Internet Halakha: Should we Expect Privacy?

January 12, 2010

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is making waves [e-week Europe]

having announced that people no longer have an expectation of privacy thanks to increasing uptake of social networking.

Speaking at the Crunchie Awards in San Francisco this weekend, the 25 year-old web entrepreneur said: “People have really gotten comfortable not only sharing more information and different kinds, but more openly and with more people.”

Such statements, and the trends Zuckerman describes, are of no little consequences. Dr. Kieron O’Hara of Southampton University points out that

under British law, an individual’s right to privacy is being eroded by the behavior of those who have no qualms about broadcasting every intimate detail of their life online (via social networking sites) because the privacy law is predicated in part upon the concept of a ‘reasonable expectation of privacy.’

(Further reporting on O’Hara here [bbc.co.uk])

So what is the halakhic expectation of privacy? Read the rest of this entry »