BLOG: Words are powerful. Used to justify specific ways of looking at the world and the nature of things, they have real consequences. I am currently looking at the societal conversation about privacy and the way in which these conversations inhibit us to think innovatively about society at large. Here’s another clash of discourses that impede us in our conversations about privacy: The conversation about “data ownership” in the digital age.
Privacy is still a social norm – in one form or another – but for sure the way in which we administer our privacy in the open networks has transformed. When we stop being able to control our privacy with “physical borders”, we start policing them with other forms of limits – social and cultural. Borders that are more invisible; tied up with shared values and social rules – but nonetheless relevant to be able to interpret and administer. This new container of privacy is emerging steadily alongside the development of the open networks. Its more “silent” in the sense that if you need to understand how it works, you need to look at other things than e.g. people’s use of their “privacy settings” or whether they choose to be on Facebook or not. Because this is a different form of privacy administration that does not take point of departure in the actual architecture of the various services.