“Privacy isn’t a technological binary that you turn off and on. Privacy is about having control of a situation. It’s about controlling what information flows where and adjusting measures of trust when things flow in unexpected ways. It’s about creating certainty so that we can act appropriately. People still care about privacy because they care about control. Sure, many teens repeatedly tell me “public by default, private when necessary” but this doesn’t suggest that privacy is declining; it suggests that publicity has value and, more importantly, that folks are very conscious about when something is private and want it to remain so. When the default is private, you have to think about making something public. When the default is public, you become very aware of privacy. And thus, I would suspect, people are more conscious of privacy now than ever. Because not everyone wants to share everything to everyone else all the time.”
Posts in category 'Identity'
He asserts that “user-centric identity, “the ability of individuals to carry their information from one site to another in a “cloud” of their own making, will become increasingly important.
Article on Future Banking in which John Clippinger describes some of the ways in which traditional information asymmetries between enterprises and their customers are being redressed to allow individuals more control over their personal information.
Digital We: A (Multiple) Identity Crisis
We create new digital identities almost without limit – at the same time new technologies urge us to blur them. Is it a new digital arms race?
“Intentionally or not, the world of bits offers so many opportunities to create information related to ourselves, and for that information to coalesce into something like an identity, that even the most transparent and consistent Net denizens appears in multiple forms in multiple locations. You might say that we’re all suffering from a form of digital schizophrenia.
Yet according to a number of our ideators, the ways in which we coordinate our digital personae is about to change.”
Global Vision, Local Impact
Technology innovations in the developing world generate lasting results
“The developing world has begun to experience a dramatic transformation not only in the adoption of new technologies but in the innovative ways they are being used. Mobile devices in particular have offered unprecedented opportunities to individuals without access many other basic amenities.”
Also on Ideas Project a video interview with Ann Winblad, a well-known and respected software industry entrepreneur and technology leader, who argues that by moving technology from location-based servers to a virtual environment, with expanded if not universal access, the opportunities for innovation increase exponentially.
The Aspen Institute, 2009
Smart Mobs reports:
“Recently, The Aspen Institute has published an eBook which some say is possibly the best report on cloud computing ever published. Written by J.D. Lasica, Identity in the Age of Cloud Computing: The next-generation Internet’s impact on business, governance and social interaction is the result of the Seventeenth Annual Roundtable on Information Technology which included 30 experts in identity and technology with notable contributors such as John Seely Brown and Esther Dyson. This is a MUST read for anyone attempting to decipher and understand the ramifications of the cloud on a societal level.”
Here is the abstract:
“Identity in the Age of Cloud Computing: The next-generation Internet’s impact on business, governance and social interaction” examines the migration of information, software and identity into the Cloud and explores the transformative possibilities of this new computing paradigm for culture, commerce and personal communication. The report also considers potential consequences for privacy, governance and security, and it includes policy recommendations and advice for the new presidential administration. Written by J.D. Lasica, the report is the result of the Seventeenth Annual Roundtable on Information Technology.
“The popularity of Facebook and other social networking sites has promoted the sharing of all things personal, dissolving the line that separates the private from the public.
As the scope of sharing personal information expands from a few friends to many sundry individuals grouped together under the Facebook label of “friends,” disclosure becomes the norm and privacy becomes a quaint anachronism.”
Bill Thompson’s reflections are much more to the point.
“What happens with social networks is they publish information about you to the world. Two kinds of information: the ones you control, and the ones you don’t control.
The solution to fight the ones you don’t control has been known for years. If you can’t control the conversation improve it! Become the one stop source of info about yourself. [...]
Now that you are back in the driver seat, you have your privacy back. Just of a different kind. You have built a space that could be called “publicy”, or “the plausible me”. It is a credible space where people expect to see information about you. Whatever credible information you say in there will be taken as true by the world.
That is your new privacy.”
“The project brings together a distinguished collection of Internet observers, scholars, innovators, entrepreneurs, activists, technologists and still other experts, to write short essays, to foster an on-going public dialogue, and to create a durable record of how the rules of cyberspace are being formed, potentially impacting their future incarnation. [...]
Through this series of essays, we hope to generate a discussion among global stakeholders and netizens regarding rule-making and governance on the net, and in the process, to envision the net of the future. We will cast fundamental questions that will intrigue both experts and laypeople, by asking who should (or shouldn’t) control cyberspace? Can it be governed? Who decides?
