Myspace and Facebook have won. Second Life has lost. Myspace and Facebook proved that while people love anonymity on the Internet above all, they want to show off, they want to share a lot about themselves. And this is even more the case for the worlds 50 million bloggers, a few of whom are anonymous.

Now if hundreds of millions of people around the world want to promote themselves and sometimes share the most intimate details of their lives, why is it that there´s so much fuss on the internet about privacy? My take of this is that most people are not privacy freaks, nor do they live in fear of others finding out about themselves. If they did they would be all with secret identities somewhere in Second Life or other sites that promote anonymity.

Last week Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, wrote an article in the Financial Times asking the United Nations to work on a set of global guidelines on privacy.

While I think this is a good idea, I think the easiest idea would be to equip computers with a simple setting similar to those of hotel rooms that say “privacy please”. If all computers came with a choice that is easily found and activated that said “I want to be known on the Internet” or “I don´t”, which would basically be allowing or denying sites to keep cookies and info about your computer, that would be enough. If you are a privacy freak that is great, but sites like Facebook will erase your account if you join as say “gold digger”, and not your real name and sites like Technorati or Google will not be able to customize their results to your likings.

How do I handle this problem? Well, in my case I consider the Internet something similar to a public street. I don´t go out naked and I know that anything I do on the Internet can be seen by others.

Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars

No Comments

Lena on September 25, 2007  · 

Rebeca on September 26, 2007  · 

Vic on September 26, 2007  · 

uno on September 28, 2007  · 

Leave a Comment

Español / English


Subscribe to e-mail bulletin:
Recent Tweets