Privacy Panic Focuses on Wrong Issues by Larry Magid

Lately I’ve gotten a sense that lots of Internet users are suffering from “privacy panic,” not unlike the “predator panic” that plagued the Internet a few years ago when lots of people falsely believed that children faced a grave risk of being sexually abused by Internet predators.The problem with these panics is they tend to be based on extreme and often rare cases, or just plain myths. And they tend to focus attention on the wrong issues. A few years ago, obsession by the media and certain politicians with rare cases of predation distracted attention from much more likely risks, such as cyberbullying. Lately, fears of a loss of privacy at the hands of big Internet companies such as Google and Facebook have been obscuring more serious privacy issues that get less attention.

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