Bruce Schneier gave a great talk on privacy at the recent CACR Higher Education Security Summit. Basically, he argues that privacy isn’t dead and we should aim for more privacy laws. It is a thought-provoking talk that is worth watching. I also enjoyed hearing the questions from attendees, and his thoughtful responses to them.
His talk runs the gamut from the differences between generational views of privacy, the different types of data we have online, the data trail we leave behind us constantly, and, of that, what we do and don’t control. In addition, he makes the point that we are the product — our data, is the product — that social networking sites are selling. He points out that these companies, like Google with Buzz, and Facebook, can change our privacy settings at any time and there is little we can do about it. He argues that we should not let corporations define the privacy defaults, because those defaults will be in the favor of the corporations and not of the citizens. (I agree.) He believes the lack of data protection now equals the lack of environmental protections in the early 20th century.