This post is by Shaun Dakin, founder of @PrivacyCamp and fellow at the Future of Privacy Forum.
Data privacy is hot right now. With the rise of social media and Facebook at the center of the “social layer,” we are just starting to think about data privacy. Consumers are confused, and the regulators are concerned as well.
How important is this topic? Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and John McCain, R-Ariz., have held hearings about online privacy and an online privacy bill of rights. Last year, the FTC and the Department Of Commerce each released major reports on data privacy.
So it was great to watch a panel featuring Nick Goggans of Umbel, Arbitron’s Paul Krasinski and Microsoft’s Marc Davis at the South by South by Southwest Interactive Festival, as they discussed this pressing issue.
The bottom line in the States is that there are no unified regulations around privacy. There are financial services, health care and online children laws. There are few that apply to the brave new world of social media.
Two of the big ideas discussed during the panel:
- Zuckerberg’s Law: Every year, you share twice the amount of data than the year before.
- Marc Davis’ claim that we live in an age of “digital feudalism” in terms of who owns our data and online identities.
In addition, there were some very interesting questions around ownership and property rights around your data. Right now, corporations own your data. When you post a photo to Facebook, they own it. You don’t. My take is that a combination of the market, consumers, business and advocates will create a way to make this work. If they can’t, then innovation will slow down as uncertainty from unknown regulations reigns.
Are you concerned about digital privacy issues? How are you responding to the challenges that online identity issues pose?