Making Sense of Priacy and Publicity

Saturday, March 13, 2010 2:00pm
Danah Boyd – Microsoft Research

The SXSW Interactive Festival is very excited that danah boyd will serve as the Opening Speaker for the 2010 event. One of the world’s foremost authorities on social networks, boyd works at Microsoft Research New England and also serves as a Fellow at the Harvard University Berkman Center for Internet and Society. boyd recently completed her PhD in the School of Information at the University of California-Berkeley.
The Opening Remarks will be simulcast in ACC Level 1, Ballroom A / ACC Level 3, Room 9ABC / ACC Level 4, Ballroom D / ACC Level 4, Room 18ABCD

How does social media transform society.
Some thing it is great (techies).
Some think it is destroying society.
We are all seeing how this shapes society.

The intersection of privacy and publicity – Privacy == Control.
Privacy IS NOT DEAD. People still care about it. What privacy means may not be what you think. Understand the social setting and the context and how to behind inside that. If people don’t feel they have control of their environment, they scream foul.

Google Buzz
This shows that people care about privacy. They took a hit on the trust they have (google). It was launched inside Gmail, and created a profile, and connected suggested users. It was publicly made available. There were all sorts our opt-outs available. The technology was not the failure here. Google made a public facing system inside one of the most private systems out there (email). Some people thought their email was being exposed to everyone in the world. Google assumed that people would opt-out if they didn’t want to participate. They didn’t quite understand the system, and just accepted the defaults. There was confusion that if you opt-out, you might be canceling your gmail account. Don’t throw people into the water and expect them to swim. Google assumed that they wanted all their contacts to come together. Just because people put these up there, doesn’t mean they want to put it all together. Just because people trust google, doesn’t mean they want that information used in other ways.
Online environments aren’t as stable as offline ones.

Facebook Default Changes
Select how things are shown. All the defaults were public. Most people (65%) didn’t read, and made it public. She has yet to find a person who knew exactly what their privacy settings were. Facebook made it’s site on trust, and now it’s gone. A big difference between public data and publicized data.

Personally Identifiable Information – people don’t think about this
Personally Embarrassing Information – people think about this
Social bonding is based on PII – it’s how we connect with people.

Public by Default, Private Through Effort
Social media is the reverse. You now have to think how to make something private instead of how to make something public (normal real-world social).

How public or private is something?
When we make something public more public, we are sicking the paparazzi on us. How will the people feel when you remix their content and make it more public?

Facebook != Twitter
Twitter is more people who want to obtain audiences. Facebook is not used that way historically.

Chat Roulette
An odd mix between privacy and publicity. You get a random video chat with another person. It may be a fad, but the mashup between publicity and privacy isn’t. There will be more.

There is no rules, and everything is always changing either by social context or technology. How you negotiate it in one context will change on the next.

The worst thing you can do is start with a conversation, "back in my day"
Figure out how to evolve the core essence of what privacy is, and what sort of control is needed in a particular environment. Ask questions, what are you trying to achieve? who do you think you’re talking to? what if something else was looking? Nobody is an expert – nobody knows how to navigate this yet.

Just because you can see someone, doesn’t mean they want to be seen by you.

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