Identity and Expression

The Surveillance Society

One of the more interesting conversations from the Engage Expo last week in San Jose was a dinner conversation about surveillance and privacy. Now, this isn’t new, and if you’ve followed this blog you’ll recognize my strange sense of, well….let’s just call it utter confusion. Because the conversation always seems to go something like this:

- Data is being collected about us in all kinds of formats and in all kinds of ways under the guise of providing us with more useful information.
- I ask: isn’t that bad?
- The response: not really, because it means I get more relevant results – better search results, better banners, whatever.
- But isn’t THAT bad? I mean, do you really want companies to have so much DATA on you?
- Reply: *shrug* it’s inevitable.

I just don’t get it.

In any case, I was reminded of this conversation by the following preview of We Live in Public:

“On the 40th anniversary of the Internet, WE LIVE IN PUBLIC tells the story of the effect it is having on our society as seen through the eyes of the greatest Internet pioneer you’ve never heard of, visionary Josh Harris. Award-winning director, Ondi Timoner (DIG!), documented his tumultuous life for more than a decade, to create a riveting, cautionary tale of what to expect as the virtual world inevitably takes control of our lives.”

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