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Philosophical Questions at the Heart of OBA Issues

ONLINE PRIVACY

March 5, 2012

In The Atlantic, Alexis Madrigal explores the relationship between our "digital and physical selves," which he says is at the heart of consumers' concerns about online data collection. Currently, data collectors do not connect your online tracking data to your name, but "If and when that wall breaks down, the numbers may overwhelm the name. The unconsciously created profile may mean more than the examined self I've sought to build," Madrigal writes. In an interview with The Inquirer, Jeffrey Rosen says this version of the future is not inevitable, but "Privacy is not for the passive...This is an area where civic engagement and protest work." For marketers, he says, "It's a constant tug-of-war. There is huge economic pressure to see how much tracking people will accept."
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