New technology seems to have changed the meaning of privacy, affording individuals the possibility of sharing details of their hitherto private lives in unprecedented ways, from personal blogs to picture sharing and even ‘social bookmarking’. For many of us, divulging intimate details of our private lives via social networking websites like MySpace and Facebook has become the norm. But information and communication technologies have also facilitated surveillance and data gathering by government and big businesses. While in some contexts we seem so ready to give up our privacy, in others we seem increasingly anxious to protect it.
To what extent are new technologies responsible for the death of privacy? Are privacy concerns simply technophobic, or are we right to worry about a loss of control over personal information? Have new technologies and our enthusiastic adoption of them actually transformed our notions of public and private, and blown apart the wall dividing the two? Why do we worry about Tesco monitoring what we buy, when, according to Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy: ‘You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it’?
professor of law, George Washington University; author, The Supreme Court: the personalities and rivalries that defined America
|Professor Anne Anderson OBE|
director, ESRC/EPSRC/DTI People @ the Centre of Communication & Information Technology Research Programme; member of RAEng working group on Dilemmas of Surveillance
CEO, Clerkswell; author, The UK After The Recession
investigative journalist; director, The Queen & Us
CEO, King’s College Hospital NHS FT; former CEO, BT Global Services UK
economist and business manager; author, Creative Destruction: How to start an economic renaissance
|Dr Shirley Dent communications specialist (currently working with the British Veterinary Association media team); editor, tlfw.co.uk; author, Radical Blake|
|Alex Hochuli communications consultant, researcher and blogger based in São Paulo|
|Martyn Perks digital business consultant and writer; co-author, Big Potatoes: the London manifesto for innovation|
|Simon Belt IT consultant; coordinator, Manchester Salon|
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