Thursday, July 03, 2008

Our Paradoxical Attitudes Toward Privacy - Bits - Technology - New York Times Blog

A timely reality check

We all cherish our privacy. Then we go and divulge everything about ourselves on Facebook, sprinkle our Social Security number like pixie dust across the Web and happily load up on tracking devices like GPS navigators and cellphones.

Researchers call this the privacy paradox: normally sane people have inconsistent and contradictory impulses and opinions when it comes to their safeguarding their own private information.

[...]

Mr. Loewenstein finished his talk at the conference with a word of warning about a medium that appears to confound our ability to navigate privacy issues according to our best interests. “The cues that we rely on through culture and evolution to tell us there is a privacy issue are not present on the Internet,” he said. Meanwhile, “the same technology magnifies the risk.”

Our Paradoxical Attitudes Toward Privacy - Bits - Technology - New York Times Blog

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