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A world without privacy: Incon­ceiv­able or a blessing? The post-privacy movement under the microscope

“You don't

Mi data es tu data – my data is your data: One could say that this expression sum­ma­rizes the idea behind the post-privacy movement, according to which every­one soon loses their privacy in a world of increasing connec­tivity. A frightening vision of the future? "You don't have any privacy anyway. Get over it," said the former co-founder of Sun Microsystems, Scott McNealy, to a group of reporters as he introduced the company's "Jini" technology. That was back in 1999, mind you. The mere idea caused quite a stir even then. And today the issue of privacy is more topical than ever. Eric Schmidt, the long-time head of Google, said in a 2010 interview with James Bennet: "With your permission you give us information about you, about your friends, and we can improve the quality of our searches. We don't need you to type at all. We know where you are. We know where you've been. We can more or less know what you're thinking about." Even the head of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, thinks that "privacy is old school." That today Facebook and Google probably know us even better than we know ourselves is illustrated by Ben in our interview about the transparent user.

“You don't

The post-privacy movement believes that there's no's way to prevent the ongoing elimination of data protec­tion and privacy in an era of connec­tivity. Christian Heller, author of the book „Prima Leben ohne Privat­sphäre“ ("Live well without privacy") believes that data protec­tion is to some degree obso­lete. Rather than insist on data protec­tion, we should instead accept the shifting privacy borders and view this as an oppor­tunity to become a better society. In a world in which everyone shares every­thing with each other, there's no longer any fear of nakedness. In essence, this is the post-privacy movement. Could a society without privacy actually be superior to the traditional one? Will we become better people if each person knows everything about everyone? For example, knowing when someone goes through a red light - as it is already happening in the Chinese city of Jinan, by the way. They use facial recognition software and cameras - and a notice is sent to the employer along with a photo. After all, since the measure was implemented in Jinan, fewer people have died from accidents at intersections.

privacy anyway.

Or, in complete contrast, would a fully transparent world without privacy be a psychological strain on us all? One where we would live under constant supervision and with the constant worry that we could only survive by adapting our lives perfectly, just like in the screen adaptation of Dave Egger's "The Circle"? Would a world in which each person knows everything about everyone really lead to more equal treatment? Or would it lead, in con­trast, to more margi­na­lization and dis­cri­mi­nation? Regardless of your

views, there is one thing we must not forget: our data could still remain stored tomorrow as well. It is un­cer­tain who in the future will swallow or hack an app or online service or make it bankrupt. Nor do we know which parties will come to power. Not to mention whether our collected data will then be processed to our benefit. Or whether the temp­ta­tion to misuse it for political or financial purposes is too great. Whether we'll then have the oppor­tunity to definitively delete our data is questionable. Since May 25, 2018, the new General Data Protection Regulation at least offers indi­viduals within the European Union a right to be forgotten as well as a right to erasure. The law obliges businesses to erase personal data upon informal request, or even to erase it auto­mati­cally once its storage is no longer necessary for its original purpose.

Get over it” Scott McNealy, former cofound of Sun Microsystems

Media, sure! But secure.

Education is everything! That's all the more true for protecting our privacy online. With the initiative „Media, sure! But secure.“ we help people learning how to handle digital media competently and safely, especially in relation to privacy. More about the project here.