I have just read an article by Cory Doctorow about the privacy concerns of teenagers and the savvy ways they are learning to maintain their privacy on the internet. I know Cory, and respect the depth of his knowledge and insight into the consequences of our online lives. I also know how to set up a VPN and to use a Tor browser but do I really want to?
At risk of appearing naive, what are we all so afraid of? Who are we afraid of? Future employers, the government, sexual predators? What sort of world will we end up with if we stay afraid? Isn’t it better to be brave and say what we think, open up to connections, and face up to the challenges that doing so represents? If our institutions are broken we need to fix them rather than hide from them. If we don’t trust corporations we should regulate their activities – or stop using their products. Is hiding really the answer?
Next week I am giving a talk in Woodbridge School in Suffolk. I was asked to do it to counterbalance parental and school attitudes driven by media fuelled fear of the internet. I am going to be touching on the issues mentioned in this post. Should be fun!