David Kirkpatrick

March 11, 2010

It’s time to push for online privacy

Filed under: Politics, Technology — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:15 am

The argument about the generation growing up with social media and handheld audio/visual recording devices (otherwise known as mobile phones) is a pretty good one. I wouldn’t disparage the generation out of hand, though. It’s entirely possible they grow into a heightened sense of online privacy and a clear understanding of just what’s important and not in the public/private legal debate.

From the link:

If the public wants online privacy it had better fight now for laws to protect it because businesses won’t and individuals don’t have the clout, security expert Bruce Schneier told RSA Conference attendees.

The longer information-privacy policies go unset, the more likely it is that they never will be set, says Schneier, an author of books about security and CTO of security consultant BT Counterpane. As young people grow up with broad swaths of information about them in the public domain, they will lose any sense of privacy that older generations have.

And they will have no appreciation that lack of privacy shifts power over their lives from themselves to businesses or governments that do control their information. Laws protecting digital data that is routinely gathered about people are needed, he says. “The only lever that works is the legal lever,” he says. “How can we expect the younger generation to do this when they don’t even know the problem?”

February 23, 2009

Look out for the millennials

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:10 pm

They voted for change, and change may be coming as they age into power.

From the link:

In her research with Neil Howe, also of LifeCourse, they noted that the youngest generation is a consensus-driven bunch. Professors have noticed that group is less likely to engage in debates in class and more likely to come up with a conclusion everyone can agree upon. Howe predicted a “very different kind of political discourse 10 to 15 years from now,” when millennials are not only in Congress but also influencing the media. (He pointed out that right now the media is run by baby boomers and generation Xers “who love that kind of carnival culture.”)

If that’s the case, it’ll be interesting to see whether that influences the political system for better or for worse. Despite all of the striving for bipartisanship, could there be merits in partisan politics?

Former Republican Rep. Tom Delay of Texas certainly thought so. In his farewell speech he said, “We debate here on the House floor, we debate in committees, we debate on television and on radio and on the Internet and in the newspapers and then every two years, we have a huge debate. And then in November, we see who won. That is not rancor, that is democracy. You show me a nation without partisanship, and I’ll show you a tyranny. For all its faults, it is partisanship, based on core principles, that clarifies our debates, that prevents one party from straying too far from the mainstream, and that constantly refreshes our politics with new ideas and new leaders.”

It’s far too soon to tell if millennials will remain a consensus-driven, left of center bunch. But if that’s the case, the idea of “change” in American politics has only just begun.