09 Mar When everyone’s a friend, is anything private?
Facebook has a chief privacy officer, but I doubt that the position will exist 10 years from now. That’s not because Facebook is hell-bent on stripping away privacy protections, but because the popularity of Facebook and other social networking sites has promoted the sharing of all things personal, dissolving the line that separates the private from the public.
As the scope of sharing personal information expands from a few friends to many sundry individuals grouped together under the Facebook label of “friends,” disclosure becomes the norm and privacy becomes a quaint anachronism.
Facebook’s younger members — high school or college students, and recent graduates who came of age as Facebook got its start on campuses — appear comfortable with sharing just about anything. It’s the older members — those who could join only after it opened membership in 2006 to workplace networks, then to anyone — who are adjusting to a new value system that prizes self-expression over reticence.
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