Elon University

The 2014 Survey: Security, liberty and privacy in 2025 (Anonymous Responses)

This page contains only the anonymous written responses from Internet experts and stakeholders who answered this question in the 2014 Pew Research/Elon University Future of the Internet Survey. Some survey respondents chose to identify themselves; a majority remained anonymous. We share most of the anonymous respondents’ written answers here. Workplaces are attributed for the purpose of indicating a level of expertise; statements reflect personal views. To read the full report, click the image below.

2014 Security, Liberty and Privacy Survey Cover LinkInternet experts and highly engaged netizens participated in answering an eight-question survey fielded by Elon University and the Pew Internet Project from late November 2013 through early January 2014.

This survey question asked respondents to share their answer to the following query:

Will policy makers and technology innovators create a secure, popularly accepted, and trusted privacy-rights infrastructure by 2025 that allows for business innovation and monetization while also offering individuals choices for protecting their personal information in easy-to-use formats? Describe what you think the reality will be in 2025 when it comes to the overall public perception about whether policy makers and corporations have struck the right balance between personal privacy, secure data, and compelling content and apps that emerge from consumer tracking and analytics. Bonus question: Consider the future of privacy in a broader social context. How will public norms about privacy be different in 2025 from the way they are now? 

Among the key themes emerging from more 2,511 respondents’ answers were: People who operate online are living in an unprecedented condition of ubiquitous surveillance – living a public life is the new default mode. People share in order to enrich friendships, find or grow communities and act as economic agents, and personal data are the raw material of the knowledge economy.The monetization of digital encounters continues to grow as does the shifting relationship of citizens and their governments. Privacy may be a bygone aspect of the Industrial Age. In the future, people who do not have a public profile may seem antisocial or even “creepy.” Those who say it is not possible to create an effective privacy-rights infrastructure say: Governments and industry have very little incentive to reverse the already quite-invasive status quo while they have much to gain from ongoing losses of civil rights in regard to individual privacy and data ownership; people already seem to accept subversion of privacy as an inevitable fact of online life, as an expected tradeoff for something of value; there’s no way the world’s varied cultures, with their different views about privacy, will be able to come to an agreement on how to address civil liberties issues on the global Internet; the situation will worsen as the Internet of Things arises and people’s homes, workplaces, and the objects around them will “tattle” on them; some communities might plan and gain some acceptance for privacy structures, but the constellation of economic and security complexities is getting bigger and harder to manage. Those who say it is possible to create an effective privacy-rights structure by 2025 say: Citizens and consumers will have more control thanks to new tools that give them the power to negotiate with corporations and work around governments; individuals will be able to choose to share personal information in a tiered approach that offers varied levels of protection and access by others; a backlash against privacy invasions in people’s digital lives will inspire the structuring of a new equilibrium between consumers, governments, and businesses; more-savvy citizens will get better at hiding things they don’t want others to see.

To read full official survey analysis, please click here.

To read credited responses to the report, please click here.

Following is a large sample including a majority of the responses from survey participants who chose to remain anonymous in making their remarks in the survey; some are the longer versions of expert responses that are contained in the official survey report. More than half of respondents chose not to take credit for their elaboration on the question (for-credit responses are published on a separate page). They were asked: “Will policy makers and technology innovators create a secure, popularly accepted and trusted privacy rights infrastructure by 2025?”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “As long as greed plays a role in our society, it will always be dominant in how policymakers and corporations treat the individual. There will be less privacy and more access to everything, including your DNA.”

A pioneering academic computer scientist from Princeton University wrote, “I do not expect a comprehensive solution in this area, nor one that makes everybody happy. These will continue to be contested areas, with different parties using legal, political, and technological means to advance their interests. We will have a stronger and better-defined notion of how to protect vulnerable populations such as children. We will have a better-defined set of social norms around the use of private information. We will have a better understanding of how ‘pseudonymous’ information about behavior and relationships affects people’s privacy interests.”

A principal engineer at Cisco wrote, “I would like to eat all I want and lose weight, but that trick does not work either.”

The director at a nonprofit focused on innovation, technology, and education commented, “We will see a type of ‘vegan Internet’ movement, where there will be young people who take a stance against unhealthy online behavior.”

A distinguished engineer, working in networking for Dell, wrote, “There are too many challenges to maintaining privacy and providing security at the same time. In some ways, they are conflicting goals. People will become more aware of the lack of privacy, but, if at all, there will be less of it.”

The executive director of a nonprofit that protects civil liberties online responded, “I do not think policymakers or technology innovators have the incentives to create a privacy-rights infrastructure, but even if they did, I do not believe governments will stop mass surveillance. It breaks my heart, but I do not think we are even going to get this cat back into its bag. Sadly, I think individuals will get used to the fact that mass surveillance exists and will not expect privacy by 2025.”

A research scientist for Google wrote, “Given that we have accomplished almost nothing in regulation of the financial industry after the near collapse of our economy, I have little hope that we will accomplish anything in regulating the trade in personal information. There will be greater distrust toward private industry.”

A principal engineer with Ericsson wrote, “Data mining is not about failing to respect people’s privacy simply because it is fun to find out what other people are doing. Internet search engines do not make money by prying; they make money by figuring out how to change people’s behavior, leading to the purchase of a product they did not intend to buy, or causing someone to purchase one product instead of another. The real danger here is not just the further invasions of privacy, but also the increasing impression that people can have their behavior modified ‘for the good’ through these means. The danger comes when people move from attempting to modify behavior for commercial reasons to trying to modify behavior for political ones, by examining what makes people think a certain way, or prompts them to take action, or causes them to believe certain things en masse. In fact, it can be argued that we are already seeing this sort of thing take place, with large data analytics firms, such as Google and Facebook, getting deeply involved in politics. The Internet will go in one of two directions: either people will reject behavior modification through data mining en masse, or we will become so habituated to having our behavior modified through data mining that we will not even consider the consequences by the time 2025 rolls around. It is hard to tell which direction things are going to go at this point, but if it is the former, the backlash against technology in general is going to be greater than we imagine, I think. By 2025, privacy will be a moot issue, most likely. Instead, we will be focusing on the moral issues behind using proven techniques of behavior modification, if there is any debate at all.”

A professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, in Tokyo, Japan, wrote, “It is technically impossible to create such an infrastructure because it is impossible to attach strings to data. Once you pass the data to somebody else, you just have to hope they will use it they way they told you they would. What can be done is to have stricter laws for privacy, but even that just leads companies to create longer small-print privacy statements, which nobody reads anyway. People will understand more about privacy implications of their actions on the Internet, but they will still ignore a lot of it. Also, there will be new technology that will make things more difficult to understand yet again.”

An Internet engineer and machine intelligence researcher responded, “Given the current business and political environments, I do not believe that there is sufficient interest on the part of policymakers to address the common good. This situation may change; however, I have not seen any signs that it will. The situation is particularly bad in the United States, where the public seems to be caught in a bubble of confusion concerning the role of government and its influence on the well-being of general citizens. The situation in other countries is varied. And so, I expect the continued balkanization of Internet governance, with different policies imposed for different reasons at the national level. Some countries will choose to favour individual privacy and information security. Others will take a laissez-faire approach. And, others will impose severe censorship and access restrictions for various well-meaning or misguided reasons. I expect established business and national security interests to continue to disrupt any attempts for global governance with regards to individual privacy and information security. It is likely that continued disclosures of privacy violations, particularly disclosures that lead to human rights violations, will raise public concerns, perhaps even to the point where citizens of democratic nations collectively express that concern by voting for government representatives who are equally concerned. It is equally likely that the public in wealthier, democratic nations will simply accept the lack of privacy, based upon the rationalization that it does not affect them personally.”

An Internet researcher and entrepreneur said, “I see a convergence of identifiers, where our online and offline identities, payment methods, and devices become connected (if not centralized) in ways different than our de-coupled current state. I believe the connection of these identifiers will force the creation of more stringent rules and protections regarding data protection. Within this framework, technology builders can then develop approaches that appease the many regulatory agencies. Privacy evolves slowly. We will laugh about how ridiculous Google Glass was.”

An information scientist for a major nonprofit research organization known for its futures work wrote, “I see a conflict that will be difficult to resolve. There are significant regional differences that drive views of privacy. There is no (and unlikely to be) single, worldwide definition. The companies that collect data are typically global and need to comply with regional and national policies. These companies seem comfortable with a region-by-region adaptation but could opt for a lowest-common-denominator approach at some point, but I doubt it; the data is too important to their revenue streams.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “For one, there will not be ‘one public,’ nor ‘one network.’ There will geo-publics with different rules (China, Napoleonic-dominated Europe Tradition, military-industrial-United States, etc.). Secondly, these geo-publics will have separate networks, and sub-partisan groups will have separate networks in those geo-publics (think darknets). Substantial portions of the world will assume they have no privacy, and in fact, will construct apps, appliances, and graphs based on that.”

A PhD, who works in developing ICT policy for social development and democracy, responded, “If policymakers and technology innovators had the good will to do that, they would have done it already. Younger generations define privacy differently. I would say that, in 2025, people will be move from center to margins about privacy—either privacy freaks or those too un-private.”

A technologist working in Internet policy predicted, “The sad fact is that a backdoor, or ‘lawful access mechanism,’ cannot be used exclusively by ‘good guys’ (those working in the interests of a given user) but in fact, can be equally used by ‘bad guys’ (those working against the interests of a given user). The engineers have already begun to harden the core Internet infrastructure, and Internet corporations are learning that they have to offer end-to-end security or they need to confine the ‘monetization’ of content to the ends of the communication, preferably to the client, where access has to be covert (read as: important enough to break into someone’s house) or through due process. This is a fact that will lead society to prefer non-hobbled ICT infrastructure for communications. I think we will all have a better understanding of what privacy is and the value it gives us in an über-connected society by 2025. I think kids will learn about this stuff from a very early age and will continue to lead society in privacy sensitivity.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “We have no personal privacy anymore. The age of the Internet saw to that.”

An anonymous survey participant said, “There will be significant progress made by 2025 in terms of creating an ecosystem of online interactions that provides a good balance between innovation and the need for privacy and security.”

An anonymous respondent said, “Privacy and security issues are the most important barrier to full Internet use and acceptance. Therefore, to fully access its potential, these issues must be solved by the top thinkers/innovators. This depends on progress on the above. If positive, the public will feel protected and trust the Internet for their data and transactions.”

A survey research professional who has worked for decades for government, academic, and commercial organizations responded, “The commoditization of PII [personally identifiable information] is well past this point already. NSA’s behavior has compromised the trust we have taken for granted in survey research. I expect huge downward adjustments in public trust of government, academic and commercial surveys. In some research, I expect the survey method will be abandoned entirely. In assuming they have no privacy, people will permanently alter their credit and consumption behavior in futile attempts to ‘throw off the scent’ on consumer-tracking uses of their PII. Exceptions will be made for public emergency needs—pandemic flus, radiation accidents, missing persons, etc. Identity crimes will encourage the SSA to reissue social security numbers, people to permanently change their names, etc. Driver’s licenses will have embedded tracking chips. Some people will stop driving. And, maybe, we will have some other weird stuff we cannot imagine now—like drone-proof venetian blinds. Well, maybe not that last thing.”

A professor at Stanford Law School wrote, “People will continue to use the Internet for business despite the evident risks to privacy. People will adapt to the increasing public-ness of their life. That adaptation will happen first among the young.”

A senior analyst for Internet economics and policy responded, “Business practices, and general social (as well as antisocial/criminal) behavior, has so thoroughly ‘adapted’ to the reality of an insecure, privacy-rights-vacating, but nevertheless popularly tolerated Internet service delivery environment that, in the absence of some near-term, catastrophe-induced ‘blank-slate’ overhaul of national and international laws, commercial law, and legal/regulatory enforcement mechanisms, as well as gross technical infrastructure, there is very little chance that a truly ‘secure, popularly accepted, and trusted privacy rights infrastructure’ will emerge by 2025. By 2025, increased public consciousness of the existential risks arising from near-universal availability of cheap technologies of (potential) mass destruction will probably have eroded expectations of privacy, to some degree. Whether such expectations will diminish faster or slower than the rate at which de jure and de facto privacy protections are lost will likely depend on the number and severity of catastrophic technology-related incidents that occur between now and then.”

A long-time leader of technology development for the World Wide Web responded, “Technology evolves so quickly, and thereby creates new and unique user scenarios, that it is unlikely that security/privacy infrastructures can keep pace—much less one that is generally accepted. Working in parallel with the policymakers and technology innovators will be a community whose goal is to subvert any security, liberty, and privacy advancements that are achieved.”

A lawyer working on technology issues replied, “Privacy issues are on a pendulum—policymakers tend to swing too far in both directions based on popular opinion at a point in time and fail to ever find a balance.”

An anonymous survey participant who works in the US executive branch, commented, “Governments will have to learn to do more as public-private partnerships and active engagement with citizens to do crowdsourcing. The nation-state model is already being challenged; issues span borders and across sectors. The infrastructure will require transparency among governments as a trusted partner—but also recognizing that not all data can or should be made open. We will be trusting machines more; we will have our digital device (a smartphone, an embedded device in us, etc.) interface with systems to pre-negotiate what information we will and will not share. End-user licensing agreements will be machine-to-machine.”

A president and principal consultant at a product-usability consulting firm replied, “The Internet will go through a fragmentation, with some pieces being separate and secure but most of it insecure, as it is today. Later—perhaps by 2025—the secure pieces will be united and the insecure portions dropped. By 2025, the world will be dominated by China, so Chinese notions of privacy will be the dominant ones.”

An anonymous respondent commented, “Will government be able to create such an infrastructure? No. Will private industry? Yes. Privacy will be the new taboo and will not be appreciated or understood by upcoming generations.”

A senior lecturer at the University of California wrote, “It seems to me that there is zero chance that Internet businesses will agree willingly to the only measure that would restore individual privacy: an absolute ban on repurposing of information—i.e., if I send Google a search query, they are forbidden, enforced by prison terms for their officers, to use my query for any purpose other than returning my search results. I would happily live in a world in which services such as search engines are supported by user fees, but then Google would just be rich, instead of super-duper-rich. Unfortunately, young people no longer have any expectation of privacy at all. Between Google, Facebook, ISPs, and the War Supposedly-On Terror, privacy has been abolished, along with the rest of our civil liberties. The only glimmer of hope is that recently, young people have started catching on that potential future employers read their Facebook pages. That might start a pro-privacy backlash. But, frankly, I doubt it.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “It is a worthy, lofty goal, but there will always be hackers, and everything we access will be retained with ads and come-ons communicated back to us, customized to each of us individually and specifically. There will be no privacy, and there will be no secrets.”

A director at an online open-source organization replied, “Leading ‘innovators’ and political creatures are finding serious money and advantage by exploiting people’s vulnerable data and reinforcing the massive collection and observational apparatuses left to them by previous generations of exploiters and demagogues. If there is such an infrastructure, it will come with the policymakers kicking and screaming. Public norms are pitifully nonresistant to wholesale privacy invasion. Policymakers will not join with innovators in any broad or movement sense to create a popularly accepted infrastructure supporting privacy rights and information security. A change in the situation will not come from popular apprehension and response to a problem or collective action.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “Personal privacy and secure data will continue to be priorities within the Web policy space and subject to political affiliation. As such, within the next 10 years, there are likely technical with well-supported policy/legal frameworks that protect privacy and secure data. These goals ultimately will place constraints on what can be collected with regard to consumer tracking and analytics. Consumer awareness of how their information will be handled will increase as digital literacy continues to increase. Technologies will enhance transparency. No major changes in norms will occur over the next 10 years; however, tools and awareness to protect consumer data will increase.”

An entrepreneur and electrical engineer active in ACM and IEEE wrote, “I foresee a minor increase in privacy due to legislation and/or regulation but expect the current tension to continue as innovators find ways to induce people to sacrifice some of their privacy to various compelling (or apparently compelling) applications.”

An executive at an Internet top-level domain name operator replied, “Big data equals big business. Those special interests will continue to block any effective public policy work to ensure security, liberty and privacy online. The public may be less concerned about privacy, as more users have grown up online and are more blasé about such standards or norms.”

An engineer in the top 50 in a networking company that employs 75,000, and leading participant in the IETF, wrote, “There are too many special interests with either financial, government intelligence, law enforcement, and government control goals to allow development of an Internet with the listed characteristics.”

A technology writer observed, “You said, ‘Will policymakers and technology innovators…?’ I do not think the policymakers can do such a thing. They are hamstrung by the ‘law enforcement industrial complex’ bleating about terrorism, child porn, and criminality. Because Snowden’s revelations have revealed just how insidious the NSA tentacles have reached into Internet infrastructure that no US company can truly be trusted, as they can be compelled to spy, that ‘technology innovators’ alone will devise the systems you describe, but it will be above and beyond what policy makers ‘allow.’ For example, using infrastructure that’s physically based in a country with strong policy protections, like Switzerland. There will be a considerable backlash from ‘being too public,’ such as over-revealing personal information that’s all-too-common on Facebook, towards more circumspect sharing of personal information. Something big (and bad) will happen with Facebook to cause it to go the way of MySpace.”

An anonymous survey respondent wrote, “Technologically, this will become an increasing challenge. Politically, it is an important question that has not been (fully, properly, and openly) debated. Societally, it is a Trojan horse. Technologically, politically, and societally, most of the benefits of the ‘Internet of Everything’ emerge, precisely because the Internet provides a platform which may be open, democratic, complex, chaotic, and emergent. Collective consciousness cannot be achieved unless all data is openly shared. Under existing social structures (capitalism, for example), such an approach remains unacceptable. Therefore, the full potentials cannot be achieved until fundamental social values are debated and discussed, and radical transformations occur. Most forces today seek to privatise, occlude, secure, protect, and obscure data. A monetary economy must first be replaced by a trust economy. Policymakers cannot make this happen, and are unlikely to recognise this need, nor move to secure such an approach, especially when the polity still believe, social systems of provisioning, and fundamental institutional structures require protection of privacy. As the Internet opens privacy, old institutions may atrophe, while new ones may emerge; however, if those are based on old structures, the Internet may only provide ways to entrench existing structures of provisioning (e.g., structured inequality) and not permit new economies to emerge.”

The head of a communication technology professional association of academics, commented, “Privacy will be considered irrelevant, non-existent, and a disingenuous political issue. This is the attitude that sophisticated users of the information grid now have, and this will diffuse more widely through the less active members of the population. There will never be a complete alignment between government and citizens and businesses on privacy perceptions and privacy realities. This is because there is continual need for those in power to have more information than those they government, for reasons of social control.”

An anonymous respondent said, “Similar to what we can observe in regard to climate change, we will experience a number of symbolic changes, but none of them will fundamentally reshape the current status quo. There will be an even larger gap between tech-savvy activists/hackers, who will fight the system with ‘digital self-defense,’ and the less tech-savvy majority of Internet users. At the same time, corporations will invest significantly to secure their data. With regard to the divide between the tech-savvy and the mainstream described above, we will see a sort of ‘privacy fatalism’ on side of the latter: The mainstream will simply accept their ‘digital nakedness.’ At the same time, most people will not share anything truly private on public social media channels, etc., anymore, as they are well aware how ‘naked’ they are here. On the other hand, the ‘digital underground,’ with movements like ‘Anonymous,’ will grow and form a severe threat to the major Internet corporations and governments supporting them by failed regulation.”

An anonymous survey participant wrote, “Corporate profitability and personal privacy will turn out to be mutually exclusive. The expansion of business on cyberspace will result in a continued loss of privacy for individuals. Government efforts to regulate online activity may hamper profitability, but it will do little to solve privacy risks. In the end, government action may prove to detrimental for both business and individuals, although it will surely result in increased federal income as government inevitably begins to tax retailers.”

A self-employed software designer and policy researcher wrote, “The question is loaded, so the answer requires qualification. It is likely that policymakers and private industry will do what it takes to convince consumers that they are reasonably secure, while also continuing to permit industry to exploit consumer information (at individual and collective levels) in new ways for profit and for purposes that suit state ‘needs’ (these needs being determined by the dominant value system, which usually is framed in terms of promoting free market-based ‘innovation,’ state security, taxation, etc.). If we are speaking about so-called Western states: the young people today will be adults. They already have too much control as the main consumers of technology and as the voices that industry caters to and tries to manipulate through ‘identity empowerment.’ At that point, they will be the value definers. They already have completely different concepts of personal identity, privacy, etc. They are a huge population, as the children of the Baby Boomers, and will easily drown out the voices of the generation preceding them (as they do already). We can expect that ‘private’ will not be an adjective that commonly precedes ‘space’ or ‘life,’  and that public disclosure and exposure of intimate life or economic details may not even be described as such, that associating corporate brands with personal identities will continue to perpetuate until people do not even recognize branding as branding (actually, that is already the case — cf. ‘sent from my iPhone’ and logos on clothing). Even physical ‘private property’ may become more exposed and less private, as we increasingly turn to home automation technologies to remotely control our door locks, IP security cameras, lights, alarms, etc. Security cameras already exist in many ‘public’ spaces. With face recognition and the ability to identify individuals by their cell phones, the question becomes: what major events will occur to move us in one direction or the other. Usually, if the technology exists, it does not take too long for the technology to be used and accepted as useful and ‘innovative.’ I would be interested to see studies that look at technologies that have been invented but ‘not’ used due to societal discomfort with them on ethical grounds. My instinct is that, for the most part, it does not work that way. That said, where will we be in terms of physical spaces, both shared and personal? I am not sure. There is so much spatial segregation at the moment—between classes and cultures—and if you look at how young people navigate the physical world, they are entirely tuned into their devices (through their ears and their eyes) rather than the world around them, the people around them, etc. They are super-scheduled from wake to sleep, so that the simple opportunity to spend a half hour walking from point A to point B does not happen too often. In the United States, the majority of kids (certainly the kids who are middle class and above) use, and expect to have access to, private vehicles to navigate the world—first being chauffeured around by their parents and, as soon as they are of driving age, expecting their own cars. They go from point A to point B without having any clue what is in-between. But, I watch the less privileged kids on public transit, and they make sure that their headphones are on and blasting, their eyes are only on their glowing screens—they are not even talking to each other. Sometimes they are texting the person who is actually sitting next to them. That is a new kind of ‘privacy,’ if you like: the privacy that comes from privileging your own virtual, mediated world, over the actual physical space around you. As you can see, I have a real techno-utopian view. ;) “

An anonymous respondent replied, “First, the question does not indicate but I assume this scenario is intended for a global marketplace. Social values and priorities, informed by historical experience, will continue to drive variations in the privacy rights infrastructure. Second, no infrastructure will ever be entirely secure—or entirely trusted. New tools, and new uses for information technology tools, will drive new opportunities for exploitation, as well as for abuse. By 2025, societies will be much more accustomed to the broad and pervasive data collection practices. It will be understood that use of digital technologies necessarily involves things such as the providers of those tools recording how they are used, as well as the accumulation of data by national security agencies; however, public norms about appropriate access to such data collections, and permissible uses of such data, will evolve and coalesce a bit. For example, there will be clearer boundaries between what data sets should be treated as a ‘public good’ (i.e., data about epidemic and disease) and what data sets should be considered proprietary (i.e., data about uses of Facebook are propriety to Facebook users, or to Facebook itself).”

An anonymous respondent replied, “Too many moneyed parties have a vested interest in individuals not being in control of their own privacy. I do not expect that to change, unfortunately. Everyone will accept the sad reality that nothing is private and learn to live with it.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “Commercial and government interests will win out over individual privacy. I also think that it is possible that the generation coming of age now will not care about privacy in the same way that previous generations have—and so, will not fight for it. Yes, I expect that the idea of privacy will be somewhat quaint by 2025.”

An anonymous respondent, who works at an organization specializing in information security education, wrote, “National strategy for trusted identity in cyberspace seems to be moving in that direction, so once policy is determined, to me, what was asked will be happening in the not-too-distant future.”

A general manager for Microsoft replied, “While I believe there will be much progress towards the goal stated in the scenario, the issue is extraordinarily complicated when considered globally. I believe ICT organizations will make improvements in the technology available to people to indicate their choices. Likewise, governments will enact regulations to attempt to balance consumer protection against economic exploitation; however, this area is continually evolving, and with advances in data analytics and data mining techniques, we will still be far away from a simple and easy-to-use system that balances all. Public norms on privacy continually evolve and are not globally consistent now. I see nothing to indicate that this state of change will not continue in 2025. I think we may develop broader concepts of ‘harms’ from misuse of data as part of the balance between disclosure and protection. Broadly, people will evolve to share more, unless and until the harm from doing so becomes greater than the benefit. On the positive side, this evolution does result in greater flow of ideas and, in some ways, is likely to improve overall appreciation for cultural differences.”

A professor and researcher from the University of Toronto wrote, “I predict a lack of clear information regarding the technical details of how the tracking, routing, and surveillance works. Much research focuses on uses and applications of social media, not on the technical aspects of privacy, considered a quaint, twentieth-century notion.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “I have difficulty foreseeing policymakers and corporations coming to agreement on privacy issues when there is little current agreement. Also, security is clearly not a high priority for corporations, and there seems to be little effort on the policy side to compel them to take it seriously. Content and apps will take care of themselves. I also do not see privacy becoming a major norm without some very major, personally affecting event. There are already tools that do not get taken advantage of to help with privacy, and people make little effort to change their behavior to promote privacy.”

A policy advisor replied, “My fear is that we have already developed business models and compensation systems that do not respect personal privacy. It will be impossible to roll back the clock and implement systems that allow people to use the Internet anonymously. If anything, we will see efforts to dismantle systems like TOR and Bitcoin that allow people to remain relatively anonymous. Furthermore, the technology lends itself to an unprecedented capture of data about individuals. It will be impossible for corporate interests to ignore the flood of information that is available to them about their users. Right now, people do not know how much privacy they have given up. By 2025, they may know—but they won’t care because they can conceive of no other access mechanism.

An anonymous respondent replied, “All the mentioned targets have relevant inner complexity and will need a substantive effort in standards; added to that, the multi-stakeholder society will have to agree on Internet governance policy principles. Considering that in the next decade more and more digital natives will enter in the decision-making mechanisms, and that the technological tools will continue to improve, I am optimistic that the mentioned goals will be reasonably satisfied. Since privacy legislation is different in the states, it will be necessary to find more unified approach compared to the one in place today.”

The publisher for a large scholarly society specializing in digital communication observed, “Our policymaking apparatus is currently so lopsided that business interests outweigh personal rights in almost every case. I would love to believe that this will have changed in 12 years, but I am feeling a bit gloomy about it. I suspect that we will have become even more complacent with having our personal data mined for all kinds of purposes. Like I said, I am feeling gloomy.”

The chief privacy officer for a major US technology company wrote, “The nature of the online environment will continue to evolve, and the goal of ‘secure, popularly accepted, and trusted’ will continue to be evasive. Will we make progress, yes. Will there still be weaknesses? Absolutely. Individuals will better understand how to use tools to protect themselves for the information obtained from their devices, but they will need the assistance of regulation and enforcement to protect them from the malicious use information about them published online by others.”

The director of innovation for a multi-country company aiming to tap into the gigabit Internet wrote, “The year 2025 is not far enough away to overcome today’s widespread view that the Internet is not to be trusted for anything requiring high levels of privacy and protection. ‘The well has been poisoned’ by the revelations of whistleblowers and security researchers. Users will be more paranoid about security and more sophisticated in their attempts to maintain privacy.”

A political scientist, who studies cyberculture and social movements, replied, “The general public will feel safe secure and taken care of, but they tend to have little awareness about the reality of personal privacy and secure data online. Privacy activists have great momentum right now and continue to produce better and better open source privacy tools. The more that innovators can become policymakers and influencers, the better, and this will be the next phase of activism (maybe not @ioerror, per se, but the following generation). The public perception will be that they have greater and greater protection, but they will also be willfully divulging more and more personal information. Possibilities include webcams as an option in cars, and as a standard feature in new homes, as well as Facebook touchscreens in kitchens, living rooms, and studies.”

An online community management consultant wrote, “Both spammers and legitimate marketers will be motivated to stay ahead in the race to circumvent regulations and be ‘disruptive’ in every sense. Regulation is important but will follow in their dust. I expect more paranoia and cynicism on the one hand, with some signs of increased openness and adaptation on the other. In many ways, parents are the wild card. Will they care and take political action?”

