Jeffrey Rosen, a law professor at George Washington University, has written an excellent overview of the online privacy problem, titled “The web means the end of forgetting”, in last week’s NYT (a reminder that old media often still publish the best stuff).
Despite Rosen’s focus on the legal aspects of our eternal exposure on the web, the most interesting aspect of the article is his discussion about the emergence of new social norms regulating our online presence. He has actually “been at dinners recently where someone has requested, in all seriousness, ‘Please don’t tweet this’”.
There is something important about changing social norms going on here. The few times I’ve taken photos of participants in academic meetings and seminar for this blog, I’ve felt somewhat guilty of breaching their right to privacy. But do Facebookers feel the same way?