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Nowhere to hide?

October 31st, 2008     by Cate Simpson     Comments

There’s an interesting article in the Guardian today about social networking and privacy, written by Cory Doctorow who runs Boing Boing.

He points out that adults wax hysterical on young people’s cavalier attitudes towards privacy, while staying absolutely quiet on the increasingly scary amounts of surveillance our governments are placing us under.

“For centuries adults have been deriding young people for their laziness, venality, sexuality, shallowness and lack of moral fibre. Now they’ve added another item to the classic list of youthful failings: a lack of respect for their own privacy. For years a procession of paedo scare-stories have warned us that the youth of today fail to grasp the importance of maintaining their privacy online. Kids blithely hand over their personal information to sites like MySpace and Bebo and Facebook, take naughty pictures of themselves, MMS them to their friends’ phones, and engage in saucy chat with mysterious older men. But if kids are careless with their personal information, can we blame them? A deadly combination of universal surveillance, a prohibition on protecting your privacy (“No hoodies allowed near the CCTVs!”), and a relentless focus on the consequences of dangers (as opposed to their probability) has placed the world in grave danger. Tomorrow’s leaders will have been raised in an environment where any rational assessment of security has been rendered impossible by a shrill and terrified public discourse.”

And he’s absolutely right. How can you criticize your kids for telling the world via Facebook or Twitter where they’re going on a Saturday night, if they’re just going to leave a CCTV, debit card, and soon, ID card government papertrail all the way there?

Tags: media savvy

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