Friday, December 19, 2014

Report on the Future of Privacy

On December 18, 2014 Pew Research, a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts, released a report that looks "into the future of privacy in light of the technological change, ever-growing monetization of digital encounters, and shifting relationship of citizens and their governments that is likely to extend through the next decade." Digital Life in 2025: The Future of Privacy canvassed thousands of experts and Internet builders to share their predictions. (They use the term canvas since this was not a representative randomized survey.) Questions asked of the responders were:

  • Will policy makers and technology innovators create a secure, popularly accepted, and trusted privacy-rights infrastructure by 2025 that allows for business innovation and monetization while also offering individuals choices for protecting their personal information in easy-to-use formats?
  • Describe what you think the reality will be in 2025 when it comes to the overall public perception about whether policy makers and corporations have struck the right balance between personal privacy, secure data, and compelling content and apps that emerge from consumer tracking and analytics. 
  • Consider the future of privacy in a broader social context. How will public norms about privacy be different in 2025 from the way they are now?

Common thoughts shared by those interviewed were:

  • Privacy and security are foundational issues of the digital world
  • People are living in an unprecedented condition of ubiquitous surveillance
  • People require little more inducement than personal convenience to disclose their personal information
  • Norms are always evolving, and privacy will certainly change in coming years 
  • An arms-race dynamic is unfolding
  • Renegotiation and compromise will be a constant in privacy-security policy space
For more information and to obtain a PDF of the report, access