An anonymous respondent replied, “While consumers may desire privacy online, most online infrastructures are related to advertising and commerce—both of which focus on targeting users with increased precision, honed by increased knowledge of their habits. I do not see this going away, nor do I see a viable easy-to-use solution being adopted universally (unless it is in a walled garden like the apple ecosystem, and that is another issue entirely). Personal privacy will certainly change—as the lives of children today are being documented, archived, photographed, and tagged. In 2025, having one’s entire personal life searchable via Google will be much more commonplace.”

A self-employed writer replied, “All of the forces that are driving commercial value on the Internet work against privacy.”

A freelance technology writer, and editor for leading US publications, replied, “They will have to. Companies like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft are sounding the alarm now, and the pressure will only grow. Uncertainty in this area hurts their business. Users are worried. Security mavens are watching a professional hacker ecosystem evolve at an alarming rate. A decade is not really much time, but a few more big exploits will push things forward quickly. I think it is a myth that young people do not value their privacy, but ‘privacy’ does mean something very different to them than what it means to their elders. This much more public-facing generation comes of age with their awkward, brain-still-growing years chronicled on social media and YouTube. I expect that things we find outrageous today will become an accepted part of growing up—once everyone has a few embarrassing clips in their background.”

An Internet business consultant commented, “This will not happen. In fact, people will lose what little privacy they have. Most people will be used to having no privacy online.”

A freelance Internet journalist, researcher, and editor, wrote, “I see the public demand for privacy broadening and intensifying, driving and stimulating an entrepreneurial development of personal privacy apps and browser add-ons that computer users will acquire personally to protect themselves. People already distrust the promises of privacy from businesses, which people see as driven by greed. People/users are already aware of sophisticated breaches in business security, and despite promises to protect data, people will turn to enhanced options themselves, which they will be willing to pay for. I see public norms about privacy and the rights of individuals in public relaxing over time. I see more acceptance of the use of public space camera systems in the future, similar to the CCTV systems in Britain. I also strongly hope that gun control efforts will gain a stronger foothold, and I do see gun control moving forward.”

An anonymous survey participant responded, “Privacy will become a privilege of the wealthiest, while multinational companies and governments will have unlimited access to private information, as they do today. Laws will be adapted to allow such access by the ones within big budgets. Massive media campaigns will be deployed to convince people about privacy being overvalued. By 2025, people will be convinced that privacy is not such a big deal, and they will live happy with that. Only a few will keep worrying about privacy, but nobody will care.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “I really would like a privacy infrastructure to happen, and in some senses, we are closer now to it happening than ever before because of recent revelations from Edward Snowden. Nonetheless, the politics of surveillance and privacy are so broken, particularly when it comes to industry and government interests, that it is unlikely there will be any positive change. Essentially, we have seen both institutions push the barriers as far as they can and then complain about how any regulation would stymie their new goals, only made possible because they over-reached to begin with. This is the new model of politics in this domain, and possibly, in other domains where significant investment occurs, which is worrying in its own right. I do not think they will be much different, to be honest. Much is said about how norms have changed, but I am not entirely sure I understand how exactly that has come to be. I know there is more information available, and more is generated, particularly through metadata—but I am not clear as to how that has created a shift in norms.”

An anonymous survey respondent wrote, “The natural tension between hardline privacy advocates and libertarian technologists does not appear to me to be easing. Quite to the contrary, I believe divisions between those groups are deepening and calcifying. I suspect we will continue to see a patchwork of self-regulation, mixed with technology-driven privacy protection mechanisms, with the possible addition of baseline federal privacy legislation that establishes a floor, rather than a ceiling for information collection.”

A self-employed digital consultant replied, “We can never go back with trust—it is broken and cannot be repaired. People will be more aware of the reality that privacy is relative.”

A staff member at a major Internet policy organization wrote, “Business will need to innovate and ensure users that there is more security for transactions to work. Emerging markets will help drive this. More and more people will have to have a serious financial or identify-theft incident before change will come, but it will. Many children, now, are too liberal with information, and this will change. Or, it will have to, as it will be abused more.”

A network administrator formerly with the US Department of Commerce commented, “Just look back at the changes in technology in the last 11 years to imagine/project what could be standard operating procedure by 2025. Mistakes will be made; personal privacy is a moving target, but ‘going back’ is not an option. Each generation has become more comfortable with technology, so I do not think the resistance will be the same going forward. User recognition will be by fingerprint or iris scan.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “There will be two different types of Internet users: those who do not care about sharing information about themselves and those who do not want to share information. Those who do not want to share information will use technologies to ‘hide’ themselves on the Internet or use Internet in a limited way.”

A senior policy adviser for a major US Internet service provider replied, “We will move away from passwords and toward biometrics that will provide higher levels of security. The ongoing NSA scandal and growing bad press about apps provider practices will force industry and government to dedicate the resources necessary—and reach the compromises required—to improve and simplify personal privacy. Individuals will be better able to ‘monetize’ the value of their personal data (at least, that which they can reasonably ‘control’) as they become more aware of its value, which will help to sustain data flows. Generational change will be accompanied by a continued loosening of personal privacy expectations.”

A lawyer, and law professor, wrote, “Information is the new oil. Identity systems, adopted for convenience, may centralize ownership of good information but identity providers will not give individuals control. We will focus on wrongful uses of information, rather than attempting to control collection.”

A network scientist for BBN Technologies wrote, “In some senses, the reality will be the same as today—a struggle between users’ privacy and corporate and government access to user data. It seems to me that the current revelations from Snowden are pushing the pendulum back in the direction of user privacy, but there is significant economic and legal inertia to overcome. By 2025, the ideas of social media and sharing will have been around for many years, giving social norms time to adapt. One possible outcome is that society will become more willing to overlook past sins that have been shared. Or, it is also possible that norms will stay more or less the same, and there will be pressure on sharing technologies to provide users with better control over their history.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “The difference between the initial question and the elaborated question is crucial. To the first one, no, there will not be a trusted privacy-rights infrastructure allowing for individual choice. To the second, the overall public perception will be that the right balance has been struck, as privacy will be only a concern for cranks. Employer concerns about employee behavior off-hours will fade, as a generation will have come of age with shared party photos and selfies, and will reject current norms requiring either privacy or sanitized private behavior—a concept which will have little meaning.”

A researcher for a major US computer software and hardware company wrote, “Progress on increasing privacy online is slow. In fact, the progress might even be negative. Extrapolating this out to 2025 indicates slim chance of a ‘secure, popularly accepted, and trusted privacy-rights infrastructure.’”

A minority rights advocate and media analyst responded, “There will be increasing reasons for even the exhibitionist Facebook generation to ‘get it’ when their own identities and commercial transitions are increasingly hijacked. There will be a real marketplace for finding places to hide from the digital probes and harassments, as well as for erasing digital footprints that can prove to be embarrassing later. Although privacy will be the sector to be in, I am not confident that it will provide people true privacy from the government and other snoops who seem to have compromised so much so far. More people who do not get it now will realize how rare and important it is to be outside the range of the camera, GPS, and other digital harassments and probes.”

The leader of learning and performance systems at Pennsylvania State University responded, “There is likely to be somewhat of a revolt about invasion of privacy, and the pendulum will swing in the other direction from where we currently are. The general public will not stand for the level of invasion of privacy forever, and there will be a better balance in the future that will favor individuals, rather than corporate interests. I do not know that the general privacy concerns will be stricter than those we have now. Generally, we will still live in places where lots of cameras and where people can be tracked, but it will not be the brave, new world some fear.”

An anonymous respondent said, “The US version of what is acceptable will be incompatible with the EU version, and as a result, both policies will have gaping holes.”

A retired professor of education responded, “Privacy is an illusion, and its pursuit is a distraction. We must exercise control. If you do not want to be seen, keep off the electronic highway.”

A principal engineer for Cisco wrote, “The creation of such an infrastructure is inevitable. If you had said ‘by 2018,’ I would expect that there would still be much debate about whether the right balance had been achieved. But, by 2025, people will have gotten used to the status quo and will treat it as ‘normal.’”

A tenure-track professor at a US research university said, “By 2025 I hope to experience two factors that will contribute to a greater public sense of equilibrium when it comes to privacy, security, and data analytics. First, perceptions will shift to accept some practices that, today, seem strange and invasive. For example, there is not much of a public outcry against browser cookies these days, not because they are not used, but because people have learned to enjoy their benefits and are not frightened about them because they know cookies can be blocked. Second, businesses and government agencies will be (and are) learning about what the public is unlikely to find acceptable through legal precedent and social norms.”

A New York University professor responded, “Policymakers are in gridlock, and corporations lack incentive. Twentieth-century concerns about ‘Big Brother’ have morphed into an ‘if you are not doing anything wrong’ disinterest, but the potential for an unpredictable backlash remains.”

An anonymous survey participant who works as a cybersecurity policy strategist and consultant replied, “We will have a secure, popularly accepted, and trusted privacy-rights infrastructure by 2025; however, it will only protect information from some, not all, threats. Privacy will become more contextual with analogs to the offline world. While it will weaken for some, it will also evoke a backlash when marketers push too fast and too far at making their tracking publically observable. Tailored ads in a browser are one thing, but tailored ads based on eye scans in a store are another. Subtle techniques, like tracking phones, are already happening; while these are accepted, bio tracking is perceived, for good or evil, as more invasive.”

A 25-year veteran of technology research and entrepreneurship wrote, “A string of high-profile cases and other revelations will have made an attentive younger generation more wary of just signing away their privacy. Progressive countries will have created regulation that can no longer be ignored by the global corporations. Other countries will follow slowly, kicking and screaming. It will no longer be socially acceptable to rat out your friends to corporations that ignore privacy. People will still be less concerned about their own privacy than would be good for them, but the social tolerance for being implicated in some privacy-defying corporate scheme by a friend will decrease massively.”

A university research fellow wrote, “The European standard will become global. Desired levels of privacy will increase. The cat is out of the bag regarding giving information to companies in exchange for loyalty points, but privacy between individuals will be higher.”

An anonymous respondent, who works as a journalist, wrote, “It will take another generation or two until we are happy with the privacy, security, and ownership mores of the Net. The problems are simply too complex and too commercialised—and we will not know what we want until it has gone wrong a few times. We will be much more comfortable with others knowing a lot more about us but also a lot more demanding about knowing what they know and how they learnt it.”

A marketing and trend consultant wrote, “Early adopters will continue to make inroads in refusing their data be shared, and their voices will gain sympathy after more people—especially non-techies—get hacked and inconvenienced by privacy invasion. The latest US health mandate will create some misstep related to private medical data, which will sound the alarm on keeping medical information truly private. Public will be forced to think about privacy—today most can still skate by without considering. Private information will be more broadly considered to be kept private, rather than assumed information must be shared. For example, physical home addresses will be considered less necessary, more private, by 2025.”

A former technology policy advisor for the US Congress and the Clinton Administration wrote, “Just as legislation fails to keep up with innovation in the Internet ecosystem, so will security/privacy related issues fail to keep up. Economic incentives are too significant to ignore. Youth today are much more accepting of a lack of privacy online; spying may be different, however. Youth who have grown up as Digital Natives will find tools and protocols to protect those things online they want protected and consider the rest of the information about them public domain.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Continued and escalating breaches in data security will demand solutions that will impact how tracking and targeting are implemented. Based on currently available information, the vast majority of online users do not deactivate tracking cookies on their computers, nor do many realize how they potentially compromise their online security on a daily basis. Policymakers will step in, considering this to be a matter that self-regulation simply is not addressing aggressively enough. I believe that technologies, apps, and programs are in development already to allow consumers to be tracked beyond cookie technology.”

An anonymous survey participant commented, “The Internet, much like other shared communications infrastructures, will continue to be ‘regulated’ by individual countries. The level and type of that regulation will morph and mature over time. As the Internet and mobile, and other, yet-to-emerge technologies gain traction, and as consumer behaviors and knowledge mature (the Internet is used by all age groups, economic groups, etc.), it is likely that multiple privacy networks will emerge.”

A sociologist and early Internet scholar, responded, “I am a skeptic about businesses willing to do more for customers’ privacy, less than for their own data security. Consumption is one of the driving forces behind the data masses floating around, so why should it suddenly stop? The free-trade agreement negotiations between Europe and the United States are proof of how it will rather be less privacy, more intrusion. I hope it will be different. I hope the current ‘Anything goes, because we need to know all about your life to sell you more services and other crap’ will lessen. Besides, I consider it difficult to foresee the future in 12 years—given the changes of the last 12 years.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “I believe that the phrase ‘that allows for business innovation and monetization’ [embedded in this question] means that personal, private data can be mined by companies. The secure communications infrastructure of the future will protect the privacy of individuals from companies, and thus, will not allow for monetization.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Too many companies have a vested interest in too many proprietary, competing formats for this to happen.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Are you kidding? All privacy is gone. Government and business will not return it to us—it will only advance and people will just go along with it because—and they are correct—there is no recourse.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Policymakers and corporations will have to address the issues of personal privacy and secure data. Consumers will not tolerate the kinds of data breaches and cyber crime recently affecting holiday shoppers at Target stores. Hopefully by 2025, consumers will automatically ask questions before automatically clicking through screens or using apps. We need to ask questions of the companies we are dealing with—ask them how they are using our personal information and ask them about their privacy policies. We all need to become our own privacy commissioner and pay attention; hopefully by 2025, this will be a learned automatic response. Also, by 2025, we will automatically pay close attention to smartphone app permissions. We will automatically go to our settings and see what apps are looking for what information and truly look at it and say, ‘Do I really need my Starbucks app to know exactly where I am?’ By doing this, we will not automatically accept defaults and tweak default privacy settings to better match our preferences. Terms and conditions and privacy policies will be easier for consumers to understand. It will still be important to read standard form agreements and to understand them, and it will continue to not be enough to simply click and say, ‘I agree;’ however, these agreements should be understandable to the average consumer and we should no longer feel that we are simply succumbing to corporate will. It will be easier for consumers to watch the watchers in 2025. It will be commonplace for us to use sousveillance software and know who is watching us and collecting information on us.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “The stakes are too high for business, government, and the public to not solve this problem. I anticipate that the public will be more comfortable with having a significant portion of their private information accessible, but that there will be more robust tools for the public to use to block access to content that an individual might not wish to share. There will also be more transparency in how this information is being used. We already see that younger people have fewer concerns about protecting their privacy. This trend will continue and that diminishing privacy will be less of a concern.”

A CEO wrote, “You cannot put that genie back in the bottle. When needs are anticipated with predictive marketing, no one will care.”

An expert on digital technology applications that combine sensor data, ubiquitous computing, and wearable devices to deliver personalized information, wrote, “Something may be created, but I cannot imagine all concerned would find it acceptable and/or be pleased with it.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “They will put in place such an infrastructure, and it may even be popularly accepted, but I doubt it will be secure. The question always becomes—secure from whom? But, no—the year 2025 is too soon, and we will not have a digitally literate population by then, which is really the prerequisite to digital security. People will care less about it because the greater laws will be changed to make it less important to be private—such as legalization of pot, acceptance of homosexuality, and so on.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “Nothing will change much about privacy in the future because privacy is a social issue and is a result of the companies’ self-interest. We tend to see less and less privacy, so the future will hold less privacy. The change might be that we will just care less because it will be much more normative.”

A networking engineer employed by one of the largest cable television companies in the United States wrote, “I think that it will take the form of requirements for transparency—i.e., ‘We are going to use your information, but here is how, here is why, here are the knobs you have to control it, and here is how you can opt out, either from our use or our storage of your information, our exposure of it to partners.’ The notion of privacy by obscurity will be gone—people will be able to find information about the others they interact with at a moment’s notice, thanks to improvements in search, access, and correlational analysis. The default assumption is that anyone can see your footprints, and you should conduct yourself accordingly; however, controlling how this information is exposed, and to whom, will remain important.”

The CEO for a company that builds intelligent machines wrote, “Privacy is already dead; we just have not woken up to that fact entirely. Liberty is not so far behind, and I suspect that, by 2025, we will be lamenting its recent passing. Primarily due to policymakers failing to understand the social and technological changes fast enough, the multinationals quest for the all-mighty dollar, the average consumer of 2025 will be seeking any and all mechanisms to be able to conduct the business of their daily lives as securely and privately as they once did back at the turn of the twentieth century. By 2025, for the right price, and under the right social conditions (corporate relationships, social network standing), some will be able to purchase security and privacy solutions that will operate over the public Internet infrastructure, but you can be sure that the cost will be well beyond the reach of the average consumer. Beyond this, a number of darker pools will be established that will not be intended for access by the public. On these private networks, which will interconnect with the public Internet by ‘cloaking’ their data to appear like normal network traffic, what we call ‘liberty’ today will be possible, but again, only with the right corporate and social relationships. I think a less attention-seeking version of the Silk Road (on the Tor network) will probably be the model, and a crypto-currency like Bitcoin will probably enable monetization. Fewer people, who care about privacy the way we define it today, will be alive. Most adults of voting age, by 2025, will have grown up with an expectation that everything they think, want, and do, should be shared publicly, and that corporations should be allowed access to that data as payment for one or more free services. This agreement to a kind of faux-transparency will permeate most relationships between institutions (government, social, municipal) and individuals.”

A marketing executive working in the high-tech industry since the early 1970s observed, “The US government and the United Nations are both clamoring for more control over the Internet. While most Internet users (myself included) would prefer less government involvement and control, there does need to be a central point of accountability to protect security, liberty, and privacy. The real issue is who is best equipped and impartial enough to do it without violating many of the elements they are supposed to protect? The United Nations, in my opinion, is inept and corrupt, and the US government is inept, corrupt, and cannot be trusted, given its current and past record of invading the privacy of all citizens under the guise of national security, as well as the fiasco of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) proving they have no business in running any technology associated with the masses. Given the reflection noted, the question is who is both trustworthy and capable of policing the Internet; and, I am not sure I have a good answer to that. I suspect new forms of technology will enable Internet users to protect themselves. I can envision a private company creating an encryption algorithm enabling a user to locate all references and content associated with themselves and the ability to monitor and control where it can be seen or restricted. I am thinking this would be performed through a secure user ID and password that does not currently exist. This new technology would be similar to a cipher lock and could not be penetrated, tracked or hacked.”

The policy director for one of the largest US-based technology companies wrote, “It will be left to the technology innovators—individuals and companies—to create a trusted environment. People (and for companies—their customers) will demand a secure infrastructure. These concerns will be driven by greater consumer interest in not being embarrassed by having their behaviors disclosed, protection against fraud and identity misuse, being given some control over how their information is used (for profit or in exchange for access), and the extent of government access to the data. There will be a greater delineation between information that may be ‘posted’ in social contexts—and expectations on how that information is shared, who has access to it, and based on user control, and information that is ‘collected’ about an individual from their online activity. Users will demand to be put in greater control as they begin to understand the value of their data and restrictions will be put on collection and use of data or there will be a greater value exchange in return for the collection and use of that data. Otherwise users may migrate to services and sites that are deemed to protect their data or provide control.”

The director of IT for a New York-based graduate program wrote, “I am very pessimistic with regards to privacy online and either government or industry’s ability to firmly establish and/or regulate it. I think we must all assume, at this point, that everything we do online is being observed and stored, mostly by government, and partially by corporate interests. This is very depressing. Most people do not care now, and fewer people will care in the future.”

A researcher at a marketing firm doing work in the online privacy realm responded, “Technology moves faster than regulation, and methods of data collection on users will be out in front of people’s efforts to regulate and users’ ability to control their own information. I suspect people will become more comfortable with sharing information. Studies have shown that younger generations are more comfortable with their information being online. By and large, people will get used to it, and they will realize that it is not the end of the world to have certain information about them collected by companies.”

An anonymous survey participant wrote, “The addition of private sector ‘technology innovators’ to this question requires a ‘No’ answer because private-sector, profit-seeking actors as powerful actors insures insufficient privacy because the value of information that most want protected is so very high. The privacy-destroying nature of the Internet paradigm, as it currently exists, will be more widely appreciated, but the political effect of this awareness is harder to predict and will be hotly contested.”

The director at a nonprofit focused on innovation, technology, and education wrote, “The battle will play out in favor of commercial interests, with the onus on individuals to practice safe Internet surfing. The key will be for organizations like EFF and Mozilla to educate the public about their rights and explain how the technology works so that people understand how little privacy and security they have. Right now, people care most about the user experience and convenience and either do not know, or do not care, about the privacy implications of those choices.”

A technical services director for a consultancy wrote, “I worry that the bar will be set too low on this, but there will be some sort of approach worked out because trust remains the basis for human transactions. People will be much more accepting of the panopticon, unless some major revelation of abuse dramatically changes the trajectory of public thought.”

The dean of a major university’s communications school wrote, “There is no regulatory background, context, or history in the United States to permit this. We will see some of this in the European Union, where somewhat of a regulatory framework exists. But, the Internet is a global medium, and the absence of any global consensus on how to regulate information-gathering practices of the private and public sector, so as to protect citizen privacy, will likely prevent this from occurring because these practices vary from country to country. By that time, we will have evolved out of the platforms that populate our everyday life, and privacy and sociality issues will have taken on a different form. People will be more accustomed to publicly private and/or privately public platforms/places, like Facebook/Twitter, and we will have tentatively and semi-organically developed norms on how to socialize in these places, much like we have norms for socializing in places like the office, school, bars, and movie theaters (that are variable strict or fluid). This, of course, does not mean that people will not deviate from norms, as they always have, but they will also be socialized into these norms, much like we are socialized with regards to what is appropriate, specific, and best suited for certain places. So, we will see fewer of the ‘behavioral lapses’ that we now encounter in a place like Facebook—people will likely share less, or share less personal information (and have already begun to do so, as a matter of fact). At the same time, however, newer platforms will have emerged, so I doubt that we will be much concerned with theses issues in the same manner. I suspect that behavioral lapses and tendencies that surprise us now will likely either devolve, if they serve no function, or evolve into normative practices, or something in between.”

The CEO of a professional, nonprofit society responded, “Considering the pace of policymaking in this area, I do not believe policymakers can keep up with innovations surrounding the Internet and its many uses. And, I fear hackers and criminals may even be quicker than the legitimate innovators in the technology arena. As long as members of the public are willing to give away personal information in return for something they believe has value (i.e., Groupon, grocery store discount cards, etc.), it will be very difficult to fashion a societal norm that values privacy.”

The senior policy advisor for a major European Internet operations organization responded, “There are major conflicts of interest between public and personal interests and between business models and what consumers are willing to do against more generic civil rights issues. For many—if not most—users, given the way in which they pay scant head to warnings about personal data, privacy is not an issue (in offline, as well as online worlds) and will not be until their data is used for overtly criminal use. Looking at these issues as a one-, or even two-, dimensional choice misses the point. Until there is some development in the way we address the issues, thinking through the principles and range of choices and, perhaps more importantly, the safeguards needed, we will always end up with an artificial debate. I’m not convinced that the different sides are ready for such a discussion yet. Given the above, I agree with the implication here, that norms about privacy (and not just public norms), and standards in the way organisations (public, private, and individuals) handle data that is given to them in trust, will need to evolve. Two things are needed: clarity in the norms and standards; and choice in adoption. If you can only use the latest big thing in networking by renouncing rights, fear of exclusion will lead to people ceding their rights.”

An anonymous respondent said, “Policymakers and technology innovators will be forced to think about better ways to create a safe and secure infrastructure because of the risk of losing the momentum that we have gained in the last few years in terms of the increasing democratization of access, of business opportunities, of the spreading worldwide culture of openness. In 2025, we will come to control the risks and to better understand the rewards associated with connectivity. Our fears will abet because policymakers and technology innovators will find new ways to come up with new designs and new software that increasingly meets the expectations of all. Ordinary people will continue to pressure them as new challenges arise, but our conception of what is private will evolve a bit. We will accept things we do not at this time. In 2025, we will still want to protect our privacy online, but while we may come to terms with businesses tracking our buying patterns, we will still fiercely defend our rights to protect our identities and many other parts of our personal lives from the prying eyes of corporations and governments. We will relinquish some privacy for social goods purposes, just like we are starting to do now when we participate in social networks.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “We will have individual, private encryption keys. All my interactions will have to be encrypted, or I will have to explicitly contribute unencrypted information.”

A collaboration strategist responded, “As of now, the only technology tools that can be used are crypto-currencies, encryption, VPNs, sneaker nets, and software-defined networking. Layers of legal liability could be built atop these approaches, but with global corporations and central banks increasingly willing to act illegally, these may be untenable. C-Suites will either become far more or far less accountable—ditto for politicians. Citizens will re-unionize (associations, guilds, political parties). The DATA Act, and similar politico-technical data transparency approaches, will either be demanded or the Internet will be more militarized. Private-encrypted mesh networks may become more pervasive.”

A government executive wrote, “My preference would be for a ‘Yes’ answer. I answered, ‘No,’ for the following reason: Consumers are conflicted about privacy. It is a classic case of stated versus revealed preferences. Yes, consumers nominally demand privacy, but they are willing to share all kinds of private information about them. And, there is what professor Alessandro Acquisiti, of Carnegie Mellon University, refers to as a ‘control paradox’ when it gets to privacy. The more control people have over their privacy, the more they are willing to give it away. So, is it really about privacy? I think not. It is about the perception of choice versus the real control of one’s private information. Given these nuanced dynamics, I do not think there will really be a push by people to influence policymakers to act upon this.”

The director of a leading global foresight organization wrote, “While the monetization of information will continue, so will the political pressure to protect personal information and privacy. According, cultural attitudes, as well as economic pressure, will push toward a working compromise. Privacy will become less an ideological goal and more a moderated reality. Less privacy will become the norm.”

A program director focusing on ICT standards policy, Internet governance, and other issues, wrote, “I anticipate that, in time, developers will be able to create tools that tip the balance in favor of consumers, who will then be in a position to, in effect, offer some or all of their data for a price, essentially making them partners on the commercial side of things. The government will have to conduct a similar ‘negotiation’ with ‘payments’ in the form of true transparency, data-collection limits, etc. In other words, entrepreneurs—and perhaps hacker groups—will step in and create tools that establish balance between individual rights and governments’ ‘need to know.’”

The CEO of a software technology company, and active participant in Internet standards development, responded, “There is not enough pushback from Internet users, and hence, little incentive for service providers to control what data they are gathering. Change will only come if competitive services emerge that will provide a similar function with guaranteed privacy. The younger generation seems to be willing to publish their lives on the Internet, and hence, it seems likely that acceptance of a lack of privacy will become the norm.”

An e-Health expert responded, “The use of the technology will expand, and so will the laws the laws to protect personal information. You cannot have one without the other; hence, the trend for the future is fairly clear. Companies and vendors that develop and market innovative systems will be compelled to figure out the right solutions to the problems that beset the field today. Society, in general, will become further sensitized to the need for protecting privacy and liberty. Our excessive concern with safety will subside, as a more rational and tolerant atmosphere will prevail. We have gone too far worrying almost blindly about national security, without any thought about the causes of the problem. We avoided dealing with the causes of the problem by exaggerating the necessary response to its manifestations. By 2025, I hope we would be smarter and more open to rational thinking.”

The COO for a consulting and contract research organization wrote, “We will greatly benefit from the compelling content and apps that will emerge from consumer tracking and analytics. Far too much concern is focused on privacy. I hope they are a lot less stifling. I have no opinion about what is likely.”

The vice president of research and consumer media for a research and analysis firm responded, “There is no incentive for either government or business to create privacy infrastructure. Individual citizens do not have enough motivation to demand it. In 2025, most citizens will have no expectation of privacy, but there will be some awkward workarounds for those who care.”

The CEO of a mid-sized company that has applied for, and will operate, many new top-level domains, provided, “My assessment is that governments and corporations will be unable to resist their thirst for personal information, and the Internet will continue to be rife with spy scandals and the profligate sale and barter of customer information for marketing. I see people increasingly adopting online personae to combat this. This may extend to creating private networks that use a different (non-Internet) addressing system—in other words, non-exclusive use of the interoperable Internet by experienced users, with some eschewing it altogether. In 2025, we are likely to have a much more fully adumbrated legal system in this regard, and because they will have grown up in a global context, the laws will be more consonant with one another from one country to another. Users of the Internet will be far less likely to provide real information to vendors.”

The principal software architect for a large Internet company wrote, “It is not in government’s interest to protect privacy, but rather to enable universal surveillance. People will be much more privacy conscious.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “I would like for this to occur, but I do not hold out much hope that it will by 2025. These are hard, multifaceted problems that will require complex solutions. With the current political and economic climate these changes will take time. In addition, as a researcher in multi-objective (linear programming) decision theory, it is probably that the multiple objectives laid out in the question are not perfectly correlated and will require trade-offs. For example, the current insatiable business desire for more and more data will not be abated quickly and works against the individual’s need for privacy and control of personal information.”

