Snapchat and the Erasable Future of Social Media
Here is a recent article about SnapChat, which makes pictures and videos shared via the Internet disappear 10 seconds after they are seen. Internet technologies constantly collect and use personal data without consent. American health IT systems do the very same thing: constantly collect and use sensitive personal health data without consent. New technologies that ‘erase’ data after a single use could prevent secondary collection, disclosures, and sales of everything from our diagnoses to prescription records to DNA. We are constantly told young Americans don’t care about privacy. Would you be surprised to learn that’s wrong? The truth is the majority of people, young and old, want to control the use of personal data:
- -”88 percent of participants from ages 18 to 24 responded that there should be a law requiring websites and advertising companies to delete all stored information about an individual upon request”
- -”94 percent of people from 45 to 54 also supported the idea”
“The default setting for almost everything people share online is that it will live for eternity in the cloud” —-we are forced to surrender control of personal information just to be online. Who believes the US public agreed that total surveillance is a fair price for using the Internet?
Since we can’t STOP personal data from being collected, technologies like Snapchat and Wickr that make data “erasable” are critical tools to help restore control over personal data.
Americans want the right to be forgotten, BUT FIRST AND FOREMOST, our constitutional RIGHT TO BE LET ALONE should be restored in the digital age.
KEY QUOTES from the article about Snapchat:
- -”In the U.S., Snapchat was the second-most popular free photo and video app for the iPhone in early February, just behind YouTube and ahead of Instagram.”
- -Pew Research Center survey found that 57 percent of all app users “have either uninstalled an app over concerns about having to share their personal information, or declined to install an app in the first place for similar reasons.”
- -A January 2013 study by the Ponemon Institute… found social media to be among the least trusted industries when it comes to protecting customers’ privacy online.
- -[Snapchat's] rapid growth demonstrates a huge business opportunity—namely, services aimed at the increasing number of people worried about their social media footprints.
- -researchers at the University of California at Berkeley found that ….young Americans ….[are] as anxious as their parents about their permanent social records.
- -88 percent of participants from ages 18 to 24 responded that there should be a law requiring websites and advertising companies to delete all stored information about an individual upon request
- -94 percent of people from 45 to 54 also supported the idea
- -“The early adopters of Snapchat are teens in the U.S.”
- -“Whenever I ask someone, do they want control over the messages and media that they send to others, the answer 100 percent is yes,” says Sell. “There’s no question that this has mainstream appeal.”
- -Sell talks of private communication as “a universal human right” that largely doesn’t exist in the current digital landscape in which big data companies are continuously harvesting and mining information about our every online utterance.
Ephemeral data is the future