I have to just admit right off that I'm not someone who is motivated strongly by the trust/security issues that Jonathan raises here, although I know others are. That is because when I think about "data," I don't just think about digital data, but all the traces — the memory of ourselves — that we leave behind as we interact with people. Society has, since forever I guess, proceeded with a real anarchy of memory. Memory that is highly selective, deceptive, unreliable... untrustworthy. In large part untrustworthy because it is private. But at the same time, memory is very real; it is what powers the connection between past, present, and future, making it possible for us to be humans and to have the human cultures that we do.
So, while I understand that some people are highly motivated to work on trust and security issues that surround digital data, it's not how I choose to spend my time. Instead, I am much more interested in working (and working and working) on the non-digital-data questions of language and memory and tradition. Admittedly, I use the great technology of WRITING (the greatest technology ever invented) to do that, and I appreciate immensely the convenience of digital forms of writing to let me do my work in all kinds of new ways that profoundly extend the reach and depth of language.
Likewise with my students. Insofar as they are doing work online on the open Internet in my class, I explain the options for using their name (or not) at their blog and at their project website, and I also have a "Google Yourself" activity, and it's intriguing to read their comments about that. I'm cool with whatever kind of avatar they want to use; in order to make sure people realize it's fine with me to use a non-personal-photo, I use two different foxes.
At the same time, I don't make a big deal about this because I make a big deal about other things instead. In a world of limited time, energy, and attention, data privacy is just not something that has captured a lot of my own personal time, energy, and attention. Perhaps something will happen that will change my mind about that (?), but in my past 15 years of being online, issues of access, literacy and sustainability have just always outweighed my concerns (or lack thereof) about data privacy. But I did enjoy reading Jonathan's thoughts and observations, will skip the Make, and am on to see what might come next for Week 2!
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Proverbial privacy... pre-digital-data. Yes, privacy was a problem even BEFORE the Internet was invented, as this old proverb attests: Hedges have eyes and walls have ears.