what is privacy?

So I’d like to take a little time to lay out what I’m thinking when I talk about Privacy, especially since I’m mainly focused on empowering individuals with control over data sharing and not so much on keeping secrets.

…This means data subjects (those people whose data is being collected, used or shared) must be able to understand what’s going to happen with their data and have the ability to provide dissent or consent.

Third, when it’s clear what’s happening and individuals have an understanding about what they want, they must be given control over collection, sharing or use of the data in question.

…The privacy perception gap is a symptom of ineffective transparency and choice; it is the result of peoples’ inability to really understand what’s going on so they have no chance to establish positions about what is okay.  When transparency and choice are built into a system, the gap shrinks and people have most of what they need to regain control over their privacy.

…Maybe I should have said something like “It’s generally expected by non-experts that those who are experts on privacy agree on what it means.”?

…@thelem: the way I think about it, choice is being armed with enough information and motivation to decide what you want whereas control is making your choice reality. I can choose not to share my birthday with the whole world, but unless there are appropriate “share-with-whom” settings on sites like facebook I don’t actually have control. … I’m curious: how can you feel like you have control when you’re not aware what organizations/entities do with your data (lack of transparency)?

…@Anonymous 3:44PM: Yes, control implies choice and choice implies transparency (you can’t choose unless you know from what you’re choosing, and you cannot have control unless you know how you want something controlled). ?

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