While the web continues to deliver a new world of wonders, the one persistent and pervasive problem is the ongoing erosion of our privacy. The social web is opening up new frontiers for data to find its way from private hands into the public. Whether this is voluntary, or involuntary, it is foisting a new era of transparency onto a society that so far seems entirely unprepared.
The reality is that in spite of our general euphoria and embrace of social media we do still value privacy both personally and organizationally. Indeed most organizations are nowhere near ready to operate under the type of scrutiny and transparency that public officials are now subject to. Wikileaks as a cultural phenomena may represent a watershed of corporate information that will start to be leaked either as a public service, or just to disrupt and sabotage.
Privacy therefore is ripe for a rebound, along with a re-assessment of how we can protect and pursue the values associated with it. The notion of privacy-by-design speaks to the need to integrate privacy considerations into the heart of a product, service, or process, rather than appending it as if it were a nuisance one has to adhere to. Yet the expected expansion of data retention laws also makes it difficult to protect this privacy when massive pools of data are mandated into existence.