The following is a rough version of a talk given by Danah Boyd at the
32nd International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners in Jerusalem, October 29, 2010
… Given the “Generations” theme at the conference this year, I’ve been asked to talk with you today about my research on teens’ understandings of social norms with respect to privacy. I am an ethnographer, a sociologist. My work focuses on how everyday people engage with social media as part of their everyday lives. And so I’ve been spending a lot of time talking with teens about their notions of privacy, in part because the notion that kids don’t care about privacy is completely inaccurate.
I’m completely baffled by the persistent assumption that social norms around privacy have radically changed because of social media. This rhetoric is pervasive and is often used to justify privacy invasions. There is little doubt that the Internet is restructuring social interactions, but there is no radical shift in social norms because of social media. Teenagers care _deeply_ about privacy. But they also want to participate in public life and they’re trying to find ways to have both. Privacy is far from dead but it is definitely in a state of flux.
The goal of my talk today is to help you understand engagement with social media through the eyes of young people, exploring social norms around privacy. I believe that understanding the cultural logic of people who are engaged with technology can help you think critically about technology and policy.
Read the rest of her outstanding talk on her web site. And if you’re a parent, definitely read this talk as it may give you greater insights into how your child’s generation views things.