course the general public isn’t keen on the idea of open data, where there data isn’t protected anymore by any privacy charter/legislation. But the general public seems to misinterpret this idea, since in this protected environment we don’t even own are data anymore (and companies like Facebook use our data to make money…I don’t have a problem with this idea, but I would like to have the opportunity to just adjust/delete my data). Off open data-streams like in the US, UK or the Netherlands, need good procedures and license policies, but we need this regarding the new future privacy model: open data, where the owner own his data but these are shared everywhere in the flat world through good procedures and licences.
Tim Berners-Lee on of the founding fathers of the World Wide Web, the flat world as we know it, talks about open data in a TED talk.
Are you ready for an open data environment?