An anonymous respondent observed, “While privacy is considered critical, it is a scarce thing. We are observed in many overt and covert ways. The Internet has just made more people aware of the lack of privacy. I was a military brat, whose father had various types of security clearance, for real, not just a background check. I learned early that my actions impacted on his career. I am concerned the depth that governments and corporations will use personal and private information to manipulate not just individuals but entire countries, even, globally. Frankly, I do not think very many people will really get off the grid to evade search.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “When, in this context, we see (thanks to No2ID), in the United Kingdom, at least, official demands for personal information are multiplying: Travel by car or motorbike, and your number plate is read by a network of cameras, with that record of movements passed to a central store. Leave or enter the country, and all travel details you give will be put on a database that is available to dozens of UK and foreign agencies. The United Kingdom is lobbying for this to be written into EU law. Visit the doctor, and the details may be captured. A new agency is planned to continue centralising and sharing of medical records, expanding the role of the existing Health and Social Care Information Centre. Monitoring of telephone and Internet use continues to increase; all ‘traffic data’ is now kept for inspection by law. Evermore public bodies are getting powers to share the information they have about you, on fine-sounding pretexts. To tie it all together, perhaps, a more subtle government scheme for ‘identity assurance’ is on the agenda. Depending on how that is implemented, it could be harmless; or, it could be very bad news indeed for privacy and personal liberty.’ This is a heady cocktail, coupled with the revelations about the scale, scope, and extent of how deeply the ‘security’ industry, as well as the commercial sector, is already demonstrating what is collected and stored and very vulnerable to being revealed whether on or off-line, as to call into question if the horse has long bolted—a bit like the tipping point for climate change. I would expect that, despite the campaigning, etc., much will be tolerated on the shallow grounds that you have nothing to hide.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “One of the great challenges with creating a trusted privacy-rights infrastructure is that the involvement of governments and large enterprises will strongly lobby for a solution that is relatively centralized, with the private details of people stored and replicated on databases controlled by those enterprises and/or governments. This will be done for ‘practical,’ ‘economic,’ and ‘civil society’ considerations, which are all euphemisms for ensuring that these entities retain power and control over personal data, rather than returning that power and control to the owners of the data. The Snowden revelations, and the almost continuous announcements of large-scale breaches of private data stored in corporate databases, emphasizes the folly of this approach’ however, it is only by distributing the information, and allowing citizens to own, protect, and control their own data, that privacy can be sustained and enhanced. Such distribution need not detract significantly from the creation of compelling content and apps. The primary difference is that the apps themselves will need to perform the analytics on the data of an individual, instead of mass analytics being performed in large data centres. Practically, this may translate into short processing delays and increased power consumption on mobile devices. The main impediment is the change in mental approach to creating applications and content under a distributed model; however, there are examples of this kind of thinking emerging. For example, http://sneer.me/home.html, which uses a ‘sovereign computing’ approach to replicate much of the functionality of platforms like Facebook, but without the need to hold any private data collectively. Such an approach has the potential to be much more cost effective, and lower barriers to entry, as like other distributed approaches, it avoids the need for significant expensive infrastructure to provide the service. There are some applications that require information on masses of people to be analysed together to be effective, such as suggesting purchases based on purchasing history; however, such analytics can be performed with only the relevant data being held collectively in an anonymous manner. Thus, despite the institutional resistance, it is possible to have one’s cake and eat it, too, albeit at somewhat increased inconvenience for the large corporate players as they adapt, but potentially at much lower cost. This cost differential suggests that future social networking platforms may be distributed, purely because the barrier to entry is much lower than for establishing more traditional infrastructure based services’ however, the challenge will be how to appropriately monetise such platforms, although it is fair to say that monetising any social networking platform is a non-trivial problem, generally, and the economic scale of operation for today’s infrastructure-based services makes this particularly problematic. Europe will continue to lead other jurisdictions in gradually shifting the balance of power back towards the owners of the data, though this will be dependent on strong and persistent action by the various European authorities and agencies to achieve this. Secret trade agreements being planned, such as the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), if enacted, will act to reduce the sovereign ability of nations to effectively protect their citizen’s data and privacy.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “I am a skeptical optimist—or an optimistic skeptic—in that I believe there is a good chance that we can get to this end state you describe here. We have a choice of futures: In one, the right balance is not struck, and we wind up with a future Internet controlled mostly by corporations who harvest our data primarily to sell us more content—and a future in which we have essentially no privacy. I think we have a second choice, similar to the first, only it will be governments in control versus the corporations. I see a third choice, where we wind up with a fragmented, balkanized Internet and a challenging future. And, I see a fourth choice, where we do successfully navigate the minefields to wind up with a situation where there is an appropriate level of balance. I am hopeful we get to that fourth choice—even though I could see us easily veering off into the other choices. I think we will accept that we have ‘less’ privacy than we have now. Whether this means we are more accepting of others and more transparent, I don’t know”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Government policymakers are not heading in a direction that would lead me to think they will become more effective at their jobs; however, individuals and/or small corporations will constantly innovate and develop apps and technology that will achieve some of the identified goals. But, it will be a moving target. Teens appear to be over-sharing currently, but some have perfected hiding in plain sight. They may continue to expand the practice.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “Technology and the private sector will outpace the ability of policymakers to create adequate consumer protections. Online businesses will continue to erode societal expectations of privacy, and younger Internet users will continue to require fewer privacy protections than their predecessors. Consumer cooperative marketplaces will begin to emerge, where consumers are actively engaged in the monetization and protection of their personal information.”

The managing director of the consulting division at a major US-based digital, creative, and marketing company, commented, “Businesses will be forced to secure data, especially as we have seen in the most recent Target incident. The companies that do not do this will not survive because their customers will have options to shop elsewhere and feel secure that their data is secure and private.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “The institutions that have to collaborate in this endeavor (government, corporate) have conflicting interests in addressing global issues. They will not unite around the necessary common framework and principles.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “The answer to this question is yes—mostly out of necessity. Online security and privacy has become a growing concern among most Internet users, and policymakers and technology innovators will be forced to strike a balance between capability and privacy if companies wish to continue to grow online marketplaces. While increased privacy options will be necessary to grow online consumerism between now and 2025, public norms about privacy will change substantially. Internet users will become more accustomed to basic information about themselves becoming readily available but will want to protect personal information that can lead to identity theft or other negative consequences.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Already now, governments are using the Internet to spy on their own, and other nations’, citizens. Even in countries where there are free elections, citizens have little or no control over what data is being collected and scrutinized; the situation is even worse with autocratic or dictatorial regimes. Lastly, this is due to the fact that countries are not competing genuinely and honestly for scarce resources, but instead, are using any means available to further their needs, thereby widening existing economical and societal gaps. We will get used to getting supervised and will consequently develop means to conceal information. In the end, mistrust, in general, will increase.”

A post-doctoral researcher wrote, “I wish there was a ‘Maybe’ option. This will be one of the biggest challenges ahead of us. Corporations are pushing for underselling the value of privacy to monetize data and add value to their respective companies, and governments have no incentive to act against their will because this trend serves their purposes too. NSA, for example, could not use commercial entities for its massive surveillance initiatives. The latest manifesto that six major tech companies wrote to Obama is merely a show. But, with the digital rights activists keeping the corporations and policymakers in check, this trend may be somewhat balanced. Every new technology, when first introduced, brings with it its hurdles. These hurdles are overcome after a long, painful negotiation period. It will be a tough battle for the digital rights activists since the cards are already skewed against their favor. In some circles, there would be more awareness of privacy and how to protect it. But, the majority could give into the convenience of all the surveillance technologies afford.”

An anonymous respondent with a PhD wrote, “Policymakers will (unfortunately) yield to big corporations when it comes to thinking about, and drawing up policy on, these important issues. Facebook is a good example of how flippant big and powerful corporations can be about privacy—constantly defending that the objective of the site as a ‘social network’ does not mean that users forfeit their privacy rights, and this is something that Facebook needs to understand—and this is just one example. I think governments will also use the excuses of national security to ensure that any policy on privacy, security, or even liberty, to abstain themselves from that (meaning—they will be able to access any information when it suits them). People will become more nonchalant about it. Social networks have made ‘sharing’ where we are, what we are doing with our ‘friends,’ such a norm that kids who grow up in this environment do not even think twice about it now. It will be peer pressure to be a part of newer social networks. That does not mean that people will not be concerned, though.”

A researcher and graduate student wrote, “There will be a certain consensus by 2025, in terms of policies. We can see that there is a struggle to define ‘online rights’ and ‘online freedom of speech’ today. A good example can be with online streaming of films and TV shows. I believe illegal downloading will decrease with the rise of services such as Netflix and Hulu. The privacy concerns will be met by the Internet companies. Governments might require these companies to update their privacy terms.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “People have given up.”

An anonymous survey participant replied, “People will continue to slowly give up more and more of their privacy and civil liberties.”

An anonymous respondent said, “There is no hope for a resolution. This is issue is too big, and it is always changing.”

A digital content advisor responded, “I have no faith in the Congress, and businesses without policy to control them will do whatever they want. I am afraid people will just accept that they have no privacy. I hope not, but that is where we are headed. The fact that there is no outcry, even when the head of the NSA admitted that he lied to Congress, is proof of that.”

An anonymous respondent said, “In 2025 people will have given up any expectation of privacy online. It is possible that people will come up with ways to protect privacy, but I think they will no longer be worried about the loss of privacy.”

An information science professional commented, “Data breaches have become so routine that they are no longer unexpected and shocking. The convenience of ‘people who looked at this item also bought this item’ on shopping websites, and even on social media sites, has become a somewhat attractive feature. Complicating this is the growing popular attitude that government is interfering too much in private life. There seems to be little expectation that anything will truly be private. This is a multi-fold problem. I do not think people (especially those under the age of 35 or so) are as concerned with personal privacy as they were 20 years ago.”

An anonymous respondent said, “People will feel less concerned about personal privacy; financial security will become even more important to Internet users. For the Internet to continue to be viable for business, banking, and even just sharing personal information, something is going to have to be done to protect users’ information and financial transactions. The public will be reluctant to give up the ease of use Internet business encounters allows, but no one will continue to use unsecured systems that might cause personal or corporate fiscal devastation.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “Privacy may be a nonexistent concept for many of us. Money, and maybe most personal health info, will be as private as possible (which is not going to be much), though very little else will be, assuming people still mostly live online.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Given the NSA scandal, and to a smaller extent, the failings of Google and Facebook, this has created a public outcry, and lawmakers and corporations will be forced to address this issue or face the wrath of the public. My fervent hope is that the younger generation will push back against the invasion of their privacy and start to value and protect their privacy.”

An anonymous respondent commented, “The business world itself will probably start pushing for more secure data in light of disasters like this recent credit/debit card problem at Target. Economic liability and losing customer trust (and consumer sales) will get businesses behind the need for higher security in the first place, and ease-of-use (to encourage customers to use their systems, trust them, and thus feel safe in spending money with them) will follow. I imagine individual online privacy will benefit from this as well, as the technology makes it easier; however, I think people will get used to having less privacy and will be satisfied with less, so businesses will still get enough information about them to benefit from tracking and analytics. People will get used to less privacy. People who are children now will never have known the levels of privacy older generations took for granted—not that the privacy of the past was necessarily intentional, but the technology was not up to sharing information so readily. Members of those older generations will be used to higher levels of privacy, but if there are no direct negative consequences to having less privacy, they will probably relax a bit on the topic—still wanting more than their children or grandchildren but satisfied with less than they would have had in their youth.”

A law school professor teaching in the areas of research and analysis replied, “There is no incentive to offer privacy. The powers that control the information flow rely on privacy access to keep their revenue stream in a constant growth stage. I see nothing that will change that. It will take a major upheaval to change the norms. As of now, a new generation is growing accustomed to not caring about privacy issues. They have never even considered a world where not everyone knows, or wants to know, your life. I do not see any major catastrophe that could change that mindset.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “The current situation with the NSA and numerous credit card processing breaches have really focused attention on these issues. I think the time when we are idealistic about the online world has passed and that more realistic safeguards will ultimately be developed and implemented. I expect that, by 2025, there may be a backlash against all of the social sharing going on now. Young people have a very different idea of privacy than older people, but I believe they will get more conservative as they age.”

An information science professional at the University of the Pacific replied, “Given the lack of care that I see from the students I work with regarding the need for privacy, I do not believe that there will be any force that will make policymakers and corporations create a balance. By 2025, the vast majority of people who are actively participating in the society will have grown up in an age where if it is not posted online, then it doesn’t matter. There will be no need for policymakers to make any laws regarding protection, except for parents who want to protect their young children, and the corporations will get smarter about how they market their use of information that they collect, to the point that people will not only not care if their personal privacy is violated, but will expect that there will be no privacy. For most of the public having privacy will be considered lame. People will want everything they do to be searchable and will be upset if they cannot describe every single thing they do during the day in a way that anyone, anywhere, can see.”

A professor of new media and Internet studies at a graduate school wrote, “The Internet has always found a way to fix itself and improve. The evolution of the Internet will continue and will involve greater privacy protecting measurements, as well as more choices for individual users. That is a natural cycle the Internet will need to take. Privacy will be more or less difficult to keep, but [not] impossible. The public norms will accept the lack of privacy as a price to pay for getting connected and engaged.”

A PhD student wrote, “There are more interests in maintaining security and privacy as they are now, or even to grant even more privacy for even more ‘security,’ rather than the opposite. Users will have less privacy in 2025—and no choice, unless they really organise and boycott these rules. But, no one will ever give up the use of the Internet, not even for one day, in exchange of more privacy.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Absent regulation, public norms on privacy will determine what sort of privacy-rights infrastructure will be developed and deployed, and these norms are already far less concerned about privacy than is generally accepted in the privacy advocacy community. And, regulations that are seen as restricting access to (concrete) services people like (i.e., free email, social networking tools), in the name of protecting an abstractly expressed right, will not be popular. By 2025, I should hope that the pendulum will be swinging back in the direction of privacy awareness.”

An executive for a national news organization responded, “Because of differing philosophies and a fractured political system, the odds of a government-formulated, privacy-rights infrastructure are quite low. In the next decade, we will be where we are now—with a largely patchwork, market-driven system cobbled together by companies responding to consumer needs. Ironically, companies now are hardening their networks and systems, not because of government-mandated standards, but rather, in response to NSA leaker Edward Snowden.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “This might be achieved at regional level or within specific vertical markets; however, I have little confidence that a globally secure, free, and privacy-compliant infrastructure can be achieved. After the big swing towards broadcasting of private life online these last four to five years, users will become more mature and use services with a little more circumspection.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Technology is always faster than law and policy. Even if a balance were to be achieved to address today’s issues tomorrow new concerns will arise. There is no such thing as ‘the right balance.’ What is right for a conservative may not be right for a liberal; what is right for the young may not be right for the elderly. It also looks like we never really know what information is being collected and used by the government or the industry. That makes it hard to reach a balance, and I do not think it is going to change much. Last, the devil is in the details. While the broader issues will not change, the specific issues of privacy, tracking, etc., will, making it hard to predict this ‘right balance.’”

The president of a technology consulting company responded, “The perception will be that there are some effective protections—a perceived trust that innovators will develop tools to keep personal data safe—but the reality will be that nothing will be truly protected. And, consumer data, especially data on shopping habits (time venue/location of purchase, product purchased) and advertising media consumed (television, streaming media online app) will be shared and combined by large retailers. Existing databases of Internet activities will be more useful as giants such as Google and Facebook learn how to parse information in large databases and share (willingly or otherwise) these innovations with government agencies. In short, the reality will be that personal privacy will be lost, but the perception will be that there are tools and policies that will protect personal privacy. Policymakers will continue to work with corporations to create loopholes and other measures (through agencies like US Homeland Security) to allow for ‘work around’ of any policies that protect personal data. Social space will be perceived as something different than general Internet activity and other personal data, such as search, shopping, website visits, and other activity, online. Social interactions will be perceived as public and relatively unprotected.”

A professor at a major US research university wrote, “I rather doubt that real privacy can be constructed in an increasingly electronic world. Some people will learn that complete privacy does not exist, but there will be plenty of instances in which a lack of privacy is forgotten and in which people get into trouble because of things they say or do that they (erroneously, or unthinkingly) believed were private.”

A professor at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain, responded, “If such an infrastructure is not created, both business persons and individual people will have a problem, and the Internet will not be a reliable medium. Transnational regulations will be necessary.”

A professor of information systems at University of Poitiers, France, responded, “As soon as youngsters will begin to see how the lack of privacy they seem to appreciate can badly impact their personal an professional lives, a progressive withdrawal from the most ‘evil’ online services will happen. And, the intelligent competitors will communicate on privacy. It is already the case between Microsoft and Google. I live in Europe, where laws exist against misusages of personal data. I hope that the United States and Canada will follow this example. I see the building of a sort of consensus around personal information, differentiating what is given to different providers or ‘friends.’ Google+ ‘circles’ is a step in the right direction, while Facebook is the perfect counter example.”

A new-media researcher at a university in New York City wrote, “As we have witnessed throughout the 20th century, and now into the 21st, when either the state or a powerful cooperation wants to wants access to your private information, they will just take it if they need to. There is no credible evidence to date to suggest that the greed or paranoia of multinational corporations or the needs of central governments will bend to the will of the people when it comes to privacy. Add in that many people willingly give up privacy either for a sense of security or to access goodies on the Internet, and there is little reason to believe that there will be ‘a secure, popularly accepted, and trusted privacy-rights infrastructure by 2025.’ By 2025, the norm on privacy will be the people will feel that the effort necessary to truly protect their privacy is either beyond their abilities or not worth the hassle. The general public’s posture will shift to where everyone assumes that the government is collecting data on you 24/7 and that corporations know more about you that you do. There will be a subset of the public rebelling against this surveillance and data-driven society through either withdrawal from the online world or acts of ‘civil disobedience’ against the powerful.”

An international project manager at Microsoft commented, “The struggle between advocates for more privacy rights on the one hand, and agencies and corporations who want to use data for their purposes on the other, will gain more momentum. Policymakers on the national level, maybe even up to the level of the European Union, will try to implement laws that guarantee more privacy—only to see their efforts foiled later on (many of the failures will be reported by whistleblowers and/or hackers around the world who have been encouraged by Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks). Many people will consider their data (including data they collected) as their property, being a lot less eager to provide data without getting anything in exchange. Some of the discussion about privacy will, therefore, have shifted to being discussions about property.”

A supporter of the ICT entrepreneurship ecosystem in Europe wrote, “They will have to; consumers are becoming more and more suspicious.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “The legislative infrastructures, which were formed for old and printed media, will struggle to keep pace with the ever-changing technological structures and formats. Add in lack of agreement at international level, and the bureaucracy will slow this down further. People will become more aware of how their data is being used but then eventually relax and realize that it does not threaten them in any significant way.”

An independent academic research consultant wrote, “Perhaps, companies will be awarded easily recognized badges on the basis of their meeting accepted standards for privacy and consumer protection, similar to the badges and certification for online pharmacies (to help consumers differentiate between respectable businesses and ‘rogue,’ or unregulated, ones). I could see an organization like EFF awarding such badges to companies with exemplary privacy policies, and consumers will prefer to work with companies and organizations that receive high ratings from groups like the EFF and other consumer protection agencies. I hope to see some major court rulings on this issue in the next 10 years. Until then, it is hard to say.”

The CEO of a not-for-profit technology/education/innovation company responded, “There is too much potential profit in privacy violation. Government will not be able to resist continued, or even increased, surveillance for the increased social control and political power surveillance affords, and commercial enterprises will not be able to resist privacy violation for the financial profits. There may be a grassroots backlash, in which some people actively avoid technologies and modes of behavior that expose them to surveillance. All in all, however, the trend toward intrusion into privacy will continue, more or less unabated.”

A former chair of a working group of the Internet Engineering Task Force responded, “I believe ‘popularly-accepted’ will continue, but I am pessimistic about privacy. Privacy will be bought and sold on the future Internet (as it kind of is today). I am afraid that people will continue to give away privacy for convenience and discounts (i.e., grocery store cards) and will continue to be manipulated by fear—for example, to fight terrorism, we need a virtual police state.”

A professor of entrepreneurship at Tel Aviv University wrote, “It is needed for global exchange. In the future, people will know that nothing is private.”

A professor at South Dakota State University wrote, “The public—and young people, too—are awakening to the threats posed by losses of privacy to job, insurance, etc., security.”

A PhD candidate, and expert on law, politics, and technology, wrote, “We are witnessing a process in which privacy is being made extinct. Although the hazards are very well known, the state, as well as commercial actors, has so much to gain from using big data analytics and tracking online behavior for personalized advertising schemes, as well as for surveillance purposes. In addition, most people do not mind and do not care. They are willingly giving a lot of information over the social networks. Combining these two factors brings me to the notion that the Web infrastructure will not become a more private, secured, and liberated platform, but rather, quite the opposite. Privacy, as the concept we are accustomed to, will no longer be relevant. Most Web users, and mainly, the younger generations, do not aim for privacy and do not feel deprived of their privacy while literally sharing all their lives over the social networks.”

The grants coordinator at an academic center for digital inclusion responded, “Money will determine policy, and that individual privacy will not be valued. It certainly seems unlikely that there will be ‘easy-to-use’ formats, as infrastructures increase in complexity.”

A professor at the iSchool at the University of British Columbia responded, “As now, these aspects will be fairly safe for most people, but a lack of total security and privacy will still persist. Some of the danger will still come from the criminal element as they find new ways to invade systems. Danger from government surveillance will remain, but people will adjust to the new norms, keeping what they want private, private; however, policy is not just a US- or other first world-created policy. Threats to security, etc., are quite likely to be high and persistent within other countries and/or across national lines. I would say we would look to more x-country invasion of cyberspace. The public will be better informed of what is and is not visible to others online, as well as more aware of consequences; however, revelations about private life will be considered differently, with more leeway (one hopes) to youthful exuberance; perhaps there will only be embarrassment, instead of loss of jobs, harsh public opinion, etc. But, being proven stupid and unaware of such consequences will mark an individual as unable to make proper judgments.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Our data will belong to the government and big corporations. I doubt there will be a self-righting mechanism from the current trends. The public is mostly in the process of forgetting that data is subject to all kinds of tracking that we will never know about, especially as the younger generation matures.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “I anticipate a stronger activism: similar to the rise of groups like Greenpeace. In a post-industrial era, there will be strong and notorious organizations, who will lead battles for digital rights and protection from private abuses. Our societies will have groups of ‘tech refusniks,’ who will question every decision and help find the right balance between security and liberty. Public norms may not change, but the ability of the people (especially born post-2010) to shape their very own definition of privacy and have the means to protect it will increase. We may see a fragmentation of privacy, with different degrees of privacy by age range and profession. For example, we may use Snapchat-like tools to exchange with others, but—by default—store everything we do and say online in a cloud locker like Dropbox/Box, et al., for our very own eyes only. By doing so, we may loosen up our intimacy norms when communicating with others, but secure some privacy by being the only guardians of our digital footprints. I am optimistic about the policymakers creating the right environment for individuals and business because this is what—at least, in a democracy—policymakers do; however, there might be a schism between Americas and Europe, where the latter will offer a stronger protection for the individual and stricter regulations on communications and technology (for instance in the use of drones), while the United States might favor business innovation in their framework.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “In 2014, the inclination to pay with private data, versus paying with currency, has not yet abated. In just over a decade, will big data enable calamitous exchanges that deter this practice? For example, will my health insurer have access to the Pinterest pins and Dropbox account recipes that reflect a high use of butter, putting me at greater risk for an expensive myocardial infarction? It feels like a classic marshmallow problem today—the temptation is right before us, and any long-term benefit of abstaining so intangible that it is meaningless.”

A user-experience designer for a consultancy commented, “The Snowden leaks have shown that we are being subjected to mass surveillance and that governments have no respect for citizens or privacy.”

A director for research at a major US private university commented, “It will take all of the 12 years between now and 2025 to get there, but, in general, we are self-correcting when it comes to these things. Having gone now, perhaps closest to the furthest we will go (may have some way to go), toward surveillance and anti-privacy practices, I do think a correction will begin, driven first by the protection of personal information, and it will extend up the food chain. Either we will have given up on the idea of privacy online or we will start to see a backlash and see people going to extreme lengths to protect their privacy, including the decline of social media.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Yes, we will develop better (but not perfect) systems to protect sensitive information in a user-friendly way, all in the context of evolving privacy norms. Most of the innovations will come from technologists and private firms seeking solutions that protect privacy, when desired, and simultaneously, or in other circumstances, take advantage of fine-grained personal data to deliver valuable services. The big danger is that policymakers impose overly pre- or proscriptive rules that cannot anticipate the multifaceted nature of privacy and, thus, discourage commonsense, market-based innovations. Think of the way HIPAA rules, while well intended, often create mindless waste and confusion in the health care world. It is popular to say new generations do not value privacy like previous ones: i.e., Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and all that. All true, as far as it goes. But culture ebbs and flows. It is not one-way or predictable. We will make mistakes. We will learn about what works, and does not, and what we truly value. Increased transparency in some arenas will alter behavior for the better. But in other cases, society will adjust its opinions (praise, stigma, forgiveness, etc.) to account for the fact that we have more information than ever. The vast amount of new information also means that, although more information is out in the open, lots of ‘new’ information is also kept private—so that the ‘proportion’ of information that is public/private may not change as much as we think. As with commercial privacy rules, it is important that these delicate cultural norms be allowed to find their own way. The big danger, again, is that a centralized bureaucracy will classify more of its own behavior, ban forms of commercial information, and intrude evermore deeply into (think recent NSA and IRS revelations). ‘Privacy for me but not for thee.’ This behavior has the potential to alter the natural privacy balance that would otherwise find.”

A professor of ICT and social sciences at the University of California wrote, “It will never be ‘finished’—we will always be struggling with this. But, there are enough people and groups seriously concerned about this to be always pushing for policy and ease. We will have low expectations about privacy of online information. People will be realistic about what they can expect.”

An anti-spam and security architect wrote, “I see efforts to maintain privacy being diluted by the widespread prevalence of social media or its successor, as well as human computer interfaces like Google glass. The interplay between security and privacy will not substantially change either, except for a possible weakening of the privacy camp as most of its advocates grow older and retire or pass on, while our children and teenagers happily share things we as adults would never have dreamt of sharing. Nude selfies are just one extreme example. Overpopulation will increase the crowds in most areas to something that makes Tokyo or Manhattan rush hour today look like wide open prairie, I expect. The sheer crowding will produce an effect so far only seen in slums in Asia, where even sex and going to the toilet is out in the open, or at best, with a thin, Chinese wall of privacy. I would add ubiquitous connectivity and a gradual erosion of online privacy—and more.”

A promoter of the global Internet, who works on technical and policy coordination, wrote, “By 2025, I think there will be an international consensus among Internet organizations on how best to balance personal privacy and security with popular content and services. The patchwork approach of national privacy protections will be harmonized globally in 2025, and the primacy of security concerns will be more balanced by such an international consensus. In 2025, the public will see the need to reduce the primary focus on security and create a better, workable balance in favor of protection privacy.”

A PhD student in communications wrote, “Such an alternative will have been created, introduced, and popularly accepted, but this alternative will still be largely flawed and will still allow governments and industrious corporations to work around it to continue gathering information on citizens and consumers. It is a rat race, like all technology, no? ‘Privacy’ is a difficult word to quickly consider, as privacy is largely contextual, and the future of privacy will largely reflect that contextuality, although I think, looked at broadly, what will wind up happening is that the public will have altered their behaviors to accept privacy-invading business practices and governmental policies, rather than having agitated for practices in both spheres that respect privacy. There will be exceptions to this, of course, speaking broadly.”

The CEO of an ISP serving Wyoming since 1994 wrote, “Policymakers will continue to encroach on privacy rights, and the technology companies will continue to succumb to their pressure. Personal information will never again be secure. People will come to expect no privacy at all. The popularity of Twitter shows that many young people have no desire to keep personal information private, as they blast it all over the Net without a care. This will inspire a continual invasion of privacy.”

The CFO for a major Internet company responded, “The Internet is too integral to our lives not to get this right, so I know we, as a society, will craft a solution that works for the individual, as well as for the group. We will accept much more monitoring in trade for more global security. The current shock about the NSA is mostly about what they did without asking, or what they lied about in terms of monitoring, and not necessarily the actual monitoring itself. Social networks, the fast spread of information, and the monitoring of that information, will raise accountability in trade for less privacy.”

