The seeds of doubt
When the kids were young there was a spate of stories in the tabloids of people being reported for taking photos of their kids naked in the bath. Without having heard those stories I would never have had a second thought about taking such photos. But having heard them there was a vague, and totally unjustified, feeling of concern at taking similar photos. Once the seeds of doubt are planted they are hard to get rid of.
This vague sense of unease and doubt is insidious and pervasive. Use of social tools at work is constrained for many by their concern at what others will think of them. Even if there is nothing to worry about, and even if sharing what they think could really benefit others, they prefer to play safe and keep quiet, just in case someone should disapprove.
Current stories about The NSA and GCHQ snooping on our online activities could so easily have the same effect, constraining our online confidence just as we are beginning to find it. Making us play safe and not say what we think - just in case.
As I said yesterday "Freedom is built one tweet, one blog post, one update at a time. Don’t squander the opportunity."
We need to worry less about privacy and more about creating a world in which it is OK to say what you think. To quiet that doubting, fearful voice in our heads that tells us that we shouldn't be thinking what we are thinking let alone sharing it in public. We need to be brave.