Thursday, February 16, 2012

Business Insider's Matt Rosoff: Idiot of the Day

Via Boing Boing:

If you want to understand why Silicon Valley startups keep tripping into privacy-related PR disasters, you could not do better than reading this attack on online privacy from Silicon Alley Insider editor Matt Rosoff.

"Each time [a data breach] happens, bloggers and privacy zealots scream and yell and pull their hair out. In some cases, the companies are forced to apologize and cancel the offending feature. Sometimes, a few politicians grandstand so they can look like they're solving real problems and maybe the government gets involved and forces the companies to change a little bit.

But these flaps had exactly zero effect on Facebook's and Google's business. No effect. None. Nada. User growth, engagement, revenue -- all kept going up without a blip. Normal people don't care."

By "normal" people, Rosoff means people like him, who must endure rather than hope for obscurity. But the assumptions clouding his rather privileged viewpoint expose themselves at once, as he embarks upon a classical dialogue between himself and a straw-man interlocutor angry at a hypothetical data breach.

Read more here.

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