The owner of a small publishing and consulting business wrote, “The balance will tip in favor of large enterprises (governments and businesses alike).”

A retired software engineer, and IETF participant, responded, “First, policymakers will continue to work to undermine security, liberty, and privacy. If any of these goals are, to some extent, realized, it will be due to technology, and despite government and corporate interests. Second, the framing of the question in terms of monetization, while recognizing the antagonism between corporate interests and those of people, nonetheless implies buy-in to a Mammon-centric worldview. Third, The question is also subtly framed in terms of ownership of information. I believe this is an artifact of existing intellectual property regimes. Also, so far, I remain unconvinced that ‘compelling content and apps’ exist, at least from the perspective of the users. Governments and corporations will continue to push for a culture in which people are exploited primarily as a source of revenue and information. They will continue to push a paradigm in which monetary value is the only value used to evaluate whether something is good. Crass Utilitarianism will become the underlying rationale for the right wing, and privacy will be thrown under the juggernaut.”

An Internet policy expert from Brazil wrote, “I do not believe in an easy-to-use format for this end.”

A professor at a major US business school responded, “There is a fundamental tension between individual privacy and commercial targeting. Firms will insist on retaining information necessary for their ability to target, and, as we have seen so far, many users will not care. It would take thoughtful policy and binding legal frameworks to prevent systematic erosion of privacy that benefits firms, which seems highly unlikely. This is a conversation among the elites. Normal people just do not care, as long as the intervention does not become creepy. The norms will be what they are today, which involves very few complaints.”

A technology developer and administrator wrote, “Consumers will continue to validate lack of privacy rights by preferring to exchange personal information for free or reduced pricing of content. The younger generation will be a larger proponent of such exchange, making it unlikely that privacy protection is able to make it through democratically elected governments. Policymakers who do pursue privacy legislation, especially in the United States, will have to compete against competitive lobbying by corporations, who will frame such restrictions as violations of First Amendment rights and government overreach. Current public norms about privacy will continue to devolve, driven by differences of opinions on the important of privacy by the current younger generation.”

A doctoral student at the Free University of Berlin wrote, “I do not think the period of twelve years is long enough to develop a comprehensive legal framework to deal with the occurring privacy issues, considering that Internet technologies continue to evolve at a high rate. There are evermore spheres of social life that are being penetrated by ICTs. Furthermore, it happens in various national and cultural contexts simultaneously.”

An associate professor at the Pratt Institute wrote, “The commercial lobby and interests of the private sector continue to dictate policy and lawmakers. Until we have some serious and transformative campaign finance reform, nothing will change. The commodification of the self will continue and will become the default.”

An anonymous respondent commented, “Policymakers—governments—seem to prefer to use the data they can acquire, rather than protect privacy. I worry that privacy will be eroded by governments and corporations. Corporations like Facebook have already disregarded privacy statutes in Europe. Without strong sanctions, such behavior will continue. Corporations, keeping with the example of Facebook, have made it harder and less obvious to control one’s privacy. People already have to be aware of privacy concerns in order to maintain digital and personal privacy. People who care about this will be savvier and more cautious, while others will be exploited. Privacy is also expensive, and people who use free services do so at the cost of their privacy. We are creating a digital elite that can afford privacy and has the know-how to maximize privacy. We could change this with education and advocacy for privacy. Children should learn about digital privacy in school, but many currently treat this as a matter for parents.”

A professor at Pennsylvania State University wrote, “We will see an increasingly balkanized and controlled Internet, with nationally managed networks restrained by authoritarian political regimes, theocratic states, holders of IP, ad-hoc censors ‘protecting the children’ (i.e., the United Kingdom), and the national security state. Nation states will further assert their rights, rather than recede. The open Internet/Net neutrality movement in the United States will fail, either due to court decisions or market-driven congressional policies. Companies will develop ways to better protect their data but will still provide cozy assistance to government agencies. The ability to collect large amounts of data to process to track individuals’ ‘big data’ for commercial purposes will continue to increase. Individuals, having little sense left of personal privacy, since it has been so compromised in incremental steps, will not choose to protect their personal information. Perhaps, strong encryption will be publicly available, but its use to protect personal information it will raise suspicion about what things a person is trying to ‘hide.’ And, by the way, who is to say what the ‘right balance’ is? Not me. Privacy from whom and about what? If you know the universal normative standard for ‘privacy’ (for which, I am told, there is no such word in Japanese, and in Chinese is translated as ‘shameful secrets’), please share it in your final report. Many people over some age (50?) in the United States could probably articulate, by way of examples, some residual visceral sense of zones of privacy. I find people under 22 or so (and I teach gaggles of them) have no such intuitive sense of privacy, often even in extreme cases (‘If you are not doing anything wrong…’). They have no concept of the idea that business, but especially government, can turn digital tools for cool apps around, to be used for oppression, or more likely in the United States, social manipulation. Maybe they are getting some flavor of it with the current NSA-type scandals, but it clearly has not been high on their priority list of concerns, notwithstanding historical examples (i.e., IBM, Nazi Germany, J. Edgar Hoover, etc.). With a ‘bad’ person in charge instead of a ‘good’ person, especially in a time of emergency, very bad things can happen. They do not get that. Congress is not much better, and it looks likely to settle for a sullen acceptance of spy powers as a trade off for security (and Franklin said what about that?). You only get the amount of privacy you are willing to fight for, and in the absence of a general objective privacy standard, people (and Congress) need to define core privacy contextually. Until there is social agreement on what ‘privacy’ means, its zone will continue to fade until it is nothing more than a penumbra.”

A professional, who works for a nonprofit working to close the digital divide, wrote, “By 2025, users will have the option to chose the level of security desired. Security is expensive, and if users want to have it, they have to pay for it. Today, there are not public norms. My guess is that, by 2025, there will be public norms for several levels.”

The co-founder of a consultancy with practices in Internet technology and biomedical engineering wrote, “Despite the glaring shortcomings and recent abuses, you could argue that we already have a secure, popularly accepted, and trusted privacy-rights infrastructure that allows business and monetization, while also allowing users to control their personal information. By 2025, 30-year olds will have lived their entire lives with mainstream e-commerce at their fingertips, and they should be able to contribute many improvements and optimizations to evolve the existing privacy-rights infrastructure. The law should continue to aggressively respect and protect privacy—but the social norms for respecting privacy online may evolve in a manner similar to how we (US culture) treat social privacy in the dense, urban context, compared to the rural context. In the physical world, we have very different expectations of privacy in rural versus urban areas. In rural areas, privacy implies physical separation from others by a wide margin. In urban environments, physical privacy is often impossible, so privacy has evolved into unspoken social norms to politely disregard others as they go about their lives in close proximity to one another.”

A US university professor, and expert in bioinformatics, wrote, “My answer here is wishful thinking, in a sense. If this is not accomplished, the possibilities of the Internet will not be realized, and its uses will shrink, rather than expand. The year 2025 may be overly optimistic in terms of timing. The big questions that need addressing may take longer than that to ultimately resolve.”

An Internet technologist, who serves as a top leader of the Internet Society, wrote, “There will continue to be a strong tension between privacy and trusted Internet infrastructure. The question is: can we find a reasonable balance between the two? I also hope we can take steps to reduce the amount of pervasive surveillance.”

The general counsel for an Internet domain name registry wrote, “I am not that optimistic. The generation that now discloses all on Facebook will get used to a lack of privacy.”

The chief scientist at a Fortune 50 technology company responded, “As the debate over the value of metadata collected by NSA shows, it is not easy to characterize what is personal information, much less protect it easily. (Consider: how do you protect metadata sent over the network, and where others can see it? Encryption is not enough, as patterns can still be detected.) This does not feel like a twelve-years- and-the-problem-is-solved kind of issue. I suspect that we are going to have an extended public discussion about what should be private. Consider that many things people sought vigorously to conceal before the Internet (mostly to do with sexual matters—ranging from sexual preferences to nude photos—but also recreational drug use) are now largely considered, and not something one need not conceal or be embarrassed about. So, the question, to my mind, is what information is society going to realize is so common among us that there is no need to protect it, and what information is deserving of careful protection? There is also the question of what one wishes to protect from friends, versus what protections one is entitled to, vis-a-vis the government.”

A professor at George Washington University wrote, “These already exist now, though imperfectly. The fact that so many people use the Internet suggests that the current system is adequate, though vulnerable. The benefits of the Internet are so great that everyone will try to make it work and will continue to use it, even though it is imperfect. The trend seems to be toward accepting less privacy.”

The chief executive of one of the key Internet infrastructure organizations responded, “A commonly accepted framework for addressing privacy is necessary for the Internet to continue to serve as a remarkable mechanism for social and economic development.”

A computer science and security professor at Purdue University wrote, “The economic and government interests against such a model are so strong that it will take some very major event to change things, and even then, it seems unlikely. A great deal depends on economic dominance. There seem to be three models in major markets: the US model, the EU model, and the Chinese model. Whichever economic power dominates the market over the next 15 to 20 years will be able to assert its model.”

A member of the Internet Society chapter in Costa Rica wrote, “It is not up to individuals to create, deliver, and guarantee rights, long embedded in many countries’ constitutions, instantly over the new information networks. It is up to a whole new, international governance framework to analyse under what conditions the Internet will be able to deliver the same standards of security and privacy we are used to having. The technical community that manages today the Internet will have to learn to negotiate with civil society at large, learn to follow real public interest objectives first, and then try to adapt the Internet to those higher social values, instead of defending their fantastic, though sometimes misguided, innovation. Privacy goes hand-in-hand with secure identity. The Internet was designed to connect machines, not people with single identities. If we want a secure and privacy-oriented communications network, the Internet, as we know it today, will be not able to deliver.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Ultimately, infrastructure is defined by experts that are largely part of the business area, focusing on that area and innovating there, rather than independent experts.”

A software engineer, who works for a major US technology company, said, “This topic is likely to vary across different countries, but I am assuming that we are dealing with the United States here. The trend, which is likely to continue, is for loose privacy laws and, largely, self-regulation by large companies. As collecting information becomes cheaper, it will happen more often and by a larger spectrum of organisations. In order to meet public desires, there will be choices, but they will often come at significant functionality costs. For example, today, one can opt-out of location tracking by cell phone carriers, but only by giving up the benefits of having a cell phone. The ‘choices’ in the future are likely to have a similar tradeoff. It is already the case that everyone under 30 has been shaped by social media—under 20 even more so. It is likely that current behaviors are an embryonic excess and that countervailing forces will establish themselves soon. I expect these will be in the form of movements to reestablish the dominance of real-world contact. In sum, I expect norms in 10 years to be slightly more conservative than they are now.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “The innovation will come from a combination of Internet organizations (IEEE, ICANN, etc.), as well as groups of developers working both at corporations and in intra-organizational, non-corporate, working groups. The overhaul has got to be at the infrastructure level. Any work down the path of bolting security on top of the existing system is only going to end in tears and balkanization. I strongly hope that people will get savvier as a result of what is going on right now, but I think it is more likely the infrastructure will become invisible to end-users, ultimately making them less aware.”

An anonymous respondent said, “I am being hopeful in answering, ‘Yes.’”

An attorney at a major law firm responded, “The current arms race of privacy between individuals who want it and governments who wish to eliminate it will continue unabated. As cryptography grows stronger, so, too will the ability to break it. As new methods of maintaining privacy are created, the government, particularly the US government, will continue to do what it has done since the days of the Clipper chip—demand back door access in public, while figuring out how to circumvent it in private. There will be a large societal upheaval before 2025 with regard to privacy. As Google Glass and attendant projects grow, the so-called Internet of Things becomes increasingly aware of literally everything, and as programmers begin jumping on algorithmic schemes to sift, curate, and predict the data, notions of privacy will be considered a fetish. The more data that is captured, the more algorithms will be able to predict, the less privacy we will have, as there will be an assumption that the predictive algorithm is right, and behavior will modify to address actions which have not yet occurred but are likely to a high statistical probability.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “History will remember us as the generation that willingly threw away its rights. In 2025, the average Internet user will still be looking at cats or pornography and simply will not give a rip about policy issues. I highly doubt corporations will have interest in anything other than their profit margins (certainly not privacy, or secure data). Policymakers simply do not understand these realities. Privacy, as we now know it, will be dead, and it will be a damn shame.”

The executive director of a nonprofit community-service organization commented, “I do not think the Obama administration is committed to safeguarding privacy—look at Obamacare and the blatant disregard for personal privacy and religious liberty. I think this will limit what will happen until a new administration is in place and we can focus on security and privacy. Other world countries, such as China and Russia, do not care. Public norms abut privacy will push more into the private sphere, and unfortunately, the best protected will be those who have the funds to make it happen.”

The CEO of a technology company replied, “The free market will force policymakers and corporations to strike the right balance to protect and secure consumer data. The coming years we may see an increase in public figures being victimized by privacy violations and data leaks. In order to ensure customers continued use of digital media, both consumer rights advocates and citizens will demand increased consumer protections and businesses will lobby to protect their interests for the sake of innovation and monetization by 2025. Public norms will shift to sharing less personal content and see an increase in business and information and knowledge sharing. With companies like Snapchat, where consumers believe their communications are deleted, we may see an increase in companies that delete content shortly after it is shared as a norm in 2025 in order for the general public to share personal content and interests.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “A popularly accepted technology infrastructure that allows for extreme business innovation and monetization will continue to grow now, by 2025, and beyond. It will not be secure or allow individuals to protect their personal information. The whole concept of privacy has largely disappeared from the world-culture, what with such popular manifestations as the Jerry Springer Show, reality TV, tell-all memoirs, and Facebook, and a blooming cesspool of narcissism and false self esteem.”

An anonymous respondent said, “They will have to. There will be no other way to continue to use the Internet as widely as we do now if data cannot be protected. The loss of the Internet would bring on an economic collapse—and cause widespread loss of community. You will not only expect privacy—you will demand it.”

A designer and writer commented, “Some progress will be made and some facilitating software/technology will emerge. Conflicting political and economic interests, including crime and vandalism, will prevent the issue of protecting information—personal or business and government—from being a non-issue. The concept of consumer tracking and analysis will become more pernicious, and, in general, people will be more accepting of the concept because they are more aware and because there will be some control and tools to deal with it.”

An anonymous respondent said, “People will accept the lack of privacy because they feel powerless to affect change. Things have already gone down a road toward abolishing individual privacy rights. EFF and others are working hard to change things, but the back door has already been opened.”

A database configuration specialist and risk assessment analyst responded, “I felt that the Internet was more secure back in the RFC and Unix-server/end terminal days. The people using it were more technologically oriented and understood that, basically, it was wide open. There was very little monetization online. You had to know how to find information, and do the things you wanted to do. Therefore, you fully understood what anyone else could do. The people using it were on an equal footing. Now, there are lots of online who can be ‘monetized’ (preferences bought and sold) and who create a large pool of easy targets for anyone wishing to exploit them. There are always multiple levels of privacy norms. Look at the furor that arises every time Facebook changes a privacy policy. Unless you are willing to re-program all your settings every time something changes, you are at the whim of whatever provider you choose. I do not like the current trend of Facebook (or anything else) being the widespread interface to the Internet. Whatever norm interface chooses to set will be the norm by default for lots of people who do not know any better.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Corporations always have the upper hand in lobbying. Unless some unforeseen events push policymakers to protect an individual’s privacy, business and government will know more about us than we will realize. I do believe there will be a push to protect an individual’s personal financial information, as corporations lose money when there is a data breach. That provides a powerful incentive for corporations to protect that type of information. At the beginning of consumer buying on the Web, folks were very concerned about entering in their credit card information. Now, they just are not too worried about it. Most people just do not care too much now, as they feel they have little to hide. There will be a push to ‘age out’ some data. The rising popularity of Snapchat says that will probably happen; however, cameras will be everywhere, and cell phone tracking will be ubiquitous. Most folks will not care.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “This will be something that other countries will be able to put into place; however, the United States will end up having too many bureaucrats arguing over rights in order to create something that would work well here. As it is, the security breach at Target stores would not happen in Canada because they have a chip embedded in their check cards. This is technology that exists already, which could improve individual online security, and yet, it is not used in the United States. People will accept the lack of privacy in the same manner as they do school shootings and will not make fundamental changes to correct it. In 2025 we will still be behind other countries when it comes to online security and privacy because people feel that their rights will be taken away in some manner. With continuing breaches of security, people will learn to accept the fact that if they go online, they will be watched and their personal data will eventually be compromised somehow. Until recently, with Edward Snowden and things such as the Target breach, people were under the impression that their data and personal lives were relatively personal. Those events have brought this issue to the forefront and have caused people to realize that what they thought was private, really was not.”

A PhD, organizational consultant, and researcher replied, “It is possible that the notion of privacy will be considered old-fashioned, quaint, and silly by 2025. Privacy will be an outmoded concept. I do not think the will is there either from manufacturers or Congress.”

The director of operations for an Internet company noted, “There is a fundamental mismatch, right now, between privacy concerns and optimal monetization. Unless we see legislative-level changes, there will not be innovation in privacy directions in large-scope ways though there will still be small groups of principled people continuing to work on them. More businesses will be pressuring people to give up more privacy and treating privacy as something that is passé and not trendy.”

An information science professional commented, “There should be public policy created over privacy rights, but we seem to be headed toward a generally accepted territory of gathering big data about individuals anywhere it is available, along with companies trading ‘free’ services for the right to gather any data they want. People seem to be increasingly resigned to this, so I the pushback to create strong policy will not happen. People will expect less privacy, and privacy online will be offered as a paid service for those who still consider it important.”

An attorney working on digital issues for the federal government responded, “I find it hard to believe that there will not, in 2025, still be a continuum of beliefs about privacy rights, from those who will trade their grandmother’s social security number for a chance at a free cheeseburger, to those who will do their ever-more-difficult best to stay off the grid out of privacy concerns. Whatever the norms—and I do believe that there will be a far more robust security and privacy infrastructure in place—there will be those at both ends who object to them, and those who subvert them for political, ideological, and financial gain. By 2025—as in 2014—there will be little reasonable expectation of privacy. I am concerned that if that remains the legal test, there will be little legal protection of privacy. I am extremely skeptical of any possibility of a legislative solution. I am somewhat more optimistic about a technological solution. In addition, the privacy and security implications of online life are only beginning. As more and more of our lives and interaction are online, more and more data will be stored and there will be more and more ways to access, assess, and monetize it.”

An anonymous respondent said, “Intelligence agencies will win. They will always be able to invade our privacy.”

An information science professional responded, “‘Popularly accepted’ is a difficult notion. Many individuals are willing to give up privacy for the reasons ease, fastness and convenience. Targeted ads and sharing data for free apps, coupons, rewards, and other incentives will continue to occur in 2025. If anything, consumer tracking will increase, and almost all data entered online will be considered ‘fair game’ for purposes of analytics and producing ‘user-driven’ ads. Privacy is an archaic term when used in reference to depositing information online. Unlike writing a note of secrecy and keeping it safely guarded inside a vault, keeping information hidden and secure online is radically different. Any vault can be ransacked, but imagine the robbers are hundreds of thousands of miles away, invisible and while traceable, takes time and resources the victim may not have. We live in an age where we all feel like rulers to our information, kings and queens of bank accounts, yet we are not; herein lies the problem.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “In the context of online purchasing (e-retail), I can foresee a balance between the consumer’s security/privacy and the business’ need for information. Policymakers, government, and businesses will protect consumer information when money is involved—perhaps because of the threat of lawsuits or prosecution. In the area of social media not tied to monetary transactions (e.g., Facebook); however, I cannot foresee protection of the individual user’s security/privacy. In the context of social media I believe that the individual’s privacy will continue to be eroded. That will happen because newer generations of users will have looser notions of what is important to keep private.”

An anonymous respondent said, “If Congress remains full of older people who are ignorant of how technology and the Internet works, then there is no hope for advancement. Congress is woefully technologically ignorant. People seem more willing to share personal information online now, but there may be a large backlash in the future.”

An early leader of Internet conferencing in the 1990s replied, “Policymakers have rarely had my interests at heart. Increasingly, they serve the rich. More significantly, technology corporations have become enormously wealthy and powerful without developing the moral character necessary to use such wealth and power. The very phrase ‘computer tracking and analytics’ is disturbing to anyone who conceives of him or herself as a self-determining individual.”

An anonymous respondent said, “The Internet, as it stands, is so fractured and dependent on a multitude of content providers, including those that make business transactions, that a uniform standard that could be considered ‘secure’ is all but a dream; however, online business will continue to flourish through ‘popularly accepted’ and ‘trusted’ services, regardless of their actual security status. In the future, just as in the present, mindfulness of one’s privacy will be a responsibility that rewards far more than unabashed sharing. Managing one’s image and personal brand will be a source of some stress and more than a little technical expertise. The two camps of over-sharers and profile pruners will not reconcile.”

An anonymous survey participant responded, “There will always be a desire by moneyed-vested interests, via political means, to ensure access to individual private information. Therefore, the concept of ‘privacy’ will be manipulated in such a way that it means whatever the corporate/government entities need it to mean to make it acceptable to the public. There will likely be robust protection for any and all information that is associated with people’s financial life, i.e., social security number, financial account access, and the like, because the moneyed interests need the trust of the public with regard to that sort of data. I do not expect that other aspects of a person’s life will be off-limits. The overreach of the current NSA metadata collection program, which is all we currently know about the program, will likely be expanded to include content of phone calls and emails. That information, once collected, will be held by the agency for a period, or maybe forever, all in the name of ‘national security.’ Through propaganda and news media manipulation the concept of ‘privacy’ will be changed to include, primarily, financial information. There will be little expectation of privacy regarding personal information. The only way to avoid such intrusions will be to decline to participate in social media, use email, blog, etc.”

The director of an entertainment media coalition replied, “The Internet governance issues that are rapidly converging are as follows: Internet freedom, intellectual property enforcement, and data privacy/security. Recent American trends, giving corporate speech unparalleled weight, means that your own online speech could depend on how deep your pockets are. Pay-to-play workarounds, such as consumer data caps that do not apply to ISP or partner offerings, also negatively impact innovation. Another thing to keep in mind is that the FCC established separate rules for the ‘wired’ Web versus Internet accessed on mobile devices. This distinction, to me, is arbitrary and pointless. There is one Internet, regardless of how you connect to it. Having a tiered Internet for wireless may end up impacting those whose speech has historically been at the greatest disadvantage, as underprivileged and minority communities are more likely to access the Internet via mobile devices. It will be very interesting to see how the American virtue of free expression plays out on our domestic networks, especially as we promote open technology platforms as a means of democratic participation overseas. The inherently promiscuous nature of the Internet is tremendously upsetting to those who built massive, corporate empires on intellectual property (including the entertainment industries). On the other hand, information has never wanted to be ‘free.’ In either a liberal or totalitarian universe, it wants to be regulated in order to preserve or consolidate power and wealth. These days, it is not even a fight between technology and content—the real battle is about who is in position to profit most from information access and distribution. Responses to reports of NSA surveillance of Americans run the gamut from outraged to blasé. I fall more on the outraged side, with the caveat that such wide-scale snooping is not particularly surprising, given trends over the past half a century. The basic fact is that the steady erosion of Fourth Amendment protections against government ‘searches and seizures’ have been underway for at least half a century, maybe more. Decades of weak case law and massive growth of the national security industrial complex mean that any meaningful privacy reforms to government surveillance are unlikely, as are legislative standards applied to corporations, most of whom prefer zero regulation of their business practices, and at least a couple of which have grown large enough to dwarf nation-states in their reach and influence. This is big business, plain and simple. As a colleague recently pointed out, the overbuilt and overly invasive intelligence and security infrastructure is disheartening mostly because it is so damn expensive at a time when those resources are desperately needed elsewhere. I am bothered by the government overreach. It is just fattening contractors’ pockets; that is the real outrage. Upcoming generations will have no practical experience with twentieth and early twenty-first century notions of privacy, and societal norms will shift accordingly, even if statute or common law do are not in a position to keep up.”

An information science professional wrote, “In 2025, there will be the dawn of a new gilded age of Internet monopolies, with little to no government regulation.”

A longtime Internet policy expert, and open Internet advocate, wrote, “We will try but only attain partial success. People do not care about privacy until they have seen an invasion. Seeing invasions like the NSA’s actions helps, though never universally. To make it work, it must have zero user interface, while the opponents, instead, will work to make it complex and thus, unused. The value of tracking is overstated, but for many companies, it is their sole value-add so they push hard on it. The right balance would have all tracking done by computers under the control of the user. It will be polarized. Some will be more paranoid—some less.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “First, it is clear that people do not actually care enough about privacy to demand significant changes in the current status quo. Second, there is little history of privacy infrastructure being demanded in previous interactive media (i.e., telephony). Third, ‘online’ will increasingly mean ‘mobile,’ which occurs in public spaces and is conducted over media that is inherently less ‘private.’ The general public is voluntarily disseminating private facts and personal information via social media and similar platforms—this will continue. General tolerance for observation will continue. Much of what we have previously considered private will be publicly available as a matter of course.”

A professor at the University of California wrote, “I have a major problem with this question. I think the enemies of privacy are not policymakers, but rather those capitalists who run companies like Facebook, YouTube, Google, etc., and, of course, the US government, all of whom control the Internet. In this day and age, there is no privacy or security; they have all vanished. Privacy and security are already history—no need to wait until 2025. We are kidding ourselves if we think otherwise.”

The dean/provost of a research university, and former CEO of the California Virtual University, wrote, “There is no evidence that policymakers can think through all the implications of the privacy issues created by the Internet, and they are so beholden to the corporate interests that fund their campaigns that I have no confidence that they will do what I regard as the right thing. If the public is everyone, I do not see much change. If you are talking about the educated public, then I think people will begin to develop protective strategies in an environment that is constantly trying to outsmart them.”

A researcher responded, “The Web, like USENET before it, is sinking under its own success. It has become a cesspool with companies of the belief they can take whatever data they like, invisibly, and that this is somehow the natural order of things. Users will walk away as they understand what is happening to them. Corporations will never ‘self regulate.’ That is pure fiction. Governments are too weak and disinterested. The Web will become nothing more than another form of entertainment and sales channel, as well as fundamentally boring. By 2025, I fear we will have new reminders that nation states with panopticon-level surveillance power rapidly become a life-or-death issue. Perhaps we will get lucky and not repeat the worst mistakes of the past. Either way, privacy is fundamentally a power struggle. Individuals will better understand they need to protect themselves but will have a harder time doing so. Just as today, Facebook is hated more than airlines, and Google is distrusted; companies that have been the darlings of Silicon Valley are going to be shocked to find they become vilified. In all likelihood, there will be an over-correction, with irrational concerns piled on.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “By then, the managers of the Internet will have gotten it right, even though Internet use will be enormous. There may be stricter gateways with more passwords before you can get access. But, that will be because the Internet will also be managing things, rather than just connecting people. But passwords need not necessarily be typing in letters and numbers. They will involve personal fingerprints and voice activation. International domain names will be so common that this will also advance the diversity of the pathways by which people can access the Internet. It is going to be so complicated, and security will be difficult, but I have faith that my grandchildren will be able to come up with a suitable solution to the problems related to privacy and security.”

A Web standardization expert wrote, “There have been several attempts to create a technological solution to this problem—from the verbose P3P to the one-bit DNT. Inherently, though, solutions need to be legislative, since business goals are so opposed to those who care about privacy, and individual privacy concerns are so diverse. Any legislative remedy is, by its nature, specific to a jurisdiction, so this is not in the hands of technologists. Based on the current politics and relationships to business interests, a few places (i.e., Germany) will continue to enjoy good privacy protections, but most will not. Extrapolating from today, it appears that the ‘normal’ Web will continue with tracking, data sharing, etc., being rampant. A small minority who care about their privacy rights will use tools like Ghostery to protect themselves from tracking; however, there is a significant risk that these tools will become more and more difficult to use, since sites already fail when tracking technology is disabled.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Privacy rights will be managed by market solutions, with the affluent able to maintain better control of their privacy. Like luxury cars and summer homes, control over private data will be the privilege of winning financially.”

An associate professor at a university responded, “Policymakers and corporations will try to demonstrate their intensions to ensure for individuals personal privacy, but at the same time, they develop apps for consumer tracking. I do not think they will be different.”

A research scientist working at a major search engine company responded, “We will still be fighting about these things. Why do I think there will not be sure a thing (‘accepted, trusted privacy-rights infrastructure by 2025’)? First, it is very hard to engineer this. Second, there are powerful counter forces that want such a thing to not exist (and will work arbitrarily hard to prevent it). Third, the public perception will not be sufficiently outraged to demand (and then pay for) such a service. I am not sure that it ever will be. The erosion of private space is continuous and gradual. Reversions back to previous levels of privacy are difficult to cause.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “I hope that this will happen. Otherwise, we will have huge problems. I hope that US privacy laws will look like European privacy laws.”