Through this process, we will consider how best to protect our common resources, how to balance individual freedoms with community rights, public action with private activity, national security with personal expression, intellectual property protections with open access. In echoing historical dilemmas, we will ask how cyberspace stimulates innovative thinking regarding authority and rules and how those ideas might shape the future “constitutions” of the net.”
“John Palfrey’s thinking in launching Publius was to recognize that the emergence of American constitutional democracy didn’t occur in a single moment of crystalline brilliance. It was the product of years of argument, conversation and deliberation, through media like the Federalist papers. Palfrey argues that we’re going through a long, complex constitutional moment as regards the internet, constructing the laws and norms that will govern how we interact with one another through the infrastructure of the internet. As such, Publius is an invitation to post arguments, to ask for the Internet to behave one way or another and make the case for one’s point of view.”
Here are my preferred essays:
The Polyglot Internet
Essay by Ethan Zuckerman on the need for focused efforts to make translation cheaper, easier and far more common to enable global discussions
One Missed Call?
Essay by Ken Banks on refocusing our attention on the social mobile long tail
The Latent Community in Every Webpage
Essay by Clay Shirky on the increased ability of otherwise uncoordinated groups to achieve their shared goals
She just published her dissertation entitled “Taken Out of Context: American Teen Sociality in Networked Publics“. It examines how American teenagers socialize in networked publics like MySpace, Facebook, LiveJournal, Xanga and YouTube, and how the architectural differences between unmediated and mediated publics affect sociality, identity and culture.
As social network sites like MySpace and Facebook emerged, American teenagers began adopting them as spaces to mark identity and socialize with peers. Teens leveraged these sites for a wide array of everyday social practices – gossiping, flirting, joking around, sharing information, and simply hanging out. While social network sites were predominantly used by teens as a peer-based social outlet, the unchartered nature of these sites generated fear among adults. This dissertation documents my 2.5-year ethnographic study of American teens’ engagement with social network sites and the ways in which their participation supported and complicated three practices – self-presentation, peer sociality, and negotiating adult society.
My analysis centers on how social network sites can be understood as networked publics which are simultaneously (1) the space constructed through networked technologies and (2) the imagined community that emerges as a result of the intersection of people, technology, and practice. Networked publics support many of the same practices as unmediated publics, but their structural differences often inflect practices in unique ways. Four properties – persistence, searchability, replicability, and scalability – and three dynamics – invisible audiences, collapsed contexts, and the blurring of public and private – are examined and woven throughout the discussion.
While teenagers primarily leverage social network sites to engage in common practices, the properties of these sites configured their practices and teens were forced to contend with the resultant dynamics. Often, in doing so, they reworked the technology for their purposes. As teenagers learned to navigate social network sites, they developed potent strategies for managing the complexities of and social awkwardness incurred by these sites. Their strategies reveal how new forms of social media are incorporated into everyday life, complicating some practices and reinforcing others. New technologies reshape public life, but teens’ engagement also reconfigures the technology itself.
The organizers have synthesised the interviews with experts worldwide (including the author of this blog), the presentations of the speakers and the results of a workshop into an extensive manifesto (SlideShare, PowerPoint, PDF) that is worth reading.
The paper argues that today’s “attention economy” will be succeeded by a “recognition economy,” in which opportunities for design will continue to increase: “Compulsory self-responsibility will force consumers to optimize their self. This self will call for deliberate decisions and new orientation frames. Identity will become a management assignment. Recognition will become the new key quantity.” The result is what the authors call “Egonomics – an economy geared to the own self.” Egonomics comprises of the following pillars: Body: Healthstyle; Security: Authentification; Relationships: Connectivity; Recognition: Reputation; Self-actualization: Creativity.
(written in part with input from CNet article)
Privacy in an age of terabytes and terror
Introduction to SciAm’s issue on Privacy. Our jittery state since 9/11, coupled with the Internet revolution, is shifting the boundaries between public interest and “the right to be let alone”.
How loss of privacy may mean loss of security
Keynote essay by Esther Dyson
Many issues posing as questions of privacy can turn out to be matters of security, health policy, insurance or self-presentation. It is useful to clarify those issues before focusing on privacy itself.
Internet eavesdropping: a brave new world of wiretapping
As telephone conversations have moved to the Internet, so have those who want to listen in. But the technology needed to do so would entail a dangerous expansion of the government’s surveillance powers.
Tougher laws needed to protect your genetic privacy
In spite of recent legislation, tougher laws are needed to prevent insurers and employers from discriminating on the basis of genetic tests.
