Steven Gradidge. Hi :)

Why Does Privacy and Being Online Have To Be Incompatible? It Doesn’t!

Posted on: March 4, 2011

For the mainstream media, Facebook has often been the target in the scope. Remember the outcries of privacy despair that ensued the rollout of Beacon? Facebook seemingly monopolised all privacy concerns because it had not only monopolised online conversation, but social data collection too. Have Facebook users learnt anything? Have Facebook? The latter seemingly so but the former; heck no! It still shocks me to see what people upload to their (open, unguarded, open to the public) profiles. Date of births, full postal code addresses, telephone numbers and other personal and identifiable information are a common site.

  • Have you ever read the FULL terms and conditions of any online registration signup?
  • Do you ever think who might have access to the content you are uploading?
  • Do you care?
  • Should we care?

The line that separates privacy and ‘openness’ still remains undefined as online behaviour continues to shift as individuals learn important life lessons about the benefits and risks of living in public. Online activity has been adopted at such a rate that cultural clout is being lost quite literally under a behemoth of updates/tweets/blogs/posts.


  • It took 38 years for Radio to reach 50 million people
  • It took 13 years for Television to reach 50 million people
  • It took 4 years for the Internet to reach 50 million people
  • It took 9 months for Facebook to reach 100 million people!

The problem isn’t the technology. The Internet doesn’t divulge our email addresses to spammers, our passwords to hacktivists, Facebook doesn’t upload terribly embarrassing pictures and Twitter doesn’t post rude and threatening messages. People need to act more diligently and behave far more responsibly while surfing searching online. For what is not acceptable offline usually has an online equivalent and the caution should be transferred accordingly. Do you use 1 key for your car/house/garage? Of course not, why would you ‘eh? Do you use the same password for your e-mail/Facebook/Twitter?

Likewise, why would I say something of deviance and negligence about someone on a social network without feeling assured about the fact that it could get back to them? Pupils have recently been expelled and employees fired through their online conversations. And damn right to!

Social Network definition from Wikipedia:

A social network service is an online service, platform, or site that focuses on building and reflecting of social networks or social relations among people’.

Where does it say private?

Online privacy or more appropriately a lacking thereof, is merely mainstream sensationalism to highlight the risks to the online and educationally lacking. Certainly at the heart of the privacy debate is Facebook and its ongoing series of changes to its privacy policy but the Government, the education authorities, teachers, parents and generally online users need to merge their two worlds together. If not, both are certain to #Fail. Just don’t let it be you.

First we must scare, then and only then will people care! Thanks, leave your comments below please!





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