2013 10 17 NYT A Loss of Privacy – The Fault Lies With Us – NYTimes.com


A Loss of Privacy: The Fault Lies With Us

Re “A World Without Privacy,” by Joe Nocera (column, Oct. 15):

While Dave Eggers’s new novel, “The Circle,” blames a Google doppelgänger for the eventual complete loss of privacy, in reality, much of the fault will be our own.

As creators of personal data, we willingly relinquish our valuable information to a multitude of companies that voraciously collect anything that can help them sell us more.

But while in the past these companies depended on our active and knowing participation through stuff like loyalty cards, social media have created a generation of unwitting sharers whose regular and unremitting data dumps — read: tweets, posts and photos — are easily mined by anyone.

And while even seemingly benign and uninformative up and down votes can be surprisingly revealing, the real danger lies in our own overt (or someone else’s inadvertent) sharing of our genetic and medical information.

Without strong restrictive regulation, this information will eventually be exploited to our disadvantage.

Lawrence, N.Y., Oct. 16, 2013

The writer is an adjunct assistant professor of molecular biophysics and biochemistry at Yale.


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