Monday, August 18, 2008

Online privacy - Hermida

Back in January, I wondered aloud about whether our standards of online privacy were changing -- noting an emerging meme that even if I post something online, if it was not intended for your eyes, it should be private.

Alfred Hermida of the University of British Columbia has an excellent summary of the current state of affairs, "How social media blurs the line between public and private," that he presented at the annual AEJMC convention in Chicago a couple of weeks ago.

I highly recommend you read it. This is likely to be an increasing topic of discussion as our lives become more and more like "The Truman Show."

(I admit to being behind on writing a few things about AEJMC as well. Stay tuned. Syllabuses come first, however, as we get ready for semester start.)

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At 8/19/08, 5:03 PM, Blogger journalismguy said...

I kept thinking about my own blog, Doug, when I read Hermida's report.

Guess none of us bloggers is entitled to a reasonable expectation of privacy when it comes to what we write.

We need to remember that.

In that respect, I believe context is irrelevant. If we post to the Net, we ought to presume that a billion Chinese can read and copy our post or whatever.

Rightly or wrongly, that's our world today, Doug.

At 8/20/08, 5:01 PM, Blogger Doug Fisher said...

I basically agree with you -- it seems to be pretty disingenuous to put something out where millions can read it but then declare it off limits because you really didn't mean it to be public.

But I keep coming back to this because it is an emerging meme, and I suspect it is one we will have to deal with more and more.

Privacy law is annoyingly imprecise at best, and the legal system is about a decade behind dealing with many technological ramifications, so I don't think we've heard the last by any means.


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