Privacy: A Personal Decision

A good reminder in the New York Times today how relative privacy can be.

Writer Brad Stone highlights the start-up site Blippy, which allows users to share their purchases with others on the site. Blippy users grant the site access to their credit card and e-commerce accounts to capture and publish their transactions.

In some cases users have given the site access to e-mail accounts, also. Blippy had been collecting data about Amazon purchases, but when the retailer requested that they stop, Blippy offered to scan users’ e-mail for Amazon receipts and gather the data that way. Blippy says that thousands of users have opted in, Stone writes.

Whether the site thrives, or even lasts, is another question. But it certainly demonstrates that privacy—and risk—are in the eye of the beholder. And for healthcare, as it struggles to make health information accessible, confidential, and secure online, it underscores that younger generations in particular already expect their information to move seemlessly around the Web.

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