Beyond fingerprinting: is biometrics the best bet for fighting identity theft?
Security systems based on anatomical and behavioral characteristics may offer the best defense against identity theft.
Digital surveillance: tools of the spy trade
Night-vision cameras, biometric sensors and other gadgets already give snoops access to private spaces. Coming soon: palm-size “bug-bots”.
How RFID tags could be used to track unsuspecting people
A privacy activist argues that the devices pose new security risks to those who carry them, often unwittingly.
Data fusion: the ups and downs of all-encompassing digital profiles
Mashing everyone’s personal data, from credit card bills to cell phone logs, into one all-encompassing digital dossier is the stuff of an Orwellian nightmare. But it is not as easy as most people assume.
Cryptography: how to keep your secrets safe
A versatile assortment of computational techniques can protect the privacy of your information and online activities to essentially any degree and nuance you desire.
Do social networks bring the end of privacy?
Young people share the most intimate details of personal life on social-networking Web sites, such as MySpace and Facebook, portending a realignment of the public and the private.
Does an advertiser know you clicked on this story?
Facebook, Yahoo, and Google come under fire for allowing advertisers to follow online consumer behavior to create targeted messages.
International report: what impact is technology having on privacy around the world?
ScientificAmerican.com, with help from our international colleagues, highlights privacy and security issues in China, Japan, the Middle East, Russia and the U.K.
How I stole someone’s identity
The author asked some of his acquaintances for permission to break into their online banking accounts. The goal was simple: get into their online accounts using the information about them, their families and acquaintances that is freely available online.
Pedophile-proof chat rooms?
Can Lancaster University’s Isis Project keep children safe online without invading our privacy?
Industry roundtable: experts discuss improving online security
Experts from Sun, Adobe, Microsoft and MacAfee discuss how to protect against more numerous and sophisticated attacks by hackers; security professionals call for upgraded technology, along with more attention to human and legal factors.
(via Bruno Giussani)
She recently presented a paper on the matter, entitled “Identity at Work and Play: Conducting Ethnography for Commercial Enterprise” at the London Business School in a seminar that dealt specifically with gender and power issues within the larger context of a seminar series on emotions and embodiment in research.
Here are some excerpts from a longer story she sent me:
The seminar brought together academics and practitioners with an interest in ethnographic research perspectives to the material generated in research.
Dr. JK Tina Basi, Director of Mehfil Enterprise and freelance researcher with Intel’s Digital Health Group in Ireland, discussed the role of identity in shaping the research process and outcomes. Her talk, entitled, ‘Identity at Work and Play: Conducting Ethnography for Commercial Enterprise’, looked at the way in which research design could better include and make space for the co-construction of both the researcher and the research participants’ identities. Drawing upon a range of feminist academics (Haraway, 1991; Stanley and Wise, 1993; and Wolf, 1996), Dr. Basi pointed towards the feminist epistemological critique of positivism and ‘value free’ research, which argues that the subjective/objective dichotomy is false, and that objectivity is simply a name given to male subjectivity.
“Interviewing is the art of construction rather than excavation; thus the task is to organize the asking and listening so as to create the best conditions for constructing meaningful knowledge (Mason, 2002). Research cannot be ‘hygienic’, and knowledge is best created as a co-production between the interviewer and interviewee (Collins, 2000), as two intersecting dialogues: dialogue number one is the ethnographer’s interviews with informants or the observations of people’s lives; dialogue two is between the ethnographer’s written work and the readers (Smith, 2002: 20) or the clients. Such an approach paves the way for greater reflexivity, which isn’t just about presenting the self and being reflexive about the self, it is about exposing power relations and the way in which these relations shape knowledge – a much more authentic way to conduct research, yielding sharper insights and deeper meanings.”
Dr Basi presented two examples from Intel’s research in the healthcare sector to show the strength of a dialogic approach to data collection. Intel’s research work on transport and mobility in rural Ireland was designed in part by the Rural Transport Programme and the research on social care services in England was heavily influenced by the experiences of elderly people using the services provided by Age Concern.
“Ethnography is just as much about the interview as it is about the setting, it is about building a rapport, yet you do more than just talking. You see things that people cannot articulate, what they don’t know they are trying to articulate. Ethnographic research provides a view of the rituals, practices, markers, and triggers in intimate settings and important environments – the situatedness of ethnography however, calls upon the researcher to become vulnerable in the process too.”
