The Pew Research Center and Elon University published a study this week that collected feedback from some of the world’s leading Internet experts on what the future of online privacy holds.
One of the central questions of the survey asked “Will policy makers and technology innovators create a secure, popularly accepted and trusted privacy-rights infrastructure by 2025?” 55 percent of the experts answered no, while just 45 percent answered yes. That’s not an overwhelmingly pessimistic guess, but it does illustrate the ambivalence many feel toward where Facebook is going.
“What we will see is a more nuanced way for people to deal with their different friends and colleagues [on Facebook], with more expressive ways to control what is shared,” said David Clark, a senior research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “But, the pressures for big data tracking will continue to erode our expectations of what is known about us without our explicit disclosure.”
Many of the experts believed that distrust in Facebook was growing, but that the social media giant was so entwined in people’s lives (and government legislature) that it could prove difficult to create lasting change to its privacy infrastructure. And as more and more people grow up only knowing a world with Facebook in it, it will become harder to convince people of the risks that come with signing away their info to the site.
Always remember to be careful of what information you place anywhere online, and use Facebook’s privacy and security settings appropriately!