Is Privacy a thing of the past?

With the proliferation and success of web 2.0 the question that comes to everyone’s mind is, does anyone enjoy the privilege of privacy anymore? With over 50 million bloggers and more than double that number of people on some form of social networking group, can anyone prevent the publishing of information about themselves with or without their prior knowledge? It’s no longer a factor of how much information you want to share about yourself on the internet but it depends on how much information other people want to put up about you.
Even though you may be a very shy and a private person, there is no stopping anyone else from writing about you or posting a picture of you on the internet. You want a job, want to date, want to get married, want to be a religious leader or even want to run for president, people will take every opportunity to exploit damaging information available about you. If you posed indecently in a picture because you got a little high at your friend’s party then you may have some explaining to do to someone or some group now or in the future. As your views get recorded over the years changing your opinion about something you wrote 4 years back maybe earn you the tag of being a hypocrite. The other angle here is that people may write something bad just out of pure hate or jealousy. Even though it may not be true many times the damage is already done. But then again can there be any smoke without a fire? Anyways couple of things may happen with this trend. It could get people to be less judgmental about others as everyone will have their past skeletons in the web closet. Or it may make people more responsible about their actions and the way they behave in public and their private life. The third possibility being that it will force countries around the world to strengthen the laws governing privacy on the web. It won’t be surprising if people by default set up a web alert for their name on the internet just to keep tabs about what’s written about them. It could be a possibility that people with money and power in future will still be in control on what information gets published and retained on the internet just like it’s in the paper world. But for now web 2.0 has not only led to the explosion of ideas and opinions on the net but also made it virtually possible to make everyone’s private life public. The past can easily come back to haunt you on the internet. So behave!