Mar 162010
 
 March 16, 2010  Misc, Non-U.S., Online

Anne Cavoukian, Information & Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, had an op-ed in yesterday’s Globe and Mail:

Recently, a considerable amount of controversy ensued when Mark Zuckerberg, head of the world’s most popular online social network, Facebook, was misquoted as saying, “privacy is no longer a social norm.” What he actually said was: “People have really gotten comfortable, not only with sharing more information and different kinds, but more openly and with more people. That social norm is just something that has evolved over time.”

But few appear to recall his exact words – the take-away (erroneous though it may be), was that Mr. Zuckerberg no longer considered privacy to be a social norm (reflected in the many calls I received, asking me to respond to that statement). While I would not presume to speak for Mr. Zuckerberg, having spoken with his staff, they confirmed that his words were taken out of context.

What I emphatically submit is that there is little evidence to change our view that privacy remains a social norm. Privacy relates to freedom of choice and control in the sphere of one’s personal information – choices regarding what information you wish to share, and perhaps more importantly, what you do not want shared with others. What has changed, however, is the means by which personal information is now readily exchanged, at the speed of light.

Read more in the Globe and Mail.

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