Mark Zuckerberg, founder, CEO and “face” of Facebook is a man whose idea of privacy is that there is none, except for that reserved for himself. Facebook recently decided to remove the option for its users to hide from search results, meaning that at any time anyone can search for you and find you on Facebook.
Facebook cited the fact that since less than 5 percent of its users utilize this option, they feel that there is no need to continue providing this service. This is interesting considering Zuckerberg made headlines recently when he purchased the four houses that neighbor his own because of privacy concerns.
Not only is privacy becoming less and less relevant, but the amount of information we post online that is publicly available is increasing. This is interesting in light of recent public outrage over NSA information collection.
The NSA’s public image has declined severely after Eric Snowden revealed the agency’s massive project to gather information about not only suspected terrorists, but American citizens.
The American public, much like Zuckerberg himself, has been caught in a state of hypocrisy. Why are we so mad that the government is collecting our data when the same information is readily available on our Facebook walls, Twitter feeds, YouTube channels, Tumblrs, Flickrs, Instagrams, Pinterests or other social media outlets?
We can’t have our cakes and eat them too. We can’t ask the government to protect us against potential terrorist threats while simultaneously asking them to trust us. The government is going to use any and all available resources to achieve their goals. The people we voted into office don’t care about privacy because we don’t care about privacy, we care about stopping terrorist threats, and now after we found out how the bacon is made we’re angry.
According to the Pew Research Center, as of Aug. 5th 83 percent of all adults aged 18-29 use social networking sites. Granted not all of us use these websites in order to spam our friends with 15 minute updates, but as pointed out by Facebook, only 5 percent of it’s 218 million active monthly users chose to use the privacy option, clearly privacy is no longer something we are interested in.
We shouldn’t blame the government for our loss of privacy, we should blame ourselves. If we really wanted privacy we wouldn’t be posting bathing suit albums of Facebook, we wouldn’t even be using Facebook, we wouldn’t be tweeting our vacation itineraries, or making YouTube videos which show our homes and families.
Fortunately, we live in a country where we can change our government without having to stage a coup. If privacy is something we want, we need to not only demand it from the government — we must demand it from ourselves.