A webmaster wrote, “There will be no privacy, nor the perception of privacy in a world where the activities of intelligence agencies remain unfettered. We will all realize that privacy no longer exists.”

A research professor of computer science at Georgetown University responded, “Policymakers have no incentive to create a truly privacy-rights-oriented structure. Worse, many proposals offered today will serve to severely restrict privacy rights. There will be significant backlash as the Facebook generation grows up and wants to turn back the clock.”

An academic researcher at MIT responded, “Corporate needs will triumph over consumers and data generators. They will rule the politics through money. This will partially corrupt the goals. Also, the rate at which data is being generated, the poor policies, and practices that currently govern data aggregation imply that no 100-percent-effective set of measures will come to pass. Already, the youngest members of society are developing different private and public boundaries.”

A digital learning and media specialist and educator responded, “I am hopeful that the current movement towards more egalitarian structures will continue, but in reality, I suspect big business will not be deterred.”

A Syracuse University professor, and associate dean for research, wrote, “There are too many competing interests to make something like this happen; there is just too much value to information and too many reasonable variations. This noted, there will be a number of partial protections—some public, some provided by vendors in competition—that serve as a partial set of arrangements. We will be forty years into large-scale Internet use and presence. Two generations of people will have come of age with very different views of privacy. There will be widespread beliefs of limited privacy, a numbed comfort with larger-scale surveillance by both governments and for-profit entities, an evolving set of policy and law to deal with how to resolve many of the stickiest privacy issues, and privacy/security will be a constant policy discourse as society continues to renegotiate what is means to have a much diminished private life.”

A doctoral candidate wrote, “With competing international legislations, policies, and rights—it will be a challenge for US policy and technology innovators to agree on and accept a privacy-rights infrastructure.”

A technology policy expert wrote, “Privacy will become a monetize-able feature. In other words, those who are online, who can afford to (and want to), can pay for tiers/services that explicitly ensure that the user will not see ads, and will not be subject to corporate data mining. Government’s role in this will be to play backstop, setting rules that say what happens to companies that do not honor these paid-for services. I assume that the FTC and FCC will be responsible for oversight and enforcement. The tougher call is how to enforce this on a global level, as everyone knows the Internet has few sovereign boundaries. It also, by its very nature, creates different classes of users: those who can afford to protect their privacy, and those who cannot or will not pay to opt out of data mining and the casual surveillance that goes along with the use of ‘free’ tools on the Internet. Note that I am talking about corporate transactions here, and not ‘government’ surveillance, which is a different issue altogether. The future depends a lot on what happens in the next 10 to thirteen years. There are certain segments of the US population that see NSA-style data aggregation as ‘no big deal.’ They feel that they have ‘nothing to hide,’ so the NSA collecting their emails, texts, or phone records amounts to nothing. What will probably turn public perception in a big way is if metadata collected by the government is used to entrap a US citizen, to render a ‘guilt by association’ verdict. Of course, the public even knowing about metadata being used in court cases in this way will be part of the story, so whether this happens or not will also depend on future amendments to Patriot Act, FISA courts, NSA, etc., and pushes for greater accountability and transparency in the process.”

A self-employed entrepreneur and author wrote, “There is really no viable alternative to doing what is suggested, if we wish to continue living in a democracy.”

An Internet pioneer, and longtime National Science Foundation employee, wrote, “Follow the money. Profit trumps privacy—always. People will be numb and apathetic—even more so than now.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Government and corporate interests are united in their desire for an ever-decreasing and universal standard of privacy. I believe that, when it comes to e-commerce and social media, the average person’s ability to modify their own privacy settings will continue to decline until, eventually, there is only one setting left—all-public. (There will probably be some de facto privacy left for confidential ‘business-friendly’ needs, i.e., email.) Privacy norms will increasingly exhibit two characteristics: One, less or no privacy will be considered ‘normal’ compared to now, and two, there will be fewer privacy customization choices. This will advantage individuals with mainstream identities and opinions and disadvantage those for whom that is not the case.”

An anonymous respondent, known for her Internet research, wrote, “The year 2025 is not far away. The market is fragmented, and it is hard to see how they would monetize this kind of product. Absolutely, yes—privacy is already shifting, and this trend will continue; we will continue to trade off privacy for utility and convenience.”

A director of networking and applications wrote, “There are too many conflicting interests. Content businesses will try to make it too restrictive, governments will impose restrictions while leaving security weak on purpose, and consumers will muddle through. Several competing approaches will emerge, but none will become victorious. Also, incompatible identity management/PKI approaches will limit overall success. People will understand that their privacy is limited and will expect more transparency from businesses, governments, etc., accordingly.”

A Mozilla browser engineer wrote, “The NSA revelations have demonstrated the lack of will on the part of the United States and allied governments. The European Union may move in response, but I consider the probability of this having a tangible effect to be negligible. Current trends show that younger Internet users are simultaneously more willing to share information that their elders might have considered private, while being far more knowledgeable about privacy and how their information is disseminated. I expect that this trend will continue, with ‘big data’ using increasingly sophisticated enticements to extract the information they mine.”

An anonymous respondent observed, “Recent challenges by governmental organizations (i.e., NSA) have resulted in greater public awareness of the importance of securing privacy online. Over the next decade, public opinion about the significance of privacy by protecting personal information will continue to grow.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Government does not have a good track record when it comes to policymaking and technology. There will be attempts, but they will be either unfit for purpose or too easy to circumvent. I suspect we will have different notions of what is appropriate for public life in 2025.”

A university professor responded, “This will not happen because policymakers and technology innovators do not want to offer individuals those choices—not really: first, because businesses, the most prominent stakeholders in the increasingly enclosed online world, have no real interest in genuine privacy rights, and second, because the US government also has little interest in genuine privacy. These are overwhelmingly powerful interests, who will steadily work to subvert, delay, or break any privacy standards or technologies. For the most part, there is insufficient popular anger, or will to push back on this pressure, and different generational sensibilities about what should be or is private complicate this further. The only real hope for movement towards a more stable covenant on privacy rights would be if the European Union adopts strong legal strictures on globally active companies like Google that make it difficult or expensive for them to adopt divergent standards inside the United States. It is also clear to me that governments and businesses will not generally permit more transparent access to their own information, which means that informational inequality will likely grow alongside other forms of inequality. It is clear that some of what older Americans believe should be private will not be in the future and that many younger Americans are indifferent to more public information being available about their lives and practices. But, this is partly dependent upon a belief that it is possible to be anonymous, or at least partially pseudonymous, in social media spaces like Twitter. The less that is so, the more I think some younger Americans will question the fairness of unequal forms of access to information—that an anonymous Twitter user who says something obnoxious can be easily unmasked, but that a corporation that knowingly causes harm will be able to keep most information about its malfeasance private unless compelled by legal action to disclose that information.”

A self-employed writer, researcher, and consultant, wrote, “We can already be traced by everything from our browsing and shopping habits, to where we go if we have a smartphone or tablet with us. There is some hope for businesses to keep in-house material separate, especially if they use intranet and not Internet. I think everyone will have everything known about oneself by anyone who has the means to use the system. There will also be problems with areas like one’s DNA, and whatever predictions can be associated with it, shared with potential employers and others. Also, some people may not want to know their own potential weaknesses, but even if they do not look, they are likely to be told or to find out when they are denied employment—or a visa to a foreign country.”

An anonymous survey participant observed, “At this point, online entities are struggling to find a balance between control, ownership, and privacy. While the right balance has yet to be found, I think the current issues will inform the future. As issues with Facebook (and other social networking tools), Amazon (and other online businesses), and online learning environments occur, modifications in individual policies will be made. Once aggregated, all of these issues, and their resolutions, will inform policy. Policies will continue to evolve as technologies do. I believe that we will continue to see much more of personal lives and public information fall into the public domain. Without the development of policies about privacy, it may be possible to lose individual information to the public domain.”

A telecommunications and Internet policy professional who works for a Japanese nonprofit, semi-academic research center, wrote, “The desire for ‘free’ services, where the cost is information about ourselves, will prevail. Business will continue to find the model easy and attractive. Governments will support it, as a ‘free and open’ Internet serves their interests for access to information about us (and everything else.) We will be increasingly willing to allow what was once private to be less so.”

A senior researcher at a leading British university observed, “The general direction seems to be in the direction of less privacy for individuals at the same time as more secrecy on the part of businesses and governments. I do not see any political will in the major world powers to reverse this trend.”

An anonymous survey participant wrote, “Policymakers will try to develop secure systems, but there will always be someone who will try to break into it. Social media will have more influence on privacy norms.”

An anonymous survey participant wrote, “I would not have said, ‘Yes,’ a few months ago, but given the current revelations about the mass surveillance, I can see pressure and will to move to better and trusted privacy. Without these revelations, I would have said, ‘No.’”

A consumer advocate wrote, “Corporations have no incentive to do this without strong regulation, and regulators are increasingly in those corporations’ pockets. It is hard to see this getting anything but worse by 2025. The younger generation will not remember ever having had privacy over their online activities.”

A consultant and futurist wrote, “Nothing that I have seen in the last couple of years indicates to me that the US government, in particular, is interested or able to establish a safe and easy-to-use infrastructure, i.e., using security certificates. Europe seems to be the furthest along in terms of developing that kind of infrastructure, whereas the situation in Africa or other parts of the world is even more precarious. I think that will depend on whether there are significant incidents of data theft or privacy violation that are perceived as such by the broader American public. The changing attitude towards Facebook might indicate slow change towards stricter public norms.”

A computer programmer for the Canadian government wrote, “Business will continue to invade our privacy, as will government. Some may no longer value privacy, and others will have no concerns, as they will not be fully informed.”

The research director at a technology trade association responded, “This is a qualified ‘yes’ because I believe that the players will create multiple potential safeguards, though not one that will be accepted by policymakers and technology providers alike, nor universally adopted by users. The measures that are created will often be ignored or circumvented by users in order to obtain free content and still decried by consumer and privacy advocates as insufficient to really safeguard information. This is not to say that any of the players intends to produce something inferior: just that perspectives differ so greatly that a mutually respected product will not result. The current division over privacy will persist, with some populations’ users willing to trade away information in exchange for discounted access to products and services. Unexpected sensitivities will arise in groups which have previously made such calculations, forcing revision of company practices or loss of market share.”

 A lawyer from North America wrote, “Two factors will make it difficult to achieve a broadly accepted privacy-rights infrastructure. First, data monetization in exchange for ‘free’ services has become an embedded business model that is unlikely to disappear by 2025. While consumers accept this exchange, it is not clear that they do so with full awareness of the contours of the value exchange, or without subsequent misgivings or regrets. The most basic and transparent value exchange—currency exchanged for goods—is widely accepted because the value exchange is clearly understood and agreed to by both parties. It is not clear that this is yet true, or will be true by 2025, for data monetization business models. Second, there is no objective benchmark for the ‘proper’ balance between privacy and security. The acceptable balance differs by individual and, in fact, may change for individuals over time. (The shifting nature of individual preferences is one of the challenges: providing my data at one stage in life may feel like a valid exchange, but 10 years later, my view of the transaction may have changed as my data continues to be monetized.) As a result, there probably never will be an overall balance between privacy and security that is accepted by all elements of society. Norms will shift somewhat due to increased familiarity and comfort with data sharing, though not as much as the conventional wisdom seems to hold. The assumption seems to be that, because Millennials have less concern about sharing their personal data, demography will result in a general lessening of privacy concerns as younger generations age and replace older ones. But, this presumes that an individual has a static view of privacy over his or her lifetime, which may not be accurate. By analogy, every teenage generation has wardrobes that cause their parents to shake their heads in dismay. But, as those teenagers age, their wardrobes tend to become more conservative (and before long, they are shaking their heads at their teenagers’ clothes). Online privacy is largely about the projection of one’s online image and the degree to which one has control over that image in different situations. To analogize again to our offline image projection, we wear one set of clothes at work, another in social settings, and yet another while at the beach. We are comfortable as long as we have the ability to control the image we project and ensure it is appropriate to the circumstances, and the image we project changes as we move through different phases of life. It is the same with our online selves, and today’s Millennials will change their views of how they want to project their online image as they age, just as they will change how they project their offline image.”

A senior consultant for user experience said, “It is not going to be perfect, by any means, but I think the business demands will dictate pushback on snooping and such. Overall, people will be more accepting of loss of privacy, but they will want—and push for—limits in certain cases (i.e., finances, healthcare) as more and more moves into the Cloud.”

The director of an online-education support community said, “Concern about privacy is real in theory, but a lot of people do not follow through and protect themselves in practice.”

An expert on smart cities wrote, “Privacy and security issues are not going away for users in industrialized nations. At the same time, with the Web likely to be flooded with users from developing nations, the need for a robust system of privacy and security will rise dramatically. This will, of course, conflict with the desire of national governments to be able to see inside every exchange of data on the Web. Users in industrialized nations will be less sensitive to privacy issues than they are today. This may not apply, however, to users in developing nations.”

A professor of technoculture at the University of California-Davis predicted, “No, commercial interests depend upon data mining and government will continue to intrude on citizen’s private lives. People are accepting the fact that privacy does not exist the way we formerly thought of it.”

The technology director for a major global news provider responded, “This is such an important political issue that stakeholders will be unable to avoid grappling with it, despite its obvious complexity. Real growth—beyond the magnitude we have seen so far in the Internet economy—depends on the trust factor to a very large degree. Norms are likely to become more open, as they have already, but security will be a critical factor in that evolution. Transparency in how data is handled by businesses and governments will be important to enhancing users’ comfort levels.”

A technical director for a major US university wrote, “Failure to reach privacy protections will further erode consumer confidence and use of portals. All we need is a few more examples of privacy intrusions, failures to maintain security, and intrusive tracking, for policymakers to be forced to institute regulatory controls, consumer protections, and enforcement. Privacy will become a dominant policy issue as the public becomes increasingly aware of the capabilities of ‘unknown others’ to data mine and monitor transactions, social networks, lifestyles, tastes, behaviors, health, etc.”

The director of a Web-based journalism project at a major US university responded, “This will be an ongoing challenge that will change as technology changes. In other words, it will continue to be a moving target.”

An anonymous survey participant wrote, “Policymakers do not understand technology, and therefore should not be trusted to make decisions on it. Either privacy issues will be fixed or technology will not advance as it should.”

A professor at a top-ranked research university in the United States wrote, “No, there will not be such an infrastructure by 2025 because, in the United States, when it comes to business, we value the individual liberties of corporations above collective liberties of citizens. Privacy policy, even before the Internet lacked any cohesion, was a piecemeal approach, or state-based, or both. It will still be a caveat emptor situation in 2025, unless the United States shifts far more toward a progressive, more EU-based approach. People will realize they have no control over what was once private information. Those who are 18 and younger today will not have expectations of privacy anyway. Just look at Facebook and what people are willing to reveal for the ease of use there.”

An advocate for free software wrote, “I worry that personal privacy and secure data will continue to be compromised by governments and corporations who want to track Internet users. I hope we will see an increased awareness and defense of privacy rights, but I worry we will see an increase in complacency instead.”

An online and social media producer wrote, “There is enough demand for this that we will reach some kind of equilibrium by 2025, although I think the adjustment will come not only through technical infrastructure, but also through cultural shifts, as well. So, for instance, targeted ads will gain acceptance over time, which will increase tolerance for routine data aggregation practices. At the same time, organizations that have a stake in customers not dropping out of online activities altogether will be motivated both to provide consumers with more granular, intuitive control over how their data is used and to participate in education initiatives that help consumers take control of their data. The NSA revelations have made privacy a central concern for the general public, and I am confident that this will affect policy before 2025. Government, much more than big business, has become the target of public outrage over privacy (and even civil rights) violations, and I think the major companies have mostly been successful in distancing themselves from the NSA, even in cases in which they were forced to cooperate. The public will continue to push for protections from domestic spying, and private corporations have successfully positioned themselves as allies in this fight. Corporations fighting for privacy on the government front are purchasing good will for other, comparatively benign data aggregation activities that produce improved services on the private consumer front.”

An employee of the US government based in Washington, DC, responded, “I have little faith in policymakers to arrive at consensus on major legislation that is both popularly accepted and trusted. I also sense a growing contradictory view of privacy among Millennials and younger Americans. They seek privacy from embarrassment among people they know, yet do not take care to the privacy of their personal information from companies and retailers they interact with anonymously and automatedly over the Internet. For this reason, there will be no great demand from voters to enact this legislation. Americans will sacrifice privacy if publicity, attention, or goods and services they receive make them feel good and/or give their life a sense of importance. Americans will only demand privacy from the intrusions of government.”

An anonymous survey participant wrote, “This is a logical and necessary scenario—to balance privacy, rights, and choice. But, a great deal of change will be needed by powerful technology companies to make this possible. I think the fundamental norms will endure but that many people will be prepared to share more of their personal information—in order to benefit from the media and service possibilities.”

A professional, working in privacy policy development, wrote, “Policymakers and technology innovators will have no other possibility than ensuring that new technologies and use of Internet fully respects the right to privacy—as if such is not the case, measures—by users, as well as policy makers—see for instance, proposals to create national email services, national clouds, etc.—will be taken that will progressively undermine the perception of those services. In terms of public norms, meaning law, we will see an infrastructure applying both to private and public sector processing they will have to include greater knowledge and awareness of users, in order to give them proper means to make informed choices in respect of their digital identities. Effective transparency will be key.”

A research group leader studying social media wrote, “They will try to, but I do not think that they will succeed, at least not with a world-wide accepted version. Cross-cultural differences are too big (see, for example, Americans versus Germans: even within the European Union, it takes forever to get an agreement on a common policy).

An administrator for technology-focused units in educational nonprofits responded, “Because it is in their business interests to do so in large public spaces, policymakers and technology innovators, or companies, will work towards secure, acceptable privacy infrastructures. But, these infrastructures are likely to be more ‘open’ than most people today are accustomed to experiencing. People will be more accepting of more ‘open’ environments because they will have been shopping, corresponding, and accomplishing other forms of daily interaction in spaces that are less attuned to strict privacy considerations and will be used to a new environment.”

A PhD candidate in information sciences and technology observed, “No, there will not be such an infrastructure by 2025. The dominance of the capitalist free market principle over democratic ideals and norms will mean an intensification of capitalist intrusion into everyday private life. This is partly due to the fact that citizens appear more than willing to ignore the dangers of privacy management and will sell all kinds of information about themselves in order to enter a draw for prizes. Add to this the emerging visual imaging identification software, which can identify faces and cross match to databases, and which will be used to tailor consumer pitches in malls, cars, mobile phones etc., and I see privacy as a concept disappearing. Public norms will be different because privacy will become an antiquated concept, something that is kept to the bedrooms and bathrooms of private homes, and that is it.”

A US federal government employee, whose work involves Internet policy, wrote, “There is no such thing as privacy on the Internet.”

A top digital media strategist at a US national public news organization responded, “I truly worry we are living in a privacy parenthesis that is closing quickly. Government and companies will continue to talk positively about privacy while, in reality, providing the bare minimum privacy rules. The current backlash against the NSA will likely fade over time and people will focus on griping about the Facebook’s of the world and their privacy rules, all the while sharing extraordinary amounts of metadata about themselves through the use of social media, mobile, and wearable devices.”

A project director for the Black Hills Knowledge Network responded, “Technology will continue to evolve in ways that erode privacy protections more quickly than policymakers will be able to adapt. Its more likely that privacy protection will develop as a value-added component provided by the marketplace to consumers who are able and have the means to opt into these services. Younger generations will not expect privacy. For better and for worse, they will live in a more transparent world.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “I suspect the broader trend (beyond the Internet, per se) is for greater and greater extraction and retention of varieties of data long considered private. This is variously because of the perception (on the part of authorities) of general (broad and social) advantage in doing so (e.g., keeping information on people’s movement for security purposes, because individuals may believe they find benefit from it (witness Google being perceived as ‘free’), and the nature of technology itself. (E.g., retaining information is nearly cost-free, in comparison to past practices.) In this view, the Internet is part of a broader trend. This is such a complex question. Certainly, the ‘Jean Valjean’ effect will nearly disappear (i.e., people starting afresh after some socially-perceived mistake). This will make it far more difficult for people to set new directions in their lives. Will this result in people acting more clandestinely? Probably not, since that will be nearly impossible, and certainly, time- and effort-expensive. Will they act more cautiously in the manner of a (mythical) good, Soviet citizen? Who can say? Even guessing that peoples’ ‘laundry’ being exposed to the public is going to cause us all to be somewhat more for forgiving of individual foibles seems difficult to say.”

A general manager wrote, “There will be some systems and infrastructure for individuals and organizations that is available for a price to those who value it, but it will not be the norm. I think the model of ‘free in exchange for giving up your information so you can be marketed to more effectively’ will still dominate. There will be enough bad events that large numbers of people will opt-in to greater privacy, but unless the whole system of governance shifts, individual privacy will be hard to maintain online.”

A research fellow at a top UK research university wrote, “I am not optimistic that this will be possible until the money-aspect of lobbying of the US Congress is revised, or until the median tech knowledge of representatives fundamentally shifts.”

An anonymous survey participant wrote, “The original intent of Arpanet, later Darpanet, was the unrestricted embryonic flow of data. The protocols over the entrenched data structures and millions of dollars already spent on various systems now needed a way to pass data between them. So, the Internet was built to help open communication between all major academic and military systems. It was an incredible undertaking; I could speak and hear English, and my peers could do so in any language and hear their language. The new Rosetta Stone. Few, if any, worried about too much openness. We must start a project just as extensive as the Arpanet Project to make privacy just as important and integrated a process as communications, not merely an add-on.”

An assistant professor at a major US research university replied, “In 2025, people who have a desire to have privacy will be misunderstood and considered to be odd. Given the way technology has and will continue to advance, a popularly accepted and trusted privacy-rights infrastructure will never exist. People’s personal information will continue to be exploited and, as a result, trust will be violated. Members of society are already suspicious of businesses and government. Even if a law were to be passed it would not be trusted by the majority. Every day members of society are more accepting of their private information being publicly accessible. Therefore, I believe the concept of privacy will continue to be minimized as time goes forward.”

A university professor responded, “Given the recent revelations of large-scale information collection by secret services, one may imagine that these practices will continue. Definitely, there will be public and private efforts to make communication better guarded. But, we learned that these efforts easily become useless if well-funded programs would aim to crack them down.”

An anonymous survey participant replied, “There surely will always be those who will be able eventually to violate the best system available at a given point in time.”

A doctoral candidate at a university in Washington, DC, responded, “Luddites who can barely maintain a proper social media presence build a proper privacy-rights infrastructure? Yeah, right. We are being pushed towards a transparent, online, performative life.”

An anonymous survey participant wrote, “The technology to improve privacy options will successfully evolve. Governmental privacy invasion will be considered an advanced persistent threat, and technology will evolve to meet it. Policy as a whole, however, will continue to be largely unchanged, with the possible exception of requiring warrants. Law enforcement will continue to require access to communications; whether this is warrantless or not will vary country by country. Corporations will take their users’ privacy vis a vis the relevant governments seriously (for the sake of public perception, if nothing else), but continue to track and monetize as much as possible. The public may decry the tracking from time to time, but on the whole, the perceived benefits and/or continued success in the marketplace for non-privacy-related reasons will mean that these issues never become a sufficiently motivating case for changes in corporate behaviour. Note: if legislative action were to take place to attempt to abolish privacy-preserving technological options, then there will be a very large backlash. Put it another way, everyone wants to have the option to put their browser in ‘porn mode,’ regardless of the actually frequency with which that may actually be used. A vocal minority will continue to maintain the importance of privacy, but overall, future generations will more about security than privacy. Protection from fraud and other cyber-threats will remain more important than privacy, as long as a perceived privacy-preserving mechanism remains.”

A freelance editor and writer wrote, “Most likely, policymakers will stay out of this, regarding it as an invasion of privacy. If more are installed, most likely, we will not know about it.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Most policymakers and technology innovators want to collect as much information on people as possible, either for commercial or political reasons. Unless general society makes privacy a major issue, it will not become one. I do not think society cares enough. It will take a real rights crisis to change that. There will be less privacy.”

An anonymous respondent commented, “It may be misplaced, but I have more faith in the technology innovators than the policymakers; however as long as there is a profit to be made, businesses will need a secure and accepted way to do that—and the innovators will ensure that it happens. My children’s generation will have grown up with their lives documented by their parents for their networks to see. I think privacy will be much less, but we may see that generation fighting to regain it as they use their personal data to empower themselves in other ways—as consumers, etc.”

A professor at a large US university, responded, “As technology advances in the direction of smaller, cheaper, and more powerful means for individuals and small groups to either create new wonders or engage in horrific acts of destruction, governments and large corporate players will seek to monitor everyone ever more closely. Business wants information in order to better target potential customers. Government wants it in order to prevent destructive acts. Therefore, I am doubtful about online privacy in the year 2025. Employers will be much more forgiving about online indiscretions in the form of embarrassing photos and suchlike. Individuals will grudgingly accept the fact that their past lives and loves are amply documented and visually registered, with virtually no possibility for hiding what once had been shared and posted online, anywhere.”

An online producer for a National Public Radio bureau, wrote, “They will be on the way to figuring out privacy by 2025, but they will not be there yet. We are already seeing things like Bitcoin really trying to tackle the issue, so the government is going to have to respond with some allowances and/or restrictions. Less privacy will be expected, as it is among younger generations anyway.”

A respondent, who is self-described as a ‘social innovation orphan,’ wrote, “There is a lot of ‘and’ in this question, each of which will require major shifts. Some of them are likely to have moved in the right direction. Few, if any, will be at some place that everyone would agree fits the desires for them. Hopefully, privacy will be multi-layered—i.e., I choose how much I want what information to be private. Also, what sharing my information will get for me will be clearer. Norms about privacy will evolve around the technology to protect privacy. Sharing information online will closer parallel the intimacy of sharing information in person, but information shared online will have clearer value. You will ‘bank’ your privacy, and there might be social norms based on your privacy class.”

A private law firm partner, specializing in telecommunications and Internet regulatory issues, wrote, “There is a fundamental conflict between ‘privacy’ as normally conceived and the business model of any number of large Internet entities, such as Google and Facebook. Those entities make money by monetizing data that consumers would not want monetized or shared if they knew what was going on. It will take quite a long time for this to get sorted out—more on the level of decades, not the (mere) 11 years posed in the question. By 2025, people will, generally, be aware of the privacy issues involved in advertising-based online entities and with respect to carefully targeted behavioral advertising. By that time, the Facebook generation (today’s 15-to-25-year-olds) will be entering positions of influence and power in the media and business. On some level, that means that privacy will mean less because nearly everyone will have posted online material that might be viewed as embarrassing by today’s standards. On the other hand, that generation will have a more nuanced perception of their right to control the distribution of their information to distinct (often ad-hoc) groups. So it will just be a very different conversation than today.”

An anonymous survey participant wrote, “I do not know how they will do it, but without protection of personal information surfers will abandon.”

An anonymous survey participant replied, “This is inevitable. This is something we want sooner, rather than later (although, I would say it is already quite late). People will be better at ‘managing’ their public persona/personal brand. Celebrities already do this (albeit, some not well), but all individuals will increasingly do so.”

An independent researcher and writer working at a major university in the United States replied, “This is going to be the ‘innovation, regulation, and consumer’ fight of the next decade. By 2025, we will have something closer to what you describe than where we are today, but it will still have critics. Governments will not yield their power to surveil without many, many fights. And, they may never. It will be temporal and episodic. We will think of keeping things quiet for a period of time.”

