Walrus TV: The New Philosophers of Digital Privacy

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Originally appeared on The Walrus

Between sharing every aspect of our lives on social media and the headlines about the extent of online surveillance, it seems like moving forward in the digital age means that privacy will become a thing of the past.

“There are some people that argue that privacy is overrated, let’s be public,” says Marvin Ammori, author of On Internet Freedom, but he cautions that while, “that sounds good in theory, no matter what, some information has to be secret.”

Photo credit:  g4ll4is via Flickr
Photo credit: g4ll4is via Flickr

The debate regarding what is public and what is private and how to draw those distinctions is evolving alongside technology. “I just want to ask people not to give up on privacy when you think about the future,” says Ontario’s information and privacy commissioner Ann Cavoukian.

Technology creates new ways for us to connect, new ways to be our “best selves,” and generates a running database of personal and public history. However, according to Jules Polonesky, the director of the Future of Privacy Forum think tank, it is up to us to define how this technology is used and how it shapes our lives.

“We need to make sure technology and data serve society and empower us and make us better people and make the world a better place,” he says. “I have faith in people making decisions to make sure that technology works for us.”

So, what does digital privacy mean to you? What are the greatest risk to our privacy?

In partnership with Walrus TV, RdigitaLIFE talks to the Future of Privacy Forum director Jules PoloneskyForbes privacy columnist Kashmir Hill, Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian, and author Marvin Ammori to get some answers and insights into what privacy means in our increasingly public digital age.


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