In a recent interview Mark Zukerberg “told a live audience ...that if he were to create Facebook again today, user information would by default be public, not private as it was for years until the company changed dramatically in December.” Without question Facebook and social networking have changed Internet users’ perceptions of what should be private and not.
Google CEO Schmidt Comments about Privacy
The Electronic Frontier Foundation recently reported:
When asked during an interview for CNBC’s recent "Inside the Mind of Google" special about whether users should be sharing information with Google as if it were a "trusted friend," Schmidt responded, "If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place."
Schmidt went to say that under the US Patriot Act the US government may obtain information from Google which they routinely retain. Many Google users are unaware that Google retains each and every search for 18 months. So I guess his advice should make people stop and think.
Privacy – What Do Law Students Think?
When I first started teaching the Law of e Commerce at SMU Dedman School of Law in 2000 privacy was a very important and hot topic. A few years ago the CyberProf listserv did an informal survey of those of us who teach the Law of eCommerce and/or the Internet regarding how our students felt about privacy in 2000 and in 2008. Not much of a surprise that law students in 2008 seemed to care a lot less about privacy. My guess is that social networking, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, texting, et al have been the big drivers of this change in attitude regarding privacy.