From think tanks to the Department of Commerce and the Federal Trade Commission, privacy is a trending topic. Indeed, privacy was on the agenda of the Institute for Policy Innovation's 3rd annual Communications Summit.
In his closing keynote remarks, Andrew Keen, author of “The Cult of the Amateur,” noted that privacy was on the national agenda in the 1990s. With the shift from an Internet of links to an Internet of likes, it's making a comeback:
The social web is all about revealing ourselves on the Internet...Everything is social. So it's no coincidence that privacy is the hot issue.
While over-sharing is an intergenerational phenomenon, the concept of TMI is seemingly lost on the first generation of “digital natives,” Generation Z. Keen observed:
Children growing up in this social world have no understanding of the distinction between public and private.
Keen said the “Facebook-centric” Internet is giving rise to social companies. Entrepreneurs are using our freely shared personal information – our likes, tweets, comments, photos, videos and status updates – to start up companies.
Back in the day, on the Internet, no one knew you were a dog.
Today, Web 2.0 has SocialEyes.
Keen said “privacy is the next big thing” and regulation is inevitable:
Something different is happening. This isn't the old issue of privacy. Something new is happening.
Today in remarks before the Technology Policy Institute, Rep. Cliff Stearns, a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said “privacy is a big concern.” Stearns plans to introduce legislation “to empower consumers so that they can make their own privacy choices.”
In the meantime, check out Facebook's Data Use Policy.