"GUESS WHO I SAW..."
Like many of you, my mind has been fixated on privacy issues on the web of late, especially following the recent furor over the government seeking web-surfing data from the GYM and GYMAAAE companies and Google's "valiant" response.
(Hey, it works for People Magazine!)
The issue at hand is what I'll call Peer-to Peer Privacy (PPP). Not Peer-to-peer Networks mind you, although that term obviously inspired the first term.
Let me explain in more detail (the names of the various participants have been loosely masked to concentrate on the issue at hand, away from the PERSONALITIES involved).
Two "A-list" bloggers (we'll call them Delta and Omicron for now) are invited by a very visible, "A-list" portal (we'll call them Umicron for now) to a corporate retreat at a posh, ocean-side resort (a personal favorite). The idea was to give these plugged-in "outsiders" an opportunity to provide their insights and advice to the senior management of said portal.
Delta then blogs about the event and discusses his insightful contributions, which is his right. His post is very welcome by the blogging community at large (myself included). But in the second sentence, he mentions that Blogger Omicron was there as well.
Now Omicron is a prominent online blogger and journalist who MAY or MAY NOT want to have the fact that he was invited by Umicron to advise them, advertised to the world at large. This may be especially true since he has and is constantly cultivating his relationships with other "A-list" portals (we'll call them Gamma, Mu, and Alpha for now).
I'll admit I have no idea if Delta asked Omicron's permission to mention his attendance in his blog, or even if he gave him a heads up. For all I know Omicron doesn't at all mind being mentioned in Delta's post as an invitee and attendee.
I'm simply using this as an example of an entirely different type of privacy issue as countless millions take to blogging about everything and anything on the web, with words, sound, pictures and video.
What expectation of privacy do we/should we have from our blogging peers? Or peers in general, if we don't blog at all?
Admittedly, celebrities and other attendees at Davos may not have much right to online privacy, but what about attendees at more private gatherings, like corporate retreats?
Is it right to expect any kind of privacy at all? Or do we forgo it entirely in the online realm? And what about the blogging world, where everything seems to be fair game to be blogged and advertised to the world at large? In many cases eternally frozen in search engine caches and storage servers.
It's an old issue I know, but something we need to be mindful about. At the very least we may likely need to establish some rules on blogging etiquette in this regard.
So is Peer-to-Peer Privacy an issue at all or is it just a figment of my paranoid imagination in these trying online times?
What do you think?
By the way, Delta's actual post on his insights for Umicron management is very much worth reading...recommended. VC Fred Wilson also has some interesting amplication on Delta's insights. No word on Omicron's blog on the confab as of yet.