No use talking about privacy in social media, says law professor

Less—not more—privacy benefits the community, said Deakin Law professor who argued that “the more we know about other people, the clearer it becomes that they are like us.” This, he said, reduces stereotypes and prejudices.

Privacy, irrelevant

Talks of privacy in the time of flourishing social media and technological advances are irrelevant, said Professor Mirko Bagaric, Deakin University’s head of the Law School.

He argued that modern technology undermines the very relevance of the need for more privacy as people are more inclined to seeking attention rather than hiding in anonymity.

To give an example, he used Facebook, which has more than 800 million users, more than half of which log on every day.

“Users select the amount and type of data they upload and commonly it includes photographs, often of a revealing nature, relationship status, work and study activity, likes and dislikes and intimate personal details.

“Nothing it seems is out of bounds in terms of the information people share about themselves.”

Quick history of privacy

In the book, Future Proofing Australia, The Right Answers for Our Future, Bagaric said privacy was an invention in the late 20th century until early 21st Century and it reflected a highly individualistic society, which feared the technology it had developed itself.

Bagaric said privacy, a code for secrecy, was normally the refuge of the guilty, paranoid and misguided. “It results in a less informed, less transparent and less enlightened community,” he said.



So privacy seems to be becoming a thing of the past – at least to some 800 million people in the world.

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