Celebrities Have No Privacy. We Are All Celebrities.

Ashton Kutcher 2008-09-08

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There is a lot of debate going on in Washington DC and among the Ad Tech community around data and privacy. Technology has enabled every single one of us with the ability to communicate freely and broadly with ease and there are companies that make this possible, most notably through advertising revenue.

The loose claim being made is that our privacy is not safe and that as consumers, we are being exploited. However, I offer the following points to think about in order to add different abstraction to the conversation:

  • As a celebrity, you have the ability to communicate to the masses.
  • As a celebrity, you are subject to continual public criticism and scrutiny.
  • As a celebrity, you are subject to unwanted or unwarranted photography and videography.
  • As a celebrity, your likeness is often times used to make money (e.g. tabloids).

The current communication tools available make us all, to some degree, celebrities. We all have the ability to influence, communicate, and inform anyone and everyone. A right and privilege that has never been available to the masses. A right that has only been available to, and earned by, celebrities.

Now, almost anyone in the world can partake in celebrity-like activities for free. And the reason these tools are free is because companies are subsidizing the development and hosting costs with advertising revenue. They are paying for your right to use these powerful tools. Tools that give you unparalleled communication capabilities. A soapbox to the world (e.g. this very blog).

So when I hear about pending legislation on privacy and how companies are being “creepy,” I just think, celebrities have no privacy. We are all celebrities.

Only we are overnight celebrities thanks to the companies working hard to enable us with these powerful tools. If you don’t like it, you can send me a hand written complaint letter by horse, buggy, and courier.

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