Online privacy: rhetoric and reality

What people do and what people say is a notoriously difficult paradox to integrate. Technology Liberation Front writes about the rhetoric and reality of online privacy.

In a nutshell, ask anyone if they care about their privacy and almost 100% of them will say, yes, absolutely. But then ask them about what they do both online and offline on a daily basis and most of them will reveal a very different set of preferences or values when it comes to what “protecting privacy” would mean in practice.

My experience reflects this. Some users are unaware of the privacy implications of their actions (they don’t read the EULA). Other users are disinterested in their privacy even if they say that they are concerned. Still others are concerned about their privacy but are unwilling to pay the price of protecting it.

What this shows is not that privacy is unimportant. It shows that people need help to do the right thing. Compare privacy concerns to dental hygiene: almost everyone claims to be interested and concerned about dental hygiene but do you all floss daily?

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