Monday, March 21, 2011

Whose Privacy Is It Anyway?

I'm listening to a SXSW panel featuring Heather Gold, with Cindy GallopMelissa Gira Grant, & Jeff Jarvis titled "The End of Shame, or, Getting Over Oversharing". If you have the time, have a listen, as it's interesting stuff. What really caught my ear was the discussion of privacy, a bit past the halfway mark. 

I'm always dumbfounded when people panic over Facebook changing their privacy settings or policies, as there seems to be a disconnect. In the talk above, someone makes the assertion that people volunteer information on Facebook that they never would in a survey. It seems there is a knowledge gap in that many a user doesn't seem to realize they are not the buyer, they are the product. The words of the user aren't theirs and can be co-opted, as with Facebook's Sponsored Stories. Users can end up in Sponsored Stories, where content that contains narratives about brands can be used by advertisers and this currently cannot be turned off.

I think we're beyond stating privacy is dead and really need to address how sites are monetizing user-generated content. I also thought it was interesting what Melissa Gira Grant was saying about her approach to marketing, which is to place limits on the conversations so as to not be the eternal social media huckster. I think retaining authenticity will be the challenge of commercialized social media, but for many organizations this goes deeper, as there's a fundamental inability to even have real conversations.

Twitterversion:: [blog+link] "The End of Shame..." {SxSWi} the privacy knowledge gap. You are not the buyer, you're the product.  @Prof_K

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