Monday, March 15, 2010

Danah Boyd on Privacy and Publicity, SXSW

South by South West (sxsw), the top new media conference, is winding down but the post analysis is just getting started. I was particularly impressed by Danah Boyd's keynote address, "Making Sense of Privacy and Publicity" in which she reminded attendees of the complexities surrounding the issue.

Danah is an excellent person to read if you're interested in privacy issues. She's been following developments around privacy in various sectors of society for quite some time and wealth of examples, anecdotes and information to offer.

Her keynote, a rough outline of which can be found here, was a winding look at what privacy and publicity issues people face on the Web today and offered some thoughts on why people behave the way they do.

Her conclusion offered specific advice to technologists, parents and marketers regarding how to approach privacy and publicity from their perspectives. Each group has its own challenges to overcome. A summary of her points for each group:

Technologists. Evolving a product with your customers carries distinct social challenges. Building a new product can be easier than evolving an existing product. Existing products have social context that influences user attitudes towards them. Providing users a sense of privacy creates a potentially threatening situation if that privacy is taken away. Changes that lessen privacy can have negative real world ramifications for some customers, and failing to acknowledge those ramifications will damage your reputation.

Parents and Educators. Adults guiding young people through the social Web lack precedent. Encourage open dialogs and actively listen to apply common sense solutions to challenges. Be prepared to learn. Ask questions.

Marketers and Analysts. Public data is public in context; failing to acknowledge context can jeopardize relationships and lead to the misinterpretation of data. While greater availability of data is positive because it can lead to better decisions, failure to respect and understand sources can cause more harm than good.

I encourage anyone involved with the social Web to read the full keynote; this summary only scratches the surface.

© Jeremy Buehler and Rogue Tendencies ( 2010.

No comments:

Post a Comment