Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Privacy is No Longer a 'Social Norm’ !!!

You must be wondering what the limits of privacy are, well, lately, Google COO Sheryl Sandberg publicly said that privacy is no longer a social norm. As student of social sciences I always come across the sentence that social norms change overtime. However it is also believed that core values hardly change over the period. On the one hand, when gadgets like IPod create social isolation, people end up saying ‘hey IPod stop causing social isolation’. On the other hand social networking mediums like Facebook and Twitter connect us, people end up saying “hey Facebook stop privacy invasion”.

There are people who are convinced that too much isolation and too little privacy are the biggest social problems of our time. Google COO believes that “People have really gotten comfortable not only sharing more information and different kinds, but more openly and with more people.”
We have witnessed that our networking journey in cyber age, all the way started with basic chat site to video talk, personal information sharing on web to new phenomenon of blogging and social networking like Facebook & Twitter. These days people are asking questions "Is too much information available to public not an invasion of public privacy, enabling people to stalk and access all the information"? Well, on the one hand people believe that we have choice through privacy setting, what to put on the Facebook and what not? Who should be able to view and who should not!!! On the other hand people believe that Facebook makes people to make more personal information publicly available without realizing it.

There may be many views on privacy debate but one thing one should realize that as per Newyork Times, Google and Microsoft Bing has signed an agreement with Facebook, to allow people’s status updates to be indexed by both search engines in order to enable the search giants to provide real time results. Is human society redefining the social norms pertaining to privacy or we are going to face the maliase of no privacy, spread by social networking medium. Let us see, time will tell.

1 comment:

Samra said...

Good article Imran. I'm actually more for social norms moving towards freedom of speech and liberty to share your personal information with whomever you want, depending on your own understanding of what privacy is and what is invasion of privacy. Ofcourse there has to be a limit to what you would want people to view, for that, you create limitations for strangers to not poke into your lives. I honestly am not fond of social isolation caused by iPods and hands free, lol! They can be considered as arrogant and rude when used in public esp when your in a gathering of people and their talking while you are too consumed in your own self. However, on our own privacy, we can enjoy whatever means of entertainment and killing time without offending anyone ;P But networking mediums like facebook and google should set proper rules for ppl to enforce if and when they require more privacy and should NOT make their personal information public property and for any stalker to search on the web!! Now that's unethical and should be illegal!