Friday, February 17, 2012

The privacy question

Last evening, breaking news came in the form of a Wall Street Journal article that caught iPhone users by surprise, announcing that Google had managed to turn off certain privacy protections of the Safari browser used on iPhones.

In his morning blog, Seth Godin speaks coyly when he says that if we really cared about our privacy we would not use a credit card or talk on a cell phone.  He thinks it's the element of surprise that drives us crazy, not the fact that assumptions we made about the privacy of our personal information were wrong.

Seth's light-hearted skip around the question strikes me as irresponsible.   Our world has been forever changed by the advent of digital technology in all of its forms.  It is possible to strike agreements on how our personal information will be protected and under what conditions.  Data protection has become such a significant problem that there are currently two congressional bills pending.  If you'd like more information on what I think, then take a look at my February column for the ASA newsletter.  You can find it here.

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