Sunday, February 2, 2014

Is Privacy Obsolete?

Before connectivity, the “individual” was an indistinct personality - descriptive, not declarative; a vague and impersonal identity as a member of ordinary social groups, each generally unaware of the other and only semi-conscious of the other; each merely slightly interested in the other, if even that. Advertising was a crap-shoot; product development was defined by the unfulfilled expectations of the past. This has changed: now, “The Individual” is a specific, distinct, complex quantity in flux and self-mutation; transforming as both separate and equal, not less, bonded together with others as a whole organism. It’s the “observer effect” on steroids: as an Individual is observed, predicted, anticipated and, yes, tracked(!) – the faster the Individual transforms and changes its behavior, causing technology to exceed its own projections, making “privacy” obsolete: this is a weakness now, but in the future it’s a strength.

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