An anonymous survey participant replied, “As we see today, American Internet control over Internet has begun to loosen, whether it is the White House or companies. No matter what these companies and government do, they will not be able to control the fragmenting of the Internet, or the fragmenting of the space and time within the Internet, because you can change Internet at every step. The result: people will control their digital rights at will. Companies, such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, LinkedIn, etc., are already offering services whereby you can either completely remove your data from their servers. The tug-of-war between privacy, monetization, and law can never be sorted out in the best interests of all three (companies, government, and people) because unless and until companies use personal and private data they cannot monetize their existing business model to offer a business opportunity to their advertisers, or investors, or both. If companies cannot monetize their business model, they will be unwilling to offer the services for free. If there were a charge or fee for service most of these companies would lose 90% of their customers, leading to the creation of billions of new emails and websites. Government, on the other hand, will always make an attempt to spy through electronic filters such as the NSA, but as more countries are becoming economically advanced, they will have their own infrastructure, such as nations like Brazil, Russia, India, and China, just to start with. The United States will have to forget the control of the Internet outside the United States and a few other countries. I am working on a program in which 1.2 billion individuals will be locked into a government database. The database is for ID purposes at this point in time, but, using the same ID, each one of those registered individuals can get a lot more. The data center for citizens will be based in the country of their origin so that it does not create problem such as we have seen with the Brazilian president asking Facebook and Google to localize the information however when individuals want primary services related to their life they have to agree to a company’s terms and conditions. In today’s model, this is not possible. But, in next five to 10 years, cloud computing can make it all possible. You will be surprised to know the Consumer Credit Acts empowering every bank in the United States and European Union to decide about customers’ financial decisions, will be changed. I am working on such a project, and have either sued or am in the process of suing many major financial and credit reference agencies because they are incredibly hesitant to take this ability and power away from them in United States, United Kingdom, and European Union.”

A policy advisor for a nonprofit whose mission is to advance IT in higher education wrote, “The economic imperative will drive businesses and policymakers to resolve some of the current dilemmas that concern privacy and security online. I am not optimistic about Congress’s role, but I do think our reliance on the Internet for the delivery of services to citizens and consumer will make this a critical issue in the coming years. We will continue to see the balance of the scales tilt in favor of sharing and disclosing more personal information as a matter of convenience or if the value added (e.g., targeted ads) increases in the mind of consumers.”

An anonymous survey respondent wrote, “Today’s privacy situation is abhorrent. Facebook is the worst violator, with Google, not for lack of trying, lagging a little behind. These companies make it very difficult for users to know how much of their content is visible only to their friends vs. the whole world.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “I wish there was a ‘Maybe’ option, but given a choice between ‘yes’ and ‘no,’ the pessimist in me wins out. So far, policymakers are not striking the right balance between encouraging innovation and rights and protecting privacy. I would like to think that we will get it right by 2025, but I am just not sure. People will come to realize that it is about control of one’s information, rather than ‘privacy.’ There will hopefully be systems in place that make it easy for people to determine who has access to what they post. I also hope there will be tools in place to protect people against government snooping.”

An anonymous survey respondent wrote, “The conflict between those who profit from open privacy and those that desire more privacy will continue to widen.”

An anonymous survey respondent wrote, “As long as the policymakers and technology innovators are governed by the needs of a capitalist economy, they will serve the interests of capital above those of ordinary people, and it is in the interests of those in a position to fund both policy and technological innovation to keep information privileged, rather than either public or confidential. Information is already a commodity, and like all commodities, as long as it has value, it will be mined, refined, and sold by those with the means to do so, with no regard to the rights.”

An anonymous survey respondent wrote, “I believe that privacy and related issues will continue to be secondary. These personal rights will be protected in niches.”

An anonymous respondent commented, “There will always be a struggle between what is best for Internet users from the perspective of the users and their advocates and the things that corporations want and think is best from their point of view. I am unsure if an infrastructure that pleases both of these parties could be created, as government is more likely to side with the business over the general Internet community. Advocates can only do so much when going up against big business. I think people in general will be a lot looser with their information; people will always be careful of their personal data, but it will become a lot more normal to put more information into the public sphere.”

An anonymous survey respondent wrote, “It is entirely likely that the innovation would emerge from a treaty mediated position between governments (including intergovernmental organizations such as the United Nations), the private sector, and the academic and technical community. This position would result in a tenuous, ever-shifting balance between the key elements mentioned. The notion and concept of privacy would further morph based on the beginning of the emergence of today’s digital natives in key decision making positions in technology oriented and socially connected enterprises.”

An anonymous survey respondent replied, “The social and political relationships in society are reflected online. If the general population distrusts the government, that will also happen online. Unfortunately, I think that, particularly in the United States after the Snowden revelations, people will not trust the government to protect their privacy. I hope that people will be more concerned with how their online communications are protected.”

An academic leader at a major US university’s School of Information Studies wrote, “These competing goals will continue to be in tension over time, and trade-offs among them are inevitable. What might seem like the right balance to one person will not be the right balance to another, so the notion that ‘the right balance’ can even exist is misguided. Privacy is a complex, multi-faceted, and multidimensional concept. Privacy norms will vary for different kinds of data, different uses of data and for various groups. This makes is impossible to predict how a monolithic concept like ‘public norms about privacy’ will look in 2025. We do not have a clear sense of what they look like now.”

An associate professor of history at a university in Canada, wrote, “Hopefully, appropriate legislation for privacy on the Internet will be passed, but it would be very difficult to implement in practice. In addition, contemporary online business models are based on accessing users’ private information and are not likely to change in the immediate future. There will be a backlash against sharing private information online. Most Internet users will no longer disseminate private information over social media such as Facebook, Instagram, etc. Social media will survive, however, as a venue for a new kind of public life.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “Attempts to balance personal privacy and secure data will still be an issue in 2025, as technology continues to advance. Issues of privacy and secure data will be an issue on a local scale but also will be controlled on a small scale through local applications of technology. This will be resolved in local areas and applications but may be a problem in the larger scope. There will be areas of social media where less privacy will be allowed, such as Facebook today, but also areas where it is more guarded such as family issues.”

An anonymous survey respondent wrote, “Public perception will continue to reflect the reality that personal privacy and data security are already too compromised to ever be reliable. People will likely be less willing to expose personal information on data networks, particularly social media.”

A university professor and researcher from a large public university in the United States wrote, “A weaker privacy regime that is accompanied by an ideology that presents the case for trading off security, liberty, and privacy for safety benefits entrenched political and economic interests to the point where politicians, the lobbyists who funnel resources to them, and the companies that pay the lobbyists will do what they can to protect business interests at the expense of individual rights. A generation that has grown up in a digital information environment, using increasingly powerful mobile devices to access social networks, will have been indoctrinated by the media, influenced by those mentioned above, to believe that privacy is an outmoded concept. General public norms will support a surveillance state, and there will be call groups of people with longer memories who resist. There will be a counter-movement of people who work to get off the grid.”

A professor of sociology wrote, “Our society increasingly tries to assess the future in terms of risk, which makes calculation and surveillance crucial, skewing the way digitally-created data will be made available and used towards control.”

An anonymous survey respondent wrote, “There will be policies that give the appearance of security and privacy, but, as is always the case, the reality will be that nothing is totally secure nor private. The complexity of the system will increase. Technological advances in security coding and personal identity processes (i.e., retinal scans, finger prints, genetic identification) will be developed. But nothing is ever perfect. Crafty hackers will always find a way to infiltrate data. Governments will never abdicate their right or authority to access personal data if they feel threatened—marketers will. The year 2025 is long way off to predict public norms. There is still skepticism by many older folks about the security of Internet commerce and privacy.”

An anonymous survey respondent wrote, “The pace of technology change is accelerating, and the pursuit of the new will delay and obviate the need for ‘control’ of privacy. There will be a greater acceptance of limited privacy since most people now have consciously or unconsciously given their privacy to credit card companies, insurance companies, social security, and social networks.”

An anonymous survey respondent wrote, “The new generation will simply not care about these issues.”

An anonymous survey respondent commented, “They will not be able to resist business interests lobbying against a privacy-rights infrastructure. The public will be a lot more cynical.”

A professional designer of human-oriented technological systems wrote, “There will probably be two Internet systems: one, a vaguely evolved version of the current Internet, and another, requiring a more thorough regime of entry and exit designed to encrypt every interaction. Logging in to the latter will take more steps of identity proof and probably associates a weakly with a behavioural tracker, which does not know the identity of the user, but which intelligently assesses authenticity. Quite possibly, most people will understand the downside of ‘fame’ and the loss of anonymity. At present, going viral is treated as a bonus, whereas in the future, going viral will be as acceptable as contracting a virus. Anonymity will be a commodity. Companies will exist to track every element of a person’s exposure to the Internet and be tasked with the removal of all traces of image or mention of an individual.”

A research fellow at RMIT University replied, “In my view, both businesses and individuals have, in fact, changing views as to what constitutes ‘personal information’ and adequate protection thereof. In 2025, it is likely that technology change will be posing new dilemmas regarding privacy, and possibly, new questions of what would constitute violations of it. For the foreseeable future, policymakers, in particular, are likely to continue to lag behind. Also, a key consideration is to what extent ‘easy-to-use’ here means ‘standardised,’ which is especially important in achieving the right balance. I am ‘uncertain to pessimistic’ as to whether easy-to-use, standardized, and widely adopted mechanisms will be available for ensuring privacy and security of personal data on the Internet. Technology change has itself proved to be an important historical factor in structuring perceptions of privacy. I do not know how norms will change, but I am confident they will continue to evolve as social, mobile, and other forms of personal technology become increasingly pervasive. I would hope that as the ‘modalities,’ under which aspects of the self can be exposed technologically, continue to grow—so, too, does the individual’s practice of adjudicating on the appropriate ‘levels’ of exposure, both at points in time and over time (i.e., it is important that aspects of privacy are also retrospective). Similarly, it is important that technology infrastructure and community awareness continue to be responsive to the challenges and threats (from governments, corporations, or malicious individuals) to privacy.”

A senior staff member for one of the leading Internet standards organizations replied, “This is what people/users want, so the technologies and the market forces will adapt to this level of services. They will be much more detailed, as well as knowledgeable of the technical architecture underlying the communications, which is not the case today, since it is a moving target.”

A university professor wrote, “They will respond to customers’ needs. Privacy will be redefined to contain only self-thoughts, not actions.”

An anonymous survey respondent wrote, “Many individuals are weary of having their personal information for sale on the Net. We want it to be secure, and still, we realize that the expectation is now that it cannot be with current methods. I think we will start demanding more security. They are already different than they were when the World Wide Web first allowed us the vast stores of information back in the early 1990s. I am older, and the twentysomethings I know do not share my expectations of anonymity and privacy online.”

A self-employed programmer and Web developer wrote, “Will there be a concept such as ‘privacy’ in 2025? Sadly, the public ‘norm’ about privacy could be simply learning what it meant in a history lesson at school. As it becomes clearer to all that information is as valuable as the assets created from real material in the economy, it will, in my opinion, become more and more a target for policymakers—whether they work for big corporations, big money, or simply for their own selfish promotion—to control.”

An anonymous survey respondent replied, “I doubt that individuals will have easy-to-use formats for protecting their personal information. If we cannot do it for credit cards and credit bureaus, it is unlikely to happen for the Internet. That said, recent exposes on snooping, and the pushback from Internet companies (to the government) are promising developments.”

An anonymous survey respondent wrote, “Technology will provide individuals with new ways to protect their privacy and identity, and new business models will emerge that include more paid for services and payments for personal information.”

An anonymous survey respondent wrote, “Policymakers will never be able to come together to make this happen. They will politicize the issue, take sides, and dig in. We will all continue to suffer from ‘policymaker paralysis.’ I suspect, by 2025, people will have given up on the notion of privacy.”

An Internet leader in Nairobi, Kenya, responded, “There is renewed interest in creating policies that will revolutionize how privacy will be defined in order to maintain the freedom of Internet growth that has been experienced in the past. We must be encouraging a multi-stakeholder approach in all issues so that any conflicts can be solved and documented accordingly.”

An anonymous survey respondent wrote, “The answer to this question depends on where one lives. In Europe, with greater privacy rights protection, the answer is more likely to be ‘yes.’ In the United States, the political and technological momentum seems to be behind securing the privacy of corporations and their data, while individuals are increasingly mined for theirs. The prevalence of devices saving data in ‘the Cloud’ is germane here, since ‘the Cloud’ is usually the servers of a private corporation. Privacy is being negotiated. It is always a historically relative concept. Given the fact that we are quickly entering an era where we will potentially be ‘on stage’ practically all of the time (since we are going to be recorded by the wearable devices of everyone in the vicinity), we are going to have to figure out social norms and expectations fairly quickly.”

An associate professor of sociology at California State University-Northridge wrote, “Many of the issues we now regard as important will seem dated by 2025—and silly a few years beyond that. But, we are likely to have accepted a loss of privacy (as well as of some secrecy, which is not the same thing) in exchange for more security and liberty, as we always have. Time marches on.”

An anonymous survey respondent wrote, “One good and very welcome step is to stop building devices with invasive applications. Also, there is enough time until 2025 to build such infrastructure.”

A university professor responded, “There will be something of this nature, but it will probably come about in a rather ad-hoc fashion. There will be much less privacy but more understanding of what we have given up. Proxies and other techniques will become embedded in popular browsers so that more activity can be done under the radar.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “Technology develops at a faster pace than law and politics, and does much faster than current crop policymakers’ understanding of the technology or its cultural context. In the next decade, I do not expect politicians to up their game substantially—there is no incentive pulling in this direction. Meanwhile, technology developments will accelerate. More diverse apps and tools will be available to meet various communication needs.”

An anonymous survey respondent commented, “Privacy rights are intrinsic to the continued growth of the Internet as it morphs in leaps and bounds over the next decade or so. Here is a haiku: Then there will be drones / challenging our privacy / 24/7 … #haiku The freedom to steal / will continue to plague us / in 2025 … #haiku.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “There will be a broad mix of various solutions, and most people will not bother with it, as they are too complacent. Those who care will demand certain minimum rights and guarantees, but they have lost trust in the system and work on ways, officially sanctioned or not, to keep their communications secure. Governments will pay lip service to digital privacy and help to bring forth some improvements, but spy agencies will find their workarounds. By 2025, the digital natives will have taken over, and they are so used to a lack if privacy and an abundance of sharing that they will not bother much. Those who have something to hide will use non-electronic means, as they cannot be sure that any digital transmission is entirely safe for them to use.”

The president of a major Internet association in India wrote, “In most countries, the answer would be, ‘No,’ because the overwhelming tendency in most countries, including democracies, is to control Internet by localising it and controlling the data, Hopefully in 2025, public norms will change to accommodate user-controlled and easy-to-use privacy mechanisms that will encourage innovation and monetization.”

A software research and development professional for a major software organization wrote, “In terms of ‘secure:’ security is an arms race. In terms of ‘popularly accepted’ and ‘trusted:’ it will be by some, sure, but by others, no. And, there will be several such systems of ‘infrastructure’ because there is global, cultural disagreement about privacy expectations. It seems likely that expectations will more closely match reality as users become more informed.”

A researcher at a small Internet consulting firm responded, “It will be effectively secure, but there will be doubters. Perhaps, the remaining risks will become acceptable to the majority.”

An Internet activist-user replied, “No matter what policymakers will do, if they are not legalized, then the situation will be the same. By 2025, there might be more awareness in the developing countries.”

An anonymous survey respondent wrote, “If policymakers and IT business would be concerned with privacy, they would have developed systems and regulations that protect it. Having accustomed people to live in a privacy-less environment, they will not have to worry and change their practices, unless forced by a major global scandal and outcry, which are most unlikely. They will continue to be hardly understood and mostly neglected by people used to live in a brave, new world.”

A research fellow at a university in Austria replied, “A privacy-rights infrastructure is very important and should be put into place. But, I do not think it will be in place yet and that a system existing in 2025 will still be abused and have loopholes providing businesses the opportunity to access too much information about people. I think people will still make too much personal information available, whilst being unaware of the risks of doing so. I am not sure that they will be different. I think that personal data will still be made widely available (by people themselves), unaware of the ‘memory’ of the Internet, the apps, and tracking services companies use to access this information. In addition, I think that teachers and parents will still not know how to teach children and young users how to use the Internet in a safe way. It will be even harder to teach young adults and adults.”

A professor in the humanities at a major private university in the United States responded, “I, first of all, find it problematic that the question forces one to answer whether a proper balance between business interests and privacy will be struck; I would have imagined that the more relevant balance would be between security and privacy. In any case, I feel fairly certain that no ‘balance’ between business and anyoyone will be struck, but rather that business interests will overwhelm all other interests. I suspect that there will be far fewer concerns about privacy then than now (which I do not view as a good thing).”

A lecturer in media and communications wrote, “There will be something like this, but there will be enough caveats that our data will become more available to corporations, not less. We will probably expect more things to be shared in more places. Financial security (in terms of credit card fraud, etc.) might be better, but pretty much everything will be logged and tracked.”

An engineer at an Internet company responded, “They will not create it spontaneously. This is a tussle, and its outcome will be determined by the respective strengths of the big brothers and the citizens. The question is badly phrased, since the goal should be a protection of the personal information, not ‘individuals’ choices for protecting their personal information,’ which is GAFA-speak for, ‘By default, copy everything.’ If Google and the NSA win, indeed, in 2025, it will be forbidden to have privacy expectations.”

The president of a German Internet trade association, and founder of various ISPs, wrote, “My impression is that we will have encryption by design at this time, as the problems will be bigger with IPv6 in place. This is way too long, as I can see a less strictly handled privacy by many young people. So, if they change their social value of privacy, it may look different.”

An anonymous survey respondent wrote, “I am not sure it is such a big problem at the moment. So, while I do not think much will change in that area until 2025, I also do not feel that there is a need for active change. I expect the use of Creative Commons license will be much more widespread. Also, I am sure people will become much more careful about adding information to social network. At the moment, there is a wave of panic building in connection to the storing of, for example, photos by Facebook. By 2025, I expect people will be more literate about potential dangers of SNS, and this knowledge will have two outcomes: less concern about the ‘boogeyman,’ who might steal and abuse your data, but also more care in sharing that data.”

An anonymous survey respondent commented, “Privacy and security concerns pervade any discussion of personal data online for the Internet to truly become the system that runs.”

An anonymous survey respondent wrote, “Without this, users will abandon the Internet.”

An anonymous survey respondent wrote, “If they do not, the transaction costs will explode. We will run around naked, metaphorically speaking.”

An anonymous survey respondent wrote, “Personal privacy is just against current business interests, and it seems like it will be.”

An anonymous survey respondent wrote, “Doing so seems like a business and public policy imperative. Consumers and the public will demand such an infrastructure, although security threats will continue to require ongoing changes. There is no steady state here. Consumers have demonstrated that, given the choice, they will give something up in return for something. Unless there is wide spread abuse, why would that change?”

An anonymous survey respondent wrote, “The desired outcomes—security, liberty, and privacy—are poorly defined on a good day, and to some extent, are incompatible with each other, if not mutually exclusive. Add the standard to achieve ease-of-use and it is difficult to imagine achieving them.”

An anonymous survey participant wrote, “While I am sure that some sort of policy will be based by 2025, it will ultimately be compromised in favor of either ‘intelligence’ concerns or emphasis on ‘monetization’ over personal rights protection. Individuals will be more ‘concerned’ about privacy in 2025, but the course of industry and government will have already compromised privacy so significantly that ‘public norms’ will make those that chose to ‘opt-out’ will carry with it a stigma of, ‘What do you have to hide?’”

A university professor and researcher wrote, “I am actually not sure how effective a privacy structure could be, given the decentralized and fast-paced evolution of the Internet at this point, but demand is strong enough, and progress fast enough, at this point that something should be in place by 2025. Communication researcher Deborah Tannen likes to say that all personal interaction balances closeness and distance. Whether privacy will be more of a social or political institution (or some combination) in 2025 is difficult to predict from our current perspective, but clearly, something will be in place.”

A consultant for a major US technology consulting firm replied, “Historically, companies and organizations collect more and more data. I think that trend will continue, and people will get used to it. People will get used to the idea that there is no privacy.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “No, corporate entities will rule the day.”

A professor at Widener University responded, “It is just to difficult to accomplish. Most people will be willing to give up some privacy for convenience.”

A director for a nonprofit in Washington, DC, replied, “Current ideas about privacy are leftovers from pre-digital times. They are also somewhat bourgeois in their nature. As we continue to evolve technologically—and socially—we will find less need to be ‘private.’ The idea of ‘privacy’ will be supplanted by ideas such as inclusion, participation, community, and health—all of which will have ascendancy over self-oriented notions about protecting one’s secrets. Secrets themselves will find fewer places to hide, so they will become more rare. With that, the need to safeguard them will similarly fade away—perhaps not within a dozen years, but this is my view of the future.”

A doctoral student responded, “In 2025, technology users will have different skills and tools than we have now. So, ‘while also offering individuals choices for protecting their personal information in easy-to-use formats’ needs to be based on technology skills possessed then, and technology tools available then, not now. We are already seeing generational differences in appreciation for privacy. Younger generations view privacy differently than older generations. In 2025, those perceptions and values will be different than today, although the 30-to-54-year-old technology users today will still be around in 2025 and will be in positions of greater influence than those born from 1980 to 2025. So, their preferences may determine policy, while the younger generation interprets and applies them in their own way.”

A digital producer with a major American news network wrote, “There will be a method that is popularly accepted, but privacy groups will keep a close eye and continue to bring up issues and problems with the system. The younger generation is generally more accepting to submitting and sharing personal content online. I think people will not even think twice about things like entering credit card info.”

The principal research scientist at a university-affiliated research and innovation center replied, “The combination of pervasive monitoring by government entities, and the outright monetization of users’ personal information by corporations, will make it infeasible for people to trust any infrastructure that is developed. Privacy will be eroded away by corporate (e.g., Facebook) and government (e.g., NSA) interests, and users in 2025 will be unaware of their lost rights.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “There is not much choice! Though, I would suggest that 2025 is too long to wait. It is something that should already be in the planning stages. But, it needs to be more than trusted, accepted, popular, etc. It needs to be well thought out and planned to be flexible and adaptable with both human oversight and heuristic flexibility.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “Based on recent incidents and policy developments, I think I am skeptical that policymakers and technology innovators will push for an information infrastructure that will protect the privacy of individuals. As it is right now, personal information has become a commodity of value or target for surveillance. Of course there will be activism for a better protection of individual privacy, but this will more likely occur outside the realm of policymakers and technological innovators. Considering the phenomenon seen in various social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), by 2025, privacy will be an exception of public norms. I am not saying I like it, but it seems to go to that direction.”

A manager for a worldwide nonprofit replied, “Privacy tends to be at odds with monetization, and policymakers will not do anything that makes it look like they are choosing between the two. That is, there is no political ‘win’ to be had here. There may be token gestures towards privacy regarding hyper-specific types and media of communication, but living in a land with broad protections for privacy is not in the best interests of the business world. There will be much less emphasis on privacy-qua-privacy—since everyone will essentially admit that privacy is impossible—and much more emphasis on litigating over abuses of the tools. That is, it may be possible for various groups and peoples to know exactly what you are doing at any given time, but it will be harder for them to use it against you without jumping through some legal hoops.”

A university professor wrote, “The technology and business fields are moving so quickly that, I suspect, policymakers will not be able to keep up. Further, many businesses do not want a ‘popularly accepted and trusted privacy-rights infrastructure.’ They would like to mine privacy details for advertising, profiling, etc. Many younger people will be less concerned. They will simply assume that if they write it online, or say it, or text it on a cell phone, that their personal details are out there to be mined by CIA, Google, and others”

A technology futurist, wrote, “There will still be too much divergence on what a privacy-rights infrastructure should include. And, the difference among individual, corporate, and governmental interests will not lend itself to one comprehensive solution. The growth of Internet of Things, personal sensors, and ‘really big’ data will create a new set of challenges, even as we are still struggling with the previous generation. The balance may be better and more accepted than it is today, but I doubt there will be a full-blown infrastructure that is robust. There will be more acceptance that users need to be savvy about privacy. This does mean a lowering of concern, but instead, more of an awareness and recognition that people need to self-monitor and not be shocked their data is being collected and used.”

A university professor replied, “There is not the technical understanding necessary to create the sense of efficacy that Americans need to push for these changes. Consumer tracking will become more robust as we develop an “Internet of Things” over the next 10 to 15 years. Consumers with high disposable incomes will continue to find significant advantages to letting themselves be tracked. Change might come about with the maturation of Generation D. Consumers may get smart and see their demographic and behavioral data as a good to be sold.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “It is possible that ‘respecting privacy’ will be considered an essential trait of information-based businesses so that they will feature that as an option. But because there is a direct correlation between identifying data about individuals in an information base, and the usefulness of that base, I expect the ‘respect’ shown privacy in the operation of the database will be limited. The optimistic answer is that public understanding of the erosion of privacy as a result of advances in technology will be greater—more realistic. The pessimistic answer is that, while advances in technology will continue to erode privacy, the debate in the public square about privacy will lag far behind the erosion, as now.”

A journalist, editor, and leader of an online news organization, wrote, “As noted here http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/10/9/nsa-surveillancesnowdenprivacydebate.html: The nature of privacy is too important to be determined by a small group of experts behind closed doors. This is the kind of debate that comes around only once in a generation and is possibly even unique to this moment in history as our analog world transitions to a digital one. The future of this debate depends on how the national press responds. There will be a lot less privacy, but there will be clear lines between the larger public space and the small but crucial private space.”

A leader at the Network Information Center in Mexico wrote, “Governments are really scared about Internet liberties; they will try everything they can to prevent them to spread arguing it is a matter of national security. Privacy will exist in the government-data context.”

A professor of communication and well-known researcher of Internet uses and users, replied, “Such standards seem likely to evolve over time, but they are essential to creating a stable context for conducting commerce or politics online. I suspect we will see an increasingly educated and privacy-sensitive public pushing back on some of today’s data mining practices. We are seeing a generation, which we have been told did not care about politics, get outraged over the NSA and rally in support of Wikileaks, and I suspect we will see even more back and forth over terms of service. Looking at this far-out, it is plausible that these negotiations will have resulted in something that is a more secure, more widely accepted and trusted, and more equitable system. Then again, I suspect this will always be a moving target. We are discovering that the generation that has come of age with digital media feels more strongly about privacy than some people have suggested. They draw the lines at different places. They have accepted some things as givens and found ways to work around them. But, they want tools that allow them to be self-aware about what privacy rights they are ceding, to whom, and under what conditions, and I see this ability to articulate those concerns as likely to continue to grow over the next decade.”

An anonymous respondent commented, “Unfortunately, nation states and commercial interests will ultimately have the reverse impact on the Internet. There will be no privacy online.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “I guess that policymakers will be able to establish common criteria to consolidate Internet access and use.”

An information science professional, and leader for a national association, wrote, “I do not have any confidence in Congress; however, the technology industry will likely be the driving force that puts together something. Privacy will become less of a priority for citizens. The general public will gradually become more accepting of sharing a variety of content and personal information online—just look to today’s teens for a cue.”

A professor of political science at the University of Louisville replied, “Recent NSA scandals and revelations reveal the extent to which privacy is already compromised. Political action is beset by partisan feuding, and thus, it is unlikely a common agreement can be reached.”

A futurist and Internet activist wrote, “We are at a reflection point now—people are making decisions about how they want their data governed and used, i.e., whether or not corporations and governments can use it to reach deep into our private lives and exploit our activities in different ways. Companies will be forced to clearly ask for the use of data. Governments will most likely have to do the same. We are going to see a backlash to ‘personalized,’ highly addictive data uses.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Business interests will prevail. The digitally native generations will receive proper privacy education in school and will be a lot more sensitive about the data they share online.”

A postdoctoral fellow and researcher in Informatics responded, “With the exception of small-scale countries (e.g., Scandinavian countries), I do not expect any major democratic government to be able to give up completely on their current surveillance apparatuses. I find it very likely that business, by 2025, will come up with a set of de-facto standards for privacy-enhanced Internet transactions—with all the problems related to having heterogeneous standards and the like. I expect some social norms to be different, but it is hard to guess which will change.”

The CEO of one of the largest US private foundations focused on the future of communications wrote, “There has been, and will continue to be, a tension between states and large corporate entities (including unions) that have the power to use information to control and private citizens. Privacy, as we have known it, is technically gone (I think it still exists only because government, corporations, and unions have not found a way to efficiently use the individual data they have), but we will evolve some middle ground, satisfactory to most, as we have in the past. People will believe that the benefits from public data outweigh the value of privacy—until it doesn’t. Big Brother is on the horizon.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “Such robust decision is not very probable—since it has to be based on consensus between political elites of very different states, economic actors, etc. Sure, it would be nice; however, it is difficult to predict. I focus on the issues of privacy in my research and what is visible is, first, that people are very capable to build and keep their privacy (or what they consider as privacy), and second, any particular prediction is weak and blind on one eye. So, to put it shortly: I do not expect ‘erosion’ of privacy, but I do expect its transformation.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “It is very, very difficult to predict what will be ‘overall…perception’ or ‘popularly accepted,’ particularly with no sense for the scope of the question—within one country (the United States?), one region (Europe? Asia? Etc.); however, it is entirely possible to build infrastructure in which people share what they want to share and for businesses to have both access to high-quality, voluntarily shared customer information and incentives to protect it. The hard part is in building social norms around consumers being able to operate on the Internet and still protect their privacy, but the backlash against forms of connectedness people do not want, like fraudulent access to their credit cards or unwanted interaction over social media, may turn out to be effective. The role of government policymakers to mediate, and to build shared frameworks across governments, is critical. The notion of privacy itself is so inherently Western and modern that it is hard to say how it will evolve, but it seems likely that people who today do not care about privacy—i.e., ‘I have nothing to hide’— will have rediscovered some of the reasons why it matters, particularly as regards to their personal and political lives. Admittedly, this is optimistic of me.”

