Changing Privacy Notions

12 Feb 2008|Leigh Marinner

Esther Dyson’s article today on the Coming Ad Revolution talks about new online advertising startups using behavioral targeting to offer targeted ad services keyed to web sites users have visited. This raises the specter of Big Brother watching everything you do, but as Esther says, “The discussion about privacy is changing as users take control over their own online data. While they spread their Web presence, these users are not looking for privacy, but for recognition as individuals.”

The new, younger generation of social networking and blog users doesn’t have the same fears about privacy. Many aren’t worried about putting personal information online. They feel comfortable controlling access to their information by deciding which “friends” they give permission to. If someone they don’t want to interact with starts bothering them, they can cut off access – much more easily than in the physical world where it’s hard to shake someone who has your phone number.

Many over 35ers still think about online privacy in the context of protecting children from predators. But online privacy is a completely different issue for 20-something adults.

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