As social media background checks start to result in applicants being rejected for jobs simply because of pictures and comments posted on social websites, could we start to see a crippling privacy backlash that will prevent adoption of useful technology because of public fear and mistrust?
Personal data is a commodity that can be traded for ease of functionality (ie reconnect with old friends, recommendations based on past interests) or for free or discounted services. Additionally, there's the ability to post views and beliefs in an attempt to influence a wide audience.
There are three equations in play:
privacy vs utilityAnecdotally; and also through adoption rates for social media, and store discount cards which track customers' every purchase; in the UK at least we're a nation happy to trade privacy for utility and price.
privacy vs price
privacy vs influence
Or are we? When I talk to family and friends about blogging - an unmistakably public activity - under my real name; many are surprised, and some offer me hushed advice to be careful.