An information science professional wrote, “As pressure continues to monetize information and intellectual property, and as more of this is housed online, I believe there will continue to be a split between those who believe sharing is gaining on its own merits, rather than from financial benefit. While personal information can be seen as having a value, there will continue to be proprietary motivations to collect and restrict access to what is ‘owned.’ The public will believe that giving up privacy allows them to participate in society in ways they cannot if they are restrictive, but I believe there will be a strong movement of those who reject that notion and caution that this will lead to large scale abuse by government and corporations. There will probably be several high-profile examples of abuse to substantiate these fears.”

A self-employed digital communications consultant wrote, “The pendulum has swung too far to the advantage of business innovation and monetization for us to also offer individuals across the board, enforceable and easy-to-understand privacy limits. As far as Facebook is concerned, the cat is out of the bag, and it ain’t getting back in anytime soon. By the time people really understand how much data has been captured by Google, Facebook, et al (with their permission), it will be too late to ‘take it all back.’ People will have to accept that they are going to have to live in a more transparent, riskier digital environment, where they will likely need to pay to have their data locked down. The norm will be assumption that less information is, in general, ‘private.’ Businesses will have to accept that their employees have personal lives and that data is available about those lives. They will not be able to turn away or fire every employee who wrote a stupid tweet or posted an embarrassing Facebook picture because everyone will have done that (including the people making hiring decisions).”

The CEO of a consultancy dealing with top-level Internet domains responded, “This is possible if criminal activity is targeted with success, while others users and their activity and personal data are kept safe without governments overseeing the daily activity of users without justified cause. Users will have a greater understanding of what personal information they are giving away and be able to have greater control over who has their information. Companies will not just be able to gather it and sell it without expressed consent of users.”

A professor of education at a major US research university wrote, “The public will vote with its feet, and in the United States, at least, will demand that elected officials create policies about privacy. This will occur gradually, as people become more aware of the mechanisms that protect privacy or not and the implications of maintaining privacy, or not.”

The principal engineer for an Internet-of-Things-development company replied, “Governments will most likely still overtly and/or covertly collect personal information, and this will negatively influence user behavior. There will also probably be continued failures by commercial companies to properly protect user information (for example, theft of online credit card information).”

A behavioral researcher specializing in design in voting and elections wrote, “The year 2025 is 11 years away and three presidents away. Things will get worse before they get better on this subject. I do not believe that most lawmakers understand the privacy and security issues of the Internet right now. And, they are studiously ignoring those issues, probably because the issues are complex. But, there will be some crisis that will bring the issues to major attention. Candidates will start campaigning based on these topics sometime in the next six or eight years, but voters will lag in their understanding, too. By 2025, policymakers and corporations will just begin to meet at a table where they are using a shared vocabulary. Whatever the crisis is, they will have shared in it; they will feel panicked about it, and thus, will be forced to work together on it. Health information, especially, will go through a couple of scary disasters as corporations and policymakers figure out where all the lines should be. It will take at least 10 years for the insurance industry to adjust to electronic health records and learn to manage new and different relationships with patients and government. Privacy is very complicated now. I do not think it will get less complicated. Right now, there is a tension between corporations mining personal data to sell things to consumers and what consumers understand about how their data is being used. Two things will happen: consumers will stop trusting their data on corporate websites, and corporations will stop buying advertising space on websites. Selling advertising space on websites is not effective. Advertisers will soon demand more measurable results that sellers of space will not be able to provide. The advertising industry will fall apart. But, something else will crop up in its place. I do not know what that will be. One possible scenario is that users of the Internet will have gone through some crisis equivalent to the occupations of World War II (the way information that was on file was used against Europeans in WWII formed the privacy policies that are in place in the European Union now). Americans do not get it because they have not experienced that. And, Americans drive a lot of behavior and social norms on the Internet.”

A senior administrator replied, “With the recent excitement over the NSA leaks and the Target credit card issue, there may be increased emphasis on privacy and security in order to increase trust in financial systems, business systems, and even personal communications. In the broader social context, we are seeing that younger users of the Internet, and services such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, do not seem to care as much about privacy. They, very frequently, are used to giving away information about themselves in social media apps. It is just the cost of participating. It is ironic to me that we are up in arms about the NSA phone tapping but give away all sorts of information about ourselves freely on social media sites and Amazon and Google. The metadata mining and algorithms used on such sites are much more revealing about personal information than listening in on a phone conversation. Perhaps there will be a public and private Internet?”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “No matter what security measures are developed, there will always be someone out there who can break those measures. The real question is, ‘How do we educate and influence the general public on protecting their personal information so that the public maintains a level of trust in the ever-evolving online security issues?’ There will be entire generations of people who have never had an entirely offline identity. This will lead to more acceptance and, possibly, less of a need for separate analog and digital identities.”

A technology risk and cybersecurity expert for a US-based financial services association responded, “This is where ‘big data’ comes into play. With more data and the ability to analyze it, individuals and organizations will come up with new products that could help anticipate when customers want or need things, better manage risks (i.e., ‘black swan’ events), or protect society from those that might want to do us harm. I do not know what these specific products will be, but I am confident that this will be an area of innovation. Unfortunately, the prevailing business model favors ones that rely on advertising. Also, consumers typically are unwilling to pay for security and privacy. They may punish companies that do not protect their security and privacy, but they rarely pay for these services as a condition of using them. Privacy is so complex and dependent on the context. I anticipate a growing portion of the population will demand greater privacy protections from both companies that use private information for financial gain, as well as from governments that monitor networks and devices for national security purposes. Also, as more sensitive data moves online, such as medical information, this will be a catalyst for more protections.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “Terms of service are more confusing and convoluted than ever, and it is widely accepted both that few, if any, of us read them, and few if any, of us think it a prerequisite that we truly understand the privacy mechanisms of the content we share and the services we use. Trust worries us, but it does not appear to stop us from using technologies that have become so essential to our lives. I am not sure how we jump that hurdle. It would need to be a combination of regulation, policymaking, personal responsibility, and corporate accountability. It feels far away and in need of a catalyst I do not yet see coming. The NSA surveillance disclosures may give a boost, but they might also slow us down, making us sigh in the face of tough questions. There will be a more fully formed social etiquette around what is posted, by whom, and how and where. Today, we ask the questions: Do you post pictures of your friends’ kids? Do you let your 12-year-old get a Facebook account before it is above board? Do you have one account for everything, or one for personal and another for work? In 2025, we will not have to.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “Recent events involving NSA surveillance will drive changes to both public and private information. There will be more unobtrusive ways to gauge customer behaviors and to monetize experience.”

A program manager for an international nonprofit that promotes access to electronic resources in developing and transition countries replied, “During the next decade, and more, we will see the concepts of security, liberty, and privacy online transforming; therefore, the public debate on what is secure online, and what is private, what is acceptable or not, will continue to attract attention of many. I have no doubt there will be new cases of violations of personal privacy, risks to personal data, and system security, surveillance threats, and accidental or intended from a side of government and business in pursuit of innovations and success. All this will likely change (correlate) personal behavior online, simply because of longer history online and more experience and better awareness of threats. At the same time, there must be technical solutions available of digital watchdogs of personal online security and privacy. It is obvious that society will arrive at some kind of contract on ‘bad-taste’ behavior online and offline in relation to private data available online.”

A university professor based in Australia wrote, “Considering the developments led by political and commercial sectors so far, I have little to no hope that they will change their positions to start considering personal privacy and related rights. A lot more personal and private information will be available online, and the struggles to fight to regain people’s rights and privacy will intensify.”

An employee of the Network Information Center wrote, “Citizens will eventually have the ability to track where and how their personal data is being used; it will be the inverse of ‘Big Brother,’ in that the end user will be watching those who want to consume data. Have no idea how this will be managed—perhaps by some form of data tagging that tracks every touch of someone’s PII in any environment? I am thinking there will be fewer components of privacy that people will be as concerned about in 2025, simply because the generation that lives its life in public view via social media will be in leadership positions worldwide. As a result, there will not be as many data components that people will perceive as requiring privacy.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “Policymakers have no incentive to create affordable, secure systems for a broad public. The kind of privacy needed by individuals differs massively from the ones in (large) corporations. As an individual protecting your own information, you would try to trust as few people as possible, whereas corporate trust is a lot more flexible and governed by law in a way that makes it possible to deal with breaches with lawyers.”

An analyst at a US think tank observed, “I do not think the incentives are there for the creation of any kind of rigorous coherent framework.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “Privacy will not be considered as sacred as it is in 2013. Certain aspects of individuals’ personal identification concerning health and genetic information will be better secured than now. For business transactions, numerals will not be as necessary as personal identification because of the widespread use and acceptance of biological identifiers for access to account information. But, ‘invasion of privacy’ will not be an extensive fear. For example, communications, pictures, music tastes, and other indications of preferences, will not be considered ‘private.’ They already are not so much considered ‘private’ by many users of social media.”

A professor at a university in New York responded, “It will be difficult to create a totally secure or popularly accepted infrastructure, because the dynamic nature of the Internet (always growing and always changing). I do not think privacy norms will change much between now and 2025.”

A professor emeritus of political science wrote, “People will assume that policymakers and corporations are lying about privacy guarantees. People still will not want their faces to be connected to selfies of other body parts.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “I suspect that, despite our desire for privacy, we will never reach a place where the information we communicate via the Internet is truly private. The government has always kept tabs on us, and corporations are too powerful to let the information go. I would love to see a more private future, but I fear that we will actually lose privacy by 2025. There may be improvements in security—such as transmittal of account information—but what we say and do on the Internet will not be kept private. I think that there will be even more over-sharing of private information in 2025 than there is now. It will likely take even longer to shift the norms back to a place where people want to keep their information private. As the generation that is used to publishing everything on the Internet now (tweens to twenty-somethings) become the generation in power, either they will continue policies that support their very public lives, or they will have finally seen some consequences for their actions, and they will put policies in place that protect privacy and shift social norms back to keeping their business to themselves. I fear that they will do the former and not the latter!”

An anonymous survey participant responded, “There will always be a tradeoff between privacy and monetization; the question will be how much users value anonymity. Privacy (and to a lesser degree, identity) will be placed on a sliding scale—I am willing to trade some privacy for some customization, services, and features. By 2025, no one will expect privacy in a public place—it will be considered old-fashioned to even think that way.”

An anonymous survey participant wrote, “There is no privacy!”

A researcher and academic replied, “As more consumers become aware of the significance of their own data contributing to the overall big data monitoring and market research tracking, this information will come back to the public in ways that enhances the public’s capacity to utilize their own data, as well as that of others. We will become more aware of personal data as a form of an ‘ID’ marker, similar to a social security number, and that ‘stripping’ will become more commonplace—or, that data will be provided at a block or census-tract level to maintain confidentiality.

An anonymous respondent replied, “Secret government activities and bad guys will always be a step ahead.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “Twelve years is a long time, but looking in comparison with mobile phone technology, it will always be a game of cat and mouse, particularly in regards to legislation. The phone hacking scandals of NoTW are an example of technology being abused and there being a long process to catch it. I do believe that the future will be about individuals knowing how to protect themselves, much as people are more carefully about other telecoms communication. People will be, generally, far more educated on their options and finding ways to manage them, even if it does not come from governmental guidance.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “The trend I am seeing is toward conservativism in the political arena, and it scares me. As a sociologist who pays attention to what is happening in social media, I am appalled at the reckless forwarding of ‘junk’ messages, cruelty toward others (not only that which is afforded by anonymity, but I see it carrying over into how people interact with their own friends and family members), and blind re-posting of information that seems to move us further toward some new version of the dark ages, where education, intelligence, critical thinking, and privacy are not valued. In such an environment, I find it hard to imagine a balance between privacy and secure data ever being accomplished. If the trend I am observing is real (and not just my imagination and paranoia), I think, by 2025, we will be told by politicians and corporations that privacy is an extravagance that we can no longer afford, in order to provide protection from theft, terrorism, etc. The tendency of our youth to recklessly post anything and everything on the Internet, ignoring our pleas to pay attention to safety, seems to go hand-in-hand with that, and I can see the two trends supporting one another. In other words, public norms about privacy will be that it is no longer an expectation.”

An educational technology consultant responded, “There is always a push-pull between openness and security. I do not see things changing by 2025. There will be different apps, programs, and ways of doing business, but there will still be the same issues.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “I do not think there is a choice. Given the recent revelations about the NSA, it seems that there is no alternative to developing such an infrastructure if the Internet is going to continue to be accepted and widely used. They have already changed, and will continue to do so, but I think there will be a swing back to emphasizing the importance of privacy in personal matters.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “Privacy is important, considering the hacking and theft of personal information of citizens who expect security. In contrast, public privacy will, and should, be safe and secure by 2025. It will take time to improve privacy.”

An independent scholar replied, “European policymakers and American policymakers are totally different in terms of the policies they pursue. Businesses are about getting information; people might not want that. You have set up stakeholders with different agendas in the question. We will really realize we do not have any. The entire advertising sector is based on this, as is the NSA.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “Policymakers will do what they always do. They will hold meetings, conduct investigations, and show false outrage. There is too much money to be made by data miners and marketers. People will continue to share more and more personal information, little realizing or caring how their data is being harvested and used.”

A survey research professional at a university based in Ohio responded, “They will never outpace the hackers. They will have grown to accept privacy breaches as ‘routine.’”

A data specialist for a public opinion research company wrote, “Technology looks to be progressing down a path which offers more media integration and less privacy. Aggregated search histories already allow companies to build a personal advertising ‘profile’ for users, and online business is evolving with this as an accepted norm. To preserve privacy, businesses would need to go backward to go forward, so to speak. This seems ever unlikely the more integrated business and social media become. Additionally, there will always be computer hackers, who will gain access to private user data. The more information individuals store online, the more risk there is that this information will be accessed and abused.”

A self-employed survey researcher, statistical analyst, and research professor at the University of California-Berkeley, replied, “I want to say: ‘Maybe.’ It depends on all kinds of things, not the least of which is who is in control of Congress and the White house. If it is Republicans who are in control, then, ‘No.’ If Democrats are in control, then, ‘Maybe.’ Have you done a qualitative interview to design this survey? These are not easy survey questions, and I am not sure they are even survey questions. That said, when you consider how much skin can be shown on television, the language used, and other cultural trends, I would assume that people will understand that in an electronic world, people will know a lot about them.”

A knowledge expert, and consultant, based in Australia, commented, “I am unsure that we will have just one privacy rights infrastructure (as the question implies). We will probably have multiple infrastructures—not least because there will continue to be different political structures with different privacy requirements (i.e., privacy rights of the citizen versus the state play out different in the United States versus China). That said, I think the commercial imperatives behind getting workable privacy rights infrastructures in place will be compelling. They will not be perfect, but they will be there. What we have seen in the last decade are consumers willing to trade their privacy for services (e.g., search, social networking) and to expose their private lives in new ways (e.g., selfies, tweets, and Facebook posts). Norms around what is and what should be private are shifting, and they will continue to do so. The big question is whether the majority of consumers and citizens will get more sophisticated in their understanding of this. I like to think they will. The other point to make is that there may be similar shifts in different cultures but that they will play out differently.”

A CEO wrote, “There are already indications to that; the US court held that tapping into private lines are unlawful. Countries will learn this, and thus, it portends greater online privacy in all capacities. At this time, the Internet of Things would have being well entrenched, so it is expected.”

A professor at a university in Texas replied, “Most people today do not guard their privacy, nor do they expect it. I suspect little change by 2025. The Internet is too vast for ‘policymakers’ to control. Some commercial organizations and governments may find ways of improving security for their own uses, but nothing is impenetrable. There has been little public backlash to the latest NSA revelations.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “While policy and technology innovators will keep trying to create a secure infrastructure, the ‘bad guys’ will always find a way to beat them. Perhaps, someone will figure out that you cannot both post personal information on the Internet and expect privacy on the Internet.”

An anonymous respondent commented, “I cannot imagine that it will be that different from today. People use the Internet without much concern for privacy. They buy goods, upload pictures, and send private messages.”

An analyst for a central government institution in Chile responded, “Policymakers are not interested in offering individuals choices for protecting their personal information. Once they had tasted that, actually, they can know private information they will, no matter their public statements, try to continue to have access to that information. If there is a popularly accepted and trusted privacy-rights infrastructure, it will not become reality due to policymakers (and, if is there is such infrastructure there will be actors interested in breaking it). People will become used to the fact that that their private information is used by others; they, after all, currently offer it for convenience. But it is likely that they will be more focused-in if that information is used against them. Harm due to use of private information could still be under suspicion, at the very least.”

A professor at a state university in California commented, “No matter what system is developed, individuals will figure out way around the security. There will be less concern about privacy because people will just assume they are being monitored.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “I am not sure what the reality will be in 2025. My answer rather reflects my wishful thinking about privacy and secure data. Because people in developed countries now have more choices in their everyday life and easier access to information online, public norms about privacy may be shaped by people’s perception of choice and autonomy over their personal information.”

A social scientist at a North American university replied, “There will be too much institutional motivation by governments and the private sector to compile information, and it will be too easy to do it.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “The situation is constantly changing and highly complex, so it seems very unlikely there will be a really sound infrastructure of the type you describe within this time frame, or even longer. An equally important question is how public norms about public space will be different. I hope that receives more attention.”

A principal sampling statistician at the American Institutes for Research replied, “There will be a continual battle between security and intelligence, similar to the battle between virus makers and virus blockers. I think there will be increased protection against unauthorized distribution of someone’s photograph or private writing. But, purchasing habits will be increasingly public.”

An anonymous survey participant responded, “Right now, from NSA revelations, there is a growing popular movement toward this. Besides, this has been an ongoing concern since the emergence of e-commerce. Getting it done may be another question, but if there is sustained public demand for it, it will happen. Also, it will make now-hesitant people engage more in the Internet. I think 2025 is too far off, though. What is private is shifting. Absolute privacy from social interactions has gone away, as any movement we make can be captured by a phone or security camera. Still, there will be some demands for privacy, and maybe, a counter-movement in innovation to make things more private than they are now. Though, mostly, we will be accepting more intrusions into everyday life.”

An anonymous respondent commented, “There will be rules, regulations, and ways of proving and protecting identity online in the not-so-distant future. The [proposal for a National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace] NISTIC is a foreshadowing of this. The norms about privacy will change. Things that are private now (e.g., income) may not be seen as private, and some things that are not considered private now may be private.”

A researcher at the Polytechnic University of Portugal commented, “More and more people are concerned about privacy. With recent NSA scandal, people are not too trustful of surrounding their data in exchange for free access to Cloud services. As with every major change in human history, someone will propose a mixture of security-driven and privacy protection solution, to better accommodate people and governments needs. As with alcohol and smoking, people will become more aware if the effects of public exposure and privacy. As such, beyond a more clear set of privacy protection laws and enforcement, people will also be more auto-regulating their usage of social media, and public exposure.”

An anonymous respondent proposed, “I have a vision for an open-source Human API that could be created as a protective layer/filter around each individual, to control (or at least, monitor and control opt-ins for) information going to the individual from outside ‘systems’ and information going from the individual to outside systems. I say ‘open source’ because I am worried about the implications of having all the control over data pertinent to an individual aggregated—it would be a sweet hack target, of course. In the wrong hands, it would put individuals at risk. I hope that an open-source model would allow smart people worldwide, working together, to protect the Human API from incursions by any one hacker, hacker group, government, or corporation. This system assumes and supports the idea that control over the data regarding an individual should—for the most part—reside with that individual. We would need to think through cases such as parental/custodial control, law enforcement and public safety, and so forth. I hope that some corporations and institutions would sign-on—opt-in—to supporting the Human API, and help with its creation in a collaborative effort. I propose that the use of user-centered interface design techniques such as personas, scenarios, user stories, and wireframes would form the basis of extremely rich discussions about this topic. A possible outcome of the discovery/design phase would be individuals would be safer if all this data were not aggregated/brokered in any one location. But, what a great thing to discover! If not this, then, what? The access to, and fate of data from and about, individuals is currently being decided on an ad-hoc basis by every service, government, provider, and individual. I am keen to be a part of figuring out a way forward and have a plan for that discovery phase. I hope that we will have a Human API or similar privacy/data management tools in place that are understandable to most people. I worry that there will not be such a ‘user-friendly dashboard’ for such individual control, and that services, publishers, corporations, and governments will decide these issues. I hope that we will have services that allow each individual to control who sees what about us, written or published by us—in a nice, understandable ‘users and groups’ model. I worry that people will continue to be complacent about giving up freedoms (where we enjoy them) in the name of security. I hope that individuals worldwide will become more informed and savvy about the value of their data and content, more careful about what they share with whom.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “The consistent, regular breaches in personal and financial data, and government monitoring of the communication of citizens, has put a spotlight on the issue of security, liberty, and privacy online. While government and corporations move slowly, the importance of these issues has started to infiltrate the mainstream population and has created an opportunity for innovators to make meaningful change to improve the protection of personal information. Looking at the online behaviors of those in their teens and early twenties, there appears to be a heightened willingness to expose personal data online with out a great understanding of the possible implications. My hope is that there will be a greater understanding of the implications of putting so much personal data online.”

A PhD, and active scholar of online communities, replied, “The Internet will continue to be policed and tracked. With the increasing role of corporations in our policies, economics, and behaviors, everything will be about tracking us and getting our money in some way or another. We will never have the same level of privacy that we did in the 1990s and before. Data may be more secure, but that does not make it private. The public will alter its views as to what ‘private’ is. Private will no longer mean that no one knows who you are and what you are doing at all times. Private will mean that the data about that is ‘safe’ in the hands of whatever company or organization collected that information, so they can do ‘market research’ on us.”

A research scientist at the University of New Hampshire wrote, “Policymakers will mess this up. People will accept government oversight and observation, more than now.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “The Internet does not have a history of being well regulated; it is an international structure that makes it hard to regulate it in ways that will be sensitive to different levels of privacy concerns in different countries. We are already becoming more accustomed to having less privacy. That will continue.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “There is a general sense among many in industries and governments that commercial actors will build into their technologies’ and platforms’ mechanisms that allow individuals to make independent decisions about the protections of their own information. There is a strong incentive in the United States to download decisions about personal privacy onto the individual. At the same time, as opportunities for privacy are created, the incentives for disclosure continue to rise. It is unlikely, therefore, that we will experience a dramatic shift toward personal privacy in the near future. I hope norms will change to reflect the reality that more information about individuals is going to be public. This would include a greater tendency toward forgiveness of transgressions as well as a culture of openness around asking individuals about the information that appears about them online. It is hard to imagine that norms are going to shift away from disclosure in the next decade.”

A professor in a school of informatics and computing at a major university in Indiana responded, “Policymakers are historically slow to respond to the technological changes being developed. They are just now seeing how important this issue is, but I doubt they will have in place such a policy in just over 10 years. It is hard to imagine. We are increasingly conceding our right to privacy. I do not see the direction of that move changing. It is what it is—and consumers/publics have accepted the need to give up privacy in exchange for what they will get in return.”

A professor and center director at a major university in the United Kingdom wrote, “This will be a necessity, but only by 2025—not in the short term. People will expect more control over their privacy.”

A researcher at the University of St. Gallen replied, “Despite very powerful players in that field (Google, Facebook, LinkedIn), the public pressure will rise to a level where Internet companies and states alike will need to change their stance on privacy issues—and provide more flexible, contextual options for users to protect themselves against privacy breaches. International institutions, such as the European Union, combined with civic players, such as NGOs, and science will increase people’s knowledge on privacy-related issues online. There will be binding regulation on data collection and re-use and privacy statements will be easier to read and evaluate. All the parties will eventually have to collaborate to come to a satisfying solution. People will still care about privacy but their privacy perceptions and attitudes will be different. Many people will have reached more flexible and fluid privacy attitudes—and they will be better able to protect themselves online. Since online and offline merge more and more, many users will be very pragmatic about their privacy.”

A professor at The New School, based in New York City, commented, “A major issue is the global nature of the Internet and subsequent difficulty enacting trans-national policies and procedures. Certain aspects of what constitutes privacy will disappear as they already have in a world of Facebook, Instagram, and soon, Google Glass. People will trade off perceived gains for what once was assumed to be private matters.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “It is not necessarily that government and corporations will ‘get it right.’ It is that the coming generation of consumers is less concerned about and protective of their personal information and data. They are more willing to yield access to personal information in return for more convenience in their lives. “

An information science professional, based in Connecticut, wrote, “As quickly as we make something secure, someone has the ability to breach security. We send out our information at our own risk, hoping the security on that particular site will not get hit. Today’s youth don’t think about privacy. Unless something catastrophic happens, public norms will be less strict than they are now.”

A social sciences PhD, in a research training group at university, responded, “This is all too complicated; policymakers have not realized how important this issue is quite yet.”

An academic researcher exploring the Internet and society commented, “Why not add on an end to war, poverty, and hunger to the above list? They are all just as achievable. The year 2025 is likely to be similar to today: contested.”

A research analyst with a survey research firm replied, “The public, government, and corporations will eitherreach some sort of loose consensus that privacy on the Internet is a luxury of the past, or too difficult to ensure, or there will be some sort of effort to bring the Internet under the jurisdiction of a regulatory board or governing body, which will essentially undermine privacy and make the concept obsolete. Essentially, in the future, the Internet will not even be associated with privacy. Privacy will be an antiquated, obsolete concept. The most privacy people can expect in the near future is the privacy of the thoughts in their head.”

A usability engineer wrote, “As long as there is money to be made with data collected from the Web, it will be difficult to ensure a privacy-rights infrastructure. They may move closer in that direction, probably after the fact when illegal activities impact large numbers of people. In general, people will be more accepting of less privacy as the younger generations age and older people pass on. We will become more accustomed to that.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “I worry about the privacy of children in the future.”

A lecturer at a university replied, “The policymakers are not able to control the future developments to any extent. The location-based services that are aware of the current mobile user’s context, contacts, needs, and interests are found useful by many companies and their customers alike. Unfortunately, the information streams cannot be controlled by policymakers without disabling much of the functionality. Each new generation grows old in a networked world in which distances between people have vanished. Some of the new generation does not value privacy any more in the same way their parents did.”

An associate professor of IT management responded, “We are making progress. At least we know (or have the ability to know) what is being used now, and we either actively or passively choose to ignore that ‘privacy’ loss. Making our control more granular will not help—most of us will not do it. The key will be to make sure folks can know, in human-readable terms, what they are agreeing to. And it will require organizations making the investment in security to prevent wholesale breaches from the outside, and individuals making the effort to protect themselves. We will be even less concerned about the things we share, but more concerned about how, with whom, and by whom it is shared.”

A professor at the University of South Carolina wrote, “Policymakers do not have the technological competence to create this infrastructure, and commercial enterprises do not have the motivation. People will be less concerned with sharing private information.”

An anonymous survey participant responded, “One would anticipate that the a wide spectrum of the public from both the right and the left will be offended by the loss of privacy to both government and private sectors. So, something will need to be done. But, what is likely to occur is more of a facade of privacy than a serious revision of access to personal information. In the case of government(s), there will be an argument about security or stability. In the case of private data mining companies, there will be arguments that profit is necessary for maintaining the Internet as we see it today and that the loss of privacy is a concomitant price of its convenience. Powerful forces are arrayed against individual privacy. The individual will lose, except in some amorphous and largely symbolic gesture of having gained a measure of protection. (So you wish your medical records to be private? Surely, but I am sorry, that does mean we cannot admit you to the hospital. You will have to volitionally sign away your rights so that you can have access to health care. You do have a choice, however.) Curiously, there may be a tendency to both increased privacy and an acceptance of public access. Think of the public portion of this as the capacity to invent oneself as one wishes others to see oneself. (The old cartoon line, ‘On the Internet, no one can tell that you are a dog,’ comes to mind.) Presumably, this would be a record of characteristics, history, and thoughts, which would be more or less accessible and more or less accurate, even if only superficially so. On the other hand, one might then hide one’s private self in layers of secrecy. Except, perhaps, for the most recent generation, this was likely always the case, and we had learned never to put in an email what we would not say in public. That habit will need to be relearned. Is that type of bifurcation of life possible? Not perfectly, of course, but consider late nineteenth century, upper middle class European mores, where one had a very rigid public representation and, often, a scandalous private life in parallel. Actually, are we not already on this path? Reflect on the actions of Anthony Weiner. One wonders whether the issue which condemned him was the tendency toward kinky sex (exposing oneself as a form of auto-arousal) or the fact that he sexted these actions. The latter appears to be the more serious offense, at least in the minds of the public, which drummed him out of office.”

