Privacy? Are We Losing It?

Privacy is precious for many reasons, but it is rapidly being lost in online interaction.  Houston journalist Kate Murphy points out in a New York Times article that research shows that privacy is associated with higher self-esteem and creativity, as well as more satisfaction.  Yet we are rapidly giving up privacy as we browse the web, purchase goods online, and use social media.  Should we be concerned?  Are you?

Of course the very habits that are reducing privacy are also generating huge quantities of data that can be used by those who have access to the resulting Big Data for analyses of social behavior.  Is this OK if it results in advertisements tailored to our interests popping up in our browsers?  Is there something to be gained for society if social scientists can use the Big Data created by our revealing online interactions to understand society better?

You can read Kate Murphy’s analysis of the issues at:

You can read about one of the researchers on privacy cited by Murphy at the website of Professor Sabine Trepte, at the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart:

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