The New Social

Bob and Evan waiting for the rain to stop
Bob and Evan Lose Their Privacy To A Rainstorm © Me

Scott McNealy’s 1999 dystopian assessment “there’s no privacy on the Web, get over it” no longer seems debatable…but it may be worse than we thought.

Anonymity–a kind of privacy–is a new social business model where ventures like secret.ly, whisper, and Yik-Yak are securing funding rounds. Anonymous media sites leverage anonymity, GPS, and compulsive posting to display thoughts in your vicinity—the local temperature. It yields surprising information. Already, secret.ly has streamed shockingly accurate predictions. Imagine reading a secret.ly post that your boss is interviewing your replacement. That is exactly what’s been happening. And the converse is also true…people interviewing at other firms are being outed on these anonymous sites. Imagine the harm that could be done with false postings on an anonymous social network…anonymity is a weapon of mass destruction in the war on privacy.

Bob & Evan lost their privacy due to a rainstorm that forced them to sit down together. Today, humans are losing their privacy in a maelstrom of anonymity. It really makes us wonder…

Is destroying each other’s privacy the new social?

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