Check out the LadyGeek blog too
“The transformation of our social lives and the increase in surveillance and technological innovations have led us to believe that privacy is in the midst of a very public death. But privacy is not dying, nor can we let it do so.
Privacy protects a set of deeply significant values that no society can do without; it is about the lines, boundaries and relationships we draw between and among ourselves, communities and institutions. Privacy appears threatened because our perception of what it means has radically changed. This collection argues that we get the privacy culture we deserve. Our appetite for a connected society means we have yet to determine why we still care about privacy.
These essays explore the underlying challenges and realities of privacy in an open society, and argue for a new settlement between the individual and society; the public and the state; the consumer and business. To achieve this, we need collective participation in negotiating the terms and conditions of twenty-first century privacy.
The collection includes contributions from Jonathan Bamford, Peter Bazalgette, Chris Bellamy, Peter Bradwell, Gareth Crossman, Simon Davies, Peter Fleischer, Niamh Gallagher, Tom Ilube, Markus Meissen, Perri 6, Charles Raab, Jeffrey Rosen, Robert Souhami, Zoe Williams and Marlene Winfield.”
Download paper (pdf, 580 kb, 184 pages)
Being able to make your own decisions and hold your own views without interference; controlling information about yourself; and being in charge of your personal space – these basic elements of privacy are under threat, according to a new book, The Spy in the Coffee Machine: The End of Privacy As We Know It, by Kieron O’Hara and Nigel Shadbolt, two computer scientists at the University of Southampton.
While our offline activities are tracked by CCTV cameras, Oyster cards and RFID tags, the details of our online searches and purchases accumulate in databases that know more about us than we’d tell our closest friends. Many of us also broadcast our lives through blogs and social networking sites. “When one’s self as a social entity, with history, with transactions, is all out there, then privacy is not the same old notion,” says Shadbolt, who is professor of artificial intelligence at Southampton and one of the leading scientists shaping the protocols for the future internet.
How about everyday experiences? Often these little experiences (digital or real world) are not engineered to be great, but somehow they find a way to us and we feel comfortable with it. They don’t appear to be great at first and somehow we get used to it. They may not be places for special occasions but they represent a third place we spend our time. People are friendly not because they are trained to act that way but they are simply who they are. It is called authenticity. We can tolerate those long waits or any human errors because we know they are like us – being humans. The questions why we do we tolerate these service hiccups in those places and get mad when it happens as a result of a service breakdown in a large company whether it is hotel, airline or retail chain? I think it has to be with authenticity.
“The EU is the test case for the effects of the Internet on government. No other multi-national region of the world has gone so far to dismantle national broders. Within the EU there are no passport checks, no customs checks at internal broders, and no barriers to work – any citizen of any of the 12 EU countries can work in any other EU country without needing a visa. Things that Americans take for granted, like being able to move 3000 miles for a job, are available to the citizens of the EU for the first time. In other words, the EU has most of the trappings of a country except the citizens, and the citizens are being produced at places like easyEverything. The people sending their email there are Europe’s first post-national generation, its first Internet generation, the first group of people who can move from one country to another if they hear that life is better elsewhere. The willingness of this generation to ignore national identity is going to confound their elders, the people who have grown up convinced that sentiments like ‘The Germans are efficient and humorless, while the Italians are undisciplined and fun-loving’ have an almost genetic component. Nationality matters less than economics – the Internet generation is going to behave more like customers than citizens.”
It is part of their strategy to publicise their forthcoming Trend Day, which has the theme: “Identity Management – Recognition replaces attention”.
So I am pleased to see some debate on the issue. NESTA, the UK’s National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts, has just published a “provocation” written by Charles Leadbeater (author of We-Think) on why immigration is vital to innovation.
Entitled “The Difference Dividend“, the essay starts of with an outline of the three critical connections between immigration, innovation and creativity, argues (rightfully) that the debate about immigration is conducted in a thick fog of prejudice, anecdote and rumour, and describes in detail the critical contributions immigration makes to our capacity to innovate.
Leadbeater warns that diversity is not enough for innovation to take place (“The costs of diversity need to be well managed to make sure the benefits come through.”), highlights how people need to trust one another to share ideas and build upon one another’s contributions for innovation to emerge, and ends with four main implications for policymakers keen to maximise the impact of immigration on innovation.
But I had never written about in those terms. Mea culpa. I was reminded of this gap only when I read the Guinness Storehouse case study on the Design Council website.
