Friday, June 29, 2007

Privacy, secrecy and identity, oh my!

Bob Blakely is always thought provoking. Sometimes, it's true, he provokes emotional responses of the raise-my-blood-pressure type but he always makes me think. Kicking off today's identity track session at Catalyst today, he offered as a theme "The End of Secrecy". You should look at his presentation (pdf version or powerpoint slides), but the main points are:

* Privacy is not secrecy
* The end of secrecy forces us to confront what we have always really known about privacy
  • It is a social problem, not a technical problem
  • It has no technical solution
  • Though technology can make the social problem worse
Those of us involved in the technology industry do fall into the carpenter fallacy ("if your only tool is a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail") and often feel that technology can solve all problems. Technology can be a tool for social good (or evil) but the technology itself is amoral and the solution to a social problem is never going to be solely a technological advance.

For more on Privacy from Blakely, listen to What is privacy?

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