Anyone who doubts the impact of blogging, Twitter, and other Web 2.0 technologies would do well to read yesterday’s New York Times article, “In Era of Blog Sniping, Companies Shoot First“.
While the article focuses on the more drastic aspects of corporate communication (“In the age of transparency, the layoff will be blogged”), there is a larger point here. NDAs not withstanding, employees talk–especially disgruntled employees who have lost or are about to lose their jobs. Even before Web 2.0, there were sites that encouraged anonymous tipsters to supply news of companies experiencing financial or moral difficulty. But blogs and Twitter have made the propagation of juicy information almost instantaneous.
Our notions of privacy and secrecy are changing as we no longer have privacy through difficulty. Many people–as well as governments and institutions–are reacting with alarm, trying to find ways to safeguard individual or corporate confidentiality in an age of hypercommunication. Perhaps we would do better to accept that privacy as we used to know it is lost, and come up with legal and social norms that reflect the world we live in today.