“Eataly is an irresistible realization of every food-lover’s gluttonous fantasy, paired with guilt-cleansing social conscience—a new combination of grand food hall, farm stand, continuing- education university, and throbbing urban market. Much like Boqueria, in Barcelona, and Vucciria, in Palermo, two of the few thriving center-city markets left in Europe, Eataly draws all classes and ages at all times of day. The emphasis on local and artisanal producers, education, affordable prices, a lightened environmental footprint, and sheer fun makes Eataly a persuasive model for the supermarket of the future—one that is sure to be widely copied around the world. The question is whether Eataly will bite the hands of the people feeding it, the people it says it wants to help: Slow Food, which is the arbiter and moral center of today’s food culture, and the artisans themselves. “
Monocle carries an excellent video report:
“Housed in a former vermouth factory, Eataly offers the finest artisanal produce from Italian suppliers, all selected with the assistance of Slow Food Italia and accompanied by lovingly compiled details of its provenance and production.”
And also The New York Times featured it, using the opportunity to announce that a smaller version (one tenth the size of the Torino market) will open this spring in a two-level, 10,000-square-foot space in the new Centria building at 18 West 48th Street in New York:
“In January, in what had been a defunct vermouth factory in Turin, [Oscar Farinetti] opened a 30,000-square-foot megastore called Eataly that combines elements of a bustling European open market, a Whole-Foods-style supermarket, a high-end food court and a New Age learning center. [...]“
“Artisanal products from some 900 Italian producers fill the store’s shelves, and 12 suppliers (some of which Mr. Farinetti invested in or bought outright) were enlisted as partners. Many of the food items are accompanied by explanatory placards and nearly half of the three-level store is dedicated to educational activities: a computer center, a library, a vermouth museum and rooms for cooking classes and tasting seminars. [...]“
“According to management, more than 1.5 million people visited the store in its first six months and sales have exceeded projections.”
In short, for the real experience of fresh products from the Piedmont countryside you need to come to Torino.
“People create their own identities interacting with products and services. The notion of a consumer experience is a more passive way of thinking. It’s so 20th century. Identity gets the buzz in ’08.”
Defining The New Singularity
Exploring the next level of convergence: between hardware and software, information and object, human and technology.
“As the writer Bruce Sterling puts it, borrowing a bit from Baudrillard and applying it to design, we are now approaching an age of technological advancement when ‘there is more stored in the map than there is in the territory’. Put more simply, the story surrounding a given ‘thing’, a product or service we buy and use, is rapidly exceeding the value of the thing itself. The identity of a product can no longer be easily defined through its form factor, but rather by the information that encases it, passes through it, and is accumulated by it over the course of its lifetime.”
Change Agency and Transformologies
Understanding the power of design to facilitate positive change in the end-user.
“Can personal development be better shaped by the technologies we, as designers, create? What if products and environments were designed to acknowledge individual aspirations and facilitate the realization of users’ potential? Could our products not only change users’ behavior, but actually foster within them the qualities that they seek?”
Key principles for the creation and curation of your child’s online identity.
“The purpose of this article is to provide you, the parent, with some basic principles for navigating the wonderful world of social networking and Web 2.0 with your children – all while keeping them safe, socialized, and engaged. They are not rules, or guidelines, or a philosophy of parenting. They are just basic principles that remind you, and your kids, to think before you press that Enter key.”
Is Your Hard Drive Worth More Than Your Life?
The influence of technology on the collective experience of today’s families.
“Before the presence of cameras and the like, humans passed on knowledge through storytelling, intertwining personal experience with a sense of place and time. They created visual landscapes through words, art, and the objects around them. This storytelling codified a shared sense of experience, bringing the audience into a collective understanding of their culture and environment. As the stories were passed on, every teller became a part of the tale – rendering history subjective, reality shared. In our frenzy to safeguard our memories in the online world, we have removed the intimacy of storytelling. We have made the web, not each other, the major source of shared experiences, knowledge, and opinions (often not even our own).”
HBR: Melding Design and Strategy
In the September 2007 issue of Harvard Business Review, frog Strategy Director Ravi Chhatpar published the following article, outlining the benefits of an iterative design process, in which design and business strategy impact one another directly.
“From concept through development, designers should function in parallel with corporate decision makers, creating prototypes for a number of variations on a product and then testing them with users and, if appropriate, partners. Tracking how customers’ ways of using a product evolve over time also makes it possible for designers to identify desirable new features and, in some cases, create new functionality in conjunction with users.”