An associate professor at the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign wrote, “Capitalism will interfere with a trusted privacy-rights infrastructure. There is also the issue of privacy infrastructure related to social media sites, where only select information can be hidden. We live in a gossip society, and gossip sells. Let us consider that about eight years ago an individual could locate information for free; now, you have to pay for the information. Information about individuals is available and not private—all you have to do is pay sites to gain access. This situation will only worsen over time. Organizations will be able to purchase information about habits, behaviors, spending, etc.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Consumers will have not sufficiently mobilized to prevent business and commercial interests from dominating people and will assume that the default is that they have no privacy.”

A lecturer and researcher at a public university in Australia wrote, “Since the beginning of my use of the Internet in 1995, I have only seen a trend that takes away privacy and increases surveillance. With each new security measure introduced, those who might benefit from access to information about individuals, even aggregated information supposedly anonymised, find ways of using that information for their own purposes. It benefits those who profit from the collection and use of such information to maintain that security measures are being developed, that users can opt-out, and that personal privacy is protected; however, from what I can observe, none of this makes a difference to the collectors. In general, it is merely a narrative, not what is actuality. Profit is generally the motive, if not control. I believe we will be living in a virtual panopticon in just over 10 years time, and that many of the science-fiction stories that are produced on this topic are not so very far from the reality. This is difficult to gauge—I am of an older generation, one who is used to not being surveilled and who values being able to carry out my life without supervision or someone looking over my shoulder. At the same time, the Internet is essential to my life and it is part of wider society now—so there is no escaping that. Even if one were to reject the use of the Internet for personal use, including mobile technology, one is still forced to carry out many transactions, which are interconnected. I need some form of identification to open bank accounts, get a telephone, and even send mail overseas. Then there are the ubiquitous CCTV devices on buildings and poles everywhere one walks or drives. In such a context, in order to participate without going mad, one needs to accept that surveillance is part of life, and that hence, privacy suffers. I note that young people do not seem as concerned about privacy on the Net, and indeed many of them actively seek ‘fame’ via the Internet.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Security, liberty, and privacy are different but interrelated. For example, the NSA and, perhaps, GCHQ have compromised the security of personal information by back doors, which infringe on personal privacy, but this is done in the name of some ill-defined ‘national security.’ Your question assumes that security, etc., will be enacted by policymakers and technology innovators, but there are many other actors—advocacy groups, service providers, large e-commerce companies, Google/Amazon/Facebook/Twitter, secret services, security officers in companies and consultancies, and individual Internet users, who are also very much involved. There will be ongoing tension between these groups, and I expect media panics and strategic games, which could rapidly change public perception and, with it, the actions of policymakers. Ultimately, the needs of commerce and government are likely to over-ride other forces, which is why a near-universal and much expanded Internet will predominate and will have at least minimal public trust, sufficient for individuals to make the trade-off between convenience and privacy. I doubt that individuals will have control over their personal information in any depth; at best, an in-out choice will be offered, with the default being opt-in.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “I do not believe the system will be fail-safe by any means, but the interests of consumers to have both privacy and easy access to products designed with them in mind will be balanced by innovation. Similarly, I think the advantages of ‘big data’ will be balanced by innovations around sharing data more effectively without leaving windows open to have personal information misused. People will become more aware of the degree to which we have given up our own privacy in favor of easy access to customized products, and this will be balanced somewhat more. People will be less surprised by the access to our information that we have made available, as we all understand more how mobile applications work, and realize that we cannot have both customized applications and protected information. This speculation about the future will be generally true, but I think there will also be groups on both ends of the privacy-concerned spectrum whose voices continue to be raised.”

A PhD candidate replied, “This is thorny. People in business have a compelling reason to want to gather as much data as they can, while also wanting to protect their own digital footprints. The same can be said of politicians. I am hoping that stronger safeguards will be in place (although, I accept that hackers will always be able to break through some), and that the overall privacy affordances will be better. In terms of public perception, people will probably think that the right balance has been struck, but I believe that will be because of ignorance, i.e., under-education in the issues and mechanics. The technology innovators and privacy watchdogs will know that the infrastructure leaves something to be desired. People will expect total security and encryption in terms of financial transactions and protection of social security numbers, etc.; however, in terms of other identifying information, such as educational history, home address, press, photographs, comments on online fora, etc., all of that will be assumed to be within the public domain. Nothing is private except bank numbers.”

A postdoctoral researcher commented, “My impression is that the corporatization of the Internet has been going on for quite a while, and I expect the incumbents (Google, Facebook, et al.) to try and further shape the Internet according to their interests. Policymakers, on the other hand, seem to by and large have declared bankruptcy when it comes to shaping the net according to public interests. This is a very open question that is impossible to answer in a few sentences, so please forgive my reluctance.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “I just found out that my credit card information was stolen in the Target data breach. I do not think we have made nearly enough progress in the past 20 years. It is very difficult to prevent identity theft, to make corrections to your credit report, and to protect electronic transactions. If the progress made in the last 20 years in an indication of the next twelve years, I say we will not be in a secure, accepted, and trusted online environment. I think that people will protect their most important personal assets with something other than a social security number. People will need multiple numbers so that a breach will not cause their health, financial, and education information to be taken all together.”

A PhD candidate at the University of Oslo responded, “There still will be a conflict between policymakers’ and corporations’ needs versus personal privacy in 2025. Maybe we will see privacy for the privileged, who have either the economical or educational resources to manage their privacy?”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Out of necessity, our policymakers will need to develop an appropriate privacy-rights infrastructure, whether it is law-based (i.e., oversight of data companies like Google or Facebook) or technology-based (i.e., a national PKI system). I think privacy culture will evolve one of two ways. The first option is it will continue to become more and more ‘open’ (think Data Love), and people will not worry about privacy because everyone will know everything about everyone (least likely). The second option is there will be general cultural recoil from services like Google and Facebook and more awareness about what you share and keep truly private; however, I think this will be due to the value of information rather than the concept of privacy.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Some of this will be achieved to some extent, but it will be an evolving challenge; infrastructure will change with technology, and new problems will constantly arise. There is an inescapable demand to give individuals better-informed consent choices and control in a standardized way that will be widely used.”

An assistant professor at the London School of Economics wrote, “Clearly, these issues will remain contestable (as they were in the pre-Internet era). The notion of an agreed settlement does not really seem plausible. Certainly, there will be a shift in how individuals view their information and the types of trade offs they are willing to make to give it up. What is also interesting is the extent to which individuals will essentially be ‘coerced’ into giving up private data in order to access essentially services or participate in social activities.”

An anonymous respondent commented, “Trust will be the weak point here, and protections will not be fully satisfactory, though important progress will be made. People will understand better that there is not much privacy and start to come to grips with this.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Americans always will be suspicious of policymakers’ ability to protect privacy, and policymakers will always be behind the curve in address concerns. Norms will be similar. People will continue to expose themselves online either by doing business online or revealing private matters online and then of course complain about lack of privacy.”

An anonymous survey participant wrote, “I will admit to being somewhat naive or overly optimistic by nature, but I think privacy will once again be seen as important and necessary. Elegant solutions from socially responsible entities will replace the ad-hoc attempts at getting around perceived government surveillance. Curiosity is part of human nature. The more we can know, the more we will want to know. By 2025, our perception of what should be private and what should be public might be quite different. We now protect people’s medical privacy because of fear of discrimination. If, by 2025, it is beneficial to have one’s health conditions public than, perhaps, those laws will no longer be deemed necessary.”

An anonymous respondent based in Russia commented, “No, the only things that seem to matter to policymakers are revenues for private sector and peeking into everybody’s private life. I do not see any reason why this should change by 2025. It will protect citizen’s privacy even less.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “I picked ‘Yes’ because there is demand for this, and government, business, and innovators may rise to meet it; however, I do not want to exaggerate. Government will want access to information, legitimately and illegitimately, and they will get it in many ways. Private businesses will use their power to gain access to useful information. So, I do not think protection will be everything people want; it will be incomplete. Many people will value privacy much less than traditionally. There will be a strong cohort effect.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “I am certainly being optimistic. In Australia, metadata from mobile devices are already being sold. I hope policymakers hold onto the ideologies of security, liberty, and privacy online. I suspect it will require an active and vocal democratic process to ensure that happens, in addition to technology innovators maintaining a focus on collaborative strengths of openness. There will be a lot more people. There will be a lot more data. A lot more people will have greater access to more data. Perhaps we will not feel the need for privacy?”

An information science professional based in the Southwest United States wrote, “I feel that there will always be a certain amount of mistrust when it comes to providing personal information online. In 2025, people should expect much less privacy than they do now. I believe every aspect of our daily lives will be governed by some form of technology, and there will be very little expectation of privacy.”

An anonymous respondent commented, “I do not think public policy makers have sufficient interest in privacy to push back against corporate interests and national security paranoia.”

An anonymous respondent said, “Personal privacy and secure data does not exist today—and probably never did. There is always a digital trail for all of our data. People no longer read the terms of acceptance that you agree to when you download software. The terms will tell you up front that they will share information with a third party and that you cannot download or use their software unless you accept their terms. This applies to apps for smart phones and software for PCs. I think that generational attitudes toward privacy rights has a lot to do with the perception of how our personal information is protected. The sharing of personal information on Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media is one point. Before stricter security measures were put in place, pictures of drunken parties, rants about family, friends, coworkers, politics, etc., were freely posted for employers and others to see. I think that the anonymity of being online, and not face-to-face, allows people to post information that they would not share otherwise. Having read Sherry Turkle’s book, Alone Together, I can see how younger generations have greater expectations from technology to protect them than I do. When our own government has little or no compunction about sorting through our personal information, how can our expectation of security and personal privacy rights through digital infrastructure be truly safe? Policymakers and corporations do not have a track record that proves that, by 2025, they will be able to justify that their consumer tracking and analytics will be any less self-serving than they are now. Businesses, by their very nature, are out there to make money. There is not a program that is secure enough that it cannot be hacked by someone with enough motivation. The recent fiasco with Target comes to mind. Whether it is some bored teenager practicing their code work on malware or some government-based group hoping to disrupt financial or private corporations, at some point, any computer program can be hacked. I do not believe there is truly a secure infrastructure in place right now, and I do not think that will change by 2025.”

An executive director said, “Society is starting to wake up to the need to develop trusted infrastructure and reasonable privacy protections, and we will eventually cease being willing to trade these things for ‘free’ content, apps, etc. I expect efforts in this area to be led by the current generation of ‘oversharers,’ who will experience the backlash of their social media postings over the next decade as they move into positions of growing responsibility and importance. I expect the demand for privacy increase gradually over the next five years, and sometime around 2019 to 2020, we will start to see major pushes, as well as economic opportunities in this area.”

An anonymous survey participant responded, “We are heading for a 1984-scenario of total surveillance—a ‘digital Gestapo’ state. Our children are being brought up in a world where they are told that privacy does not matter. They are being indoctrinated to accept total surveillance in a manner not unlike the Hitler Youth or the PLO. Get them when they are young and impressionable, and they will accept the totalitarian state as they age. This is an unintended consequence of the Internet. It is not a matter of norms. It is a matter of liberty. By allowing this to become a discussion about norms, we are playing into the government’s hands. There are no natural reasons why the digital world should be any less private or protected than the analog world. That is a myth, a lie, being successfully sold to the masses so that we will give up our right to privacy and become a compliant, controlled, monitored populace. It goes hand-in-hand with ‘security.’ The government tells us we have to give up some rights in order to be safe. They sow fear and uncertainty and use the terrorist boogieman to claim more and greater powers over the public. We are heading in a very, very dangerous direction.”

An anonymous survey participant responded, “The notion of privacy will change a lot over the next years, and I do think that policymakers will manage to create regulations and contribute to an infrastructure that people will accept, if they actually think new thoughts on privacy, instead of trying to regulate the new reality with the old privacy regulations. People will be more open. Privacy will be defined in a new way, allowing more collection and analysis of data.”

An information science professional wrote, “It all depends how you want to define privacy. Keeping things private from whom? At present, governments and corporations have access and they will continue to do so, if not more; however, commerce will demand that transfer of information (e.g., account information) will be kept confidential. Given that young people spill their guts on social media without a blink, what was kept private in the 1950s, is not the norm now or in the future.”

A solutions consultant for a software provider to banks replied, “Information will continue to grow, and therefore, the risks to have privacy impacted will, too. To sustain innovation and commerce we will need a more robust security context. People will realize data about you will be everywhere. There will be fewer secrets.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Businesses and the government will continue to mine consumer data for all it is worth and will only admit to overstepping their bounds when they are caught. Most members of the public will continue to use only very basic privacy and security features. Privacy norms for the majority of the public will not be all that different from the norms of today. A small segment of the public—the segment that is already tech savvy and cautious about sharing personal information—will continue to closely guard personal data.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Data breaches are commonplace in 2013. Look at the Target retail store experience during December and the millions of customers who ‘thought’ their purchases by credit card, online, etc., were safe. Look at the Affordable Care Act website and the inept way it was rolled out. There truly is no safe way to guarantee one’s financial or personal privacy on the Internet, and I do not see that changing because our elected officials/policymakers are not subject matter experts on this issue—only reactionaries. Ask this question to the hackers, and they know the answer. In consideration of this question, I look at the views of my children, who participate in many online social media sites and have no fear of what they post and how it might affect them later. The generation (20 to 25 years old) have a much more liberal view of how online information can harm one’s professional or personal life. My children love that their posts/search queries remain private from ‘some’ individuals but certainly freely share otherwise. I hope this view will shift and become more conservative as they begin to have families and careers, but I do not see it happening any time soon. I think the public will soon become desensitized and accept a breach of privacy as an expected occurrence rather than a crisis.”

A market researcher responded, “In order to assure privacy, there has to be little data collection. Business trends and analytic capabilities are on a trajectory for even more data collection than ever before, and I do not think that can be throttled. The general public is only now becoming really aware of the amount of data that business has been collecting about them—and that includes information businesses have used for decision-making before the past 10 to 20 years. There will be two distinct camps—those who give up information in exchange for convenience, targeted marketing, etc., and those who are completely off the grid. This will have consequences in many areas of society.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “The public will no longer consider privacy an issue that is worth fighting for.”

A business professional observed, “By 2025, there will be more regulations and standardized policies in place to help increase data security. There will be requirements to allow individuals the right to decide the type of information that sites can collect. By 2025, people will accept that they give up their rights to privacy when they use the Internet.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “People will have greater awareness of the need to protect their own privacy and stop expecting the government or the businesses they frequent to do it.”

A freelance science and medical writer, and communications director for a state government agency, wrote, “I do not think improved privacy for individuals is a true concern for businesses, governments, or other large organizations. Individuals should make it a major concern and fight to protect their privacy, but the financial gains for businesses and hackers are too great. No data is secure, and consumers using the Internet are always, and will always, be at risk of losing private information. Those young individuals who now share everything on the Internet will start to learn lessons about the cost of losing their privacy as they become adults and apply for jobs, mortgages, or start to encounter health problems or have their bank/credit card information hacked. Privacy is losing its value.”

A nonprofit professional replied, “As the dishonesty with federal regulation grows, as will the distrust increase as the years progress.”

A new-media communications specialist commented, “I feel the public will demand this—that their legislators take action to preserve privacy. It is an issue I am concerned about, both in light of Mr. Snowden’s revelations, but also because of the tracking and data mining and profiling done by corporations and social networks. I feel full and prominent disclosure is warranted. I fear that the general public will grow to be accepting of these intrusions in exchange for feeling ‘safe.’ I worry about growing complacency. I feel we have given up tremendous liberties, but that being said, as these intrusions on our privacy become more publicized, I hope there will be a backlash against a Big Brother surveillance society. As a society, we will have a mixture of advancement and compromise, but I predict we will fully know about these in twelve years.”

A university-based professional wrote, “Given the current state of affairs, with respect to our political system, I doubt that the above can be accomplished by 2025, if at all, despite the recent reports of hacking and identity theft. If anything is to happen, it will come from the private sector, but there will be a cost associated with achieving such a goal. I think that there will be a simple acceptance of a greater degree of less individual privacy. I see an Orwellian taint to all that is happening.”

A director of marketing replied, “There is no choice. With everything moving online, it will be crucial for policymakers and developers to make sure they do their due diligence and make sure they create a safe environment online, where the general public feels confident about security. In fact, the more secure they make people feel, the better tracking and analytic data will be moving forward. I am a Generation X-er and know the current way Millennials view privacy in an online social context drastically differs from anything I have experienced or believe. I am not sure how this will affect our children; however, I would like to believe that parents will teach their kids what is appropriate and educate them about the dangers with being too forthcoming with their personal details.”

A senior project manager in software development replied, “We have already started down a slippery slope of privacy’s downfall on the Internet. Policymakers and law enforcers will continue to violate personal security via the Internet, and any laws established to protect Internet user’s privacy will be circumvented. I believe there is a large shift in public opinion about privacy just around the horizon. By 2025, blatant sharing of personal and location data via social media and other media outlets will have largely dissipated. Services that protect and value user privacy will flourish, while those with lax privacy policies will die out.”

A content marketer and writer wrote, “No, business interests will prevail. Where we are in 2025 depends on whether there is a big-enough privacy breach to make people understand the hazards of having sensitive information available to anybody.”

A state government advisor wrote, “We will be given two tracks—one, completely private, and another, which permits less privacy but permits the individual, as well as commercial entities to profit by giving up some privacy—but it will be the individuals choice to enter into this. The default will be total privacy. The individual should profit some by giving up some privacy—and it should be incremental as the individual sees fit, not a blanket intrusion. Intrusion into someone’s privacy will be seen as illegal as entering their bank account information and robbing them. It is the individual’s information and information is a financial resource.”

A specialist for a government organization wrote, “I definitely think that policymakers and corporations will find a way to make a lot of money off our personal data but they will not do it in a way that secures our privacy. Too much of our information has already been released and sold—you cannot put the toothpaste back in the tube. There will be services individuals can buy that will house their data—like the credit report companies now—but that information will be sold to their customers and people seeking that data. We have given up so much privacy that people will have forgotten about privacy—with red light cameras, video surveillance, card scanners, membership cards, street views—for convenience sake. There is just too much data and lack of privacy out there to roll it back.”

A research scientist for a major American media company replied, “Technology makers will try to implement privacy-rights infrastructure, and the government will continue to circumvent it.”

A retired senior analyst for the IT department of a major insurance company, wrote, “Privacy is presently not valued today, and the trend I perceive is against expenses for privacy. I fear a ‘glass human’ scenario. The year 2025 will not be very different, with indifference dominating.”

An information science professional wrote, “The recent revelations regarding the actions of the NSA have woken up many who have taken privacy for granted; I also think that the call for security is coming from consumers, interestingly enough. I do not believe issues surrounding liberty are considered very often. Privacy issues are certainly taken for granted now—people either over-share or are shocked that they are being monitored (as in the NSA situation). I believe (or, I would like to believe) that the general public will clamor for more secure methods of sharing with those they select.”

A brand-management professional wrote, “It is a necessity—government and business are too invasive. By 2025, without privacy and security, social media will decline.”

A director of planning, research, and evaluation replied, “I want to be clear that I answered this questions with respect to US policy. I also want to be clear that I am answering the question literally, as it was asked: ‘Will policy and technology innovators’? By my read, the use of the ‘and’ operator suggests some sort of cooperation or coordination between the policymakers and the private market with respect to online privacy. I do not see that happening in the next 10 years for a variety of reasons. The most important among them is the fact that there is already an established (and rapidly growing) industry for large-scale data gathering at the household and individual levels. Data vendors well versed in capturing and aggregating data have incredibly large and increasingly detailed household and person level databases that they continue to improve and sell to public and private entities. This information has quickly become an integral part of our business cycle decision-making. The private market drive in the coming years will be to get more detailed information that has even more spatial and time detail and longitudinal components that allow you to model consumption behavior with more precision and over the life course. I am not sure I can speculate. People of many different ages are already quite comfortable with sharing highly detailed relationships, locations, and financial information (to facilitate consumption) in a radically decentralized environment. The frontier may be sharing a lot more biometric data.”

An information science professional responded, “While I would like to believe this will happen, I am not sure there is the will or the economic drive to do so. People brought up within the current online environment have grown used to compromising privacy for ease of use, speed, and access. That is a hard pattern to shift. Privacy will have different iterations—personal, community, and country. It has those now, but I think they will be defined and people will describe privacy requirements differently in each.”

An anonymous survey participant wrote, “The major change will come from the individual privacy and security perception. What we call private and secure today will be irrelevant by 2025. Like your gender today, your DNA structure will be public. Policymakers, as always, will be 10 years late trying to protect your home address and your gender (if any).”

An anonymous survey participant said, “Security, liberty, and privacy online are the most important Internet challenges/problems, today. Those problems must be solved next years to assure Internet sustainability. There are many individual rights that are not being assured today, such as privacy and the right to the forgetting in Internet. So, it is important to develop a collective knowledge about individual rights in the Internet’s next years.”

A public affairs official for a US federal organization replied, “I am not sure the degree to which privacy exists today, let alone in 2025. Google and Amazon have owned my data for a long time already, and there is not a month that goes by that some major organization (Target, most recently) has a major data breach. In other words, today you have to assume that your personal data has been compromised, and you frequently check your credit report.”

An anonymous survey participant responded, “The justified concerns regarding privacy and individual rights (especially after the high-profile reports of stolen data and phone surveillance) must result in action by the government and other interested parties. I think that, perhaps, performing certain actions online will come with additional steps or restrictions, and companies will need to provide upfront information about the use they make of the data they collect. Currently, financial institutions must make their privacy policies freely available and sent to their clients. While sending copies of the privacy policies via mail, or even email, may be impossible in this instance, I believe that companies and the government will be forced to post such information in clear language and generally before the information can be collected. While some will find any accessibility to such tracking information and analytics unacceptable, I believe that it will continue to be a part of the online experience and must be taken into account. There will also continue to be compromised electronic records (inevitable, I am afraid) so that there will be a continued perception on the part of the public that the government and corporations are both not doing enough to protect their information and also collecting too much information about them. Privacy will be much less understood and expected in 2025. By that time, the normally acceptable behavior regarding the use of technological advances and their impact on the privacy of individuals will be much expanded, and there will be little expectation of privacy in any public area and, I suspect, in private situations.”

An anonymous survey participant responded, “There is already activity to do this, although there is also evidence that ‘hacking’ has occurred, and data has been compromised. I believe there is activity reacting to this that may help stop it, but I still believe that, where there is a will, there is a way to steal data. I already see that younger generations appear to be less concerned with privacy and are willing to post information ‘for all the world to see.’”

A marketing communications specialist wrote, “This will be based on a general ‘lowering of expectations’ by a large swathe of the population, users, and businesses with regards to privacy. Millennials, and those behind them, will be the major drivers for this and are more comfortable with broader social and public norms, a further loosening, if you will.”

An anonymous survey participant responded, “The key words are ‘public perception.’ Policymakers will work hard to implement certain protections for privacy, but it will be a hard sell to build trust from the general public. There will be some who do not want to think about it and will be the easier sells; however there will be a significant number of people who will seek out underground or third party security measures. Policymakers may even try to hack those technologies in order to improve their marketing position. The reality is that if you are on the grid, or surface on the grid at any point, it is recorded somewhere, somehow. Data mining technologies will become more sophisticated. People will make clear lifestyle choices regarding public versus private knowledge. Children’s privacy rights will become an increasingly heated issue, though I am not sure there will be sufficient policy in place by 2025 to fully balance liberty versus protection.”

A self-employed content creator and distributor wrote, “These issues are very personal and political. I cannot imagine a situation in which policymakers can ever arrive at a solution that will be perceived as correct and fair and that will be ‘popularly accepted and trusted.’ I believe there will be a solution, but it will be perceived differently by different people and organizations driven by ideological and highly politicized agendas. Most people are complacent about privacy. We like the benefits of the Internet, and unless reminded of what we give up to be connected, unless we are reminded of threats to our privacy—by individuals such as Edward Snowden or breaches of security such as the one Target card holders experienced over the holidays—we would rather have our benefits.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “If we do not have privacy assurances, the public will not be using the Internet to the same extent in the future.”

An anonymous survey participant responded, “The abuse of privacy on the Internet has been an ongoing problem since the Internet began. Even people like myself, who are enthusiastic Internet users, keep our fingers crossed every time we go online to our banks or to websites where we buy things. It is all a matter of hopefulness more than anything else. Our privacy is no more secure from the hackers and crackers and the worst snoops of them all—the government. People in the United States care more about the gossip targets like the Duck Dynasty people and the Kardashians. For these people, worrying about privacy means absolutely nothing.”

The editor-in-chief of an international digital trade journal responded, “Policymakers and tech innovators are going to have to find a balance between commerce, security, and privacy in all areas, but particularly, online. Rampant abuse of personal information by both government and industry—some in pursuit of national security; some in pursuit of profit—merely causes average citizens to seek ways of evading the system. Public norms about privacy already have changed due to the rise of social media. It may be that, by 2025, the pendulum will have swung the other direction, and people will be keeping more of themselves secret, adopting online personas that have nothing to do with their genuine selves.”

The director of market intelligence at a major communications networking company replied, “Technology will be preoccupied with defensive measures for the near-term, and that this will stifle the ability to develop more secure methodologies to provide a safe environment. Depending on how the trends play out by 2025, there may be less use of social media going forward.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “We are always going to have Snowden’s who will, for whatever reason, be releasing all sorts of documents through the Internet. Also, the Internet criminals seem to be able to crack even the most secure site—i.e., Target. I wish I could be more optimistic, but to gain even the most elementary personal privacy today seems to be at odds with businesses trying to gain ‘deep data’ on all of its present and potential customers. The same holds true for Facebook and YouTube. How people use these services and still think they have personal privacy challenges troubles me no end. Perhaps, the children today will see nothing wrong with giving up huge chunks of their privacy— and themselves as not being a problem. The heavy use of the Internet will mean less and less face-time with each other so that psychiatrists may have to come up with a new entry, ‘electronic alienation.’ By 2025, a mere 11 years from now, I see a few of possible outcomes from today’s use of Internet; there maybe a new group of Luddites, who may refuse to use any electronic device, but they will be a distinct minority; willing users masterful users of information.”

A PhD student and Internet researcher wrote, “RSA will still be the most common way to secure information online, and privacy will still be a subject only few really care about. Individual information and information gathering techniques will become even more subtle, sophisticated, sneaky, and unnoticeable. The extreme will become broader, as one part want to make every aspect of itself public and the other reject technology totally.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Technology companies will create systems that are tolerable to their public. I am not sure that policymakers will lead the way.”

A 30-year veteran of software design, testing, and deployment for the US Department of Defense, replied, “I relate this answer to both Amazon and Netflix. By using the books or films that I order, these two organizations recommend other items, which might be of interest to me. I find this very helpful and do not consider it intrusive. I feel that more of this personal selection will become available in the next 11 years with all aspects of business. As people become more used to this feature on a website, the perception of intrusion will not be an issue. And, typically, the individuals who do see this as an intrusion, I am sorry to say, are seniors such as myself. The younger users are really quite comfortable with privacy issues and protection and they are the future. Again, the folks dragging their heels and crying ‘danger’ are the older generation. The younger users have more confidence. As the number of younger users increases and the number of older users gradually decreases, there will be much less fear. I believe the issue regarding privacy, security, content, and apps should be addressed in terms of generational levels.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “As we learn more about the power of technology and test the reaches of our online experience, I think there will need to be this balance between security and the creation of compelling content. We all want the convenience and the experience of a custom-crafted online experience, but with the security that our financial and personal future demands. A balance will have to be created to keep the information gathering in check and secure from the wrong hands. You can see it already with the younger generations. The concept of privacy is changing. We demand information, and we know that the information we want is out there somewhere. By 2025, there will be a shift in the way we think of privacy, and much more of our lives will become open information, available to everyone who wants it.”

An information science professional responded, “‘Balance’ will continue to be a political term dependent on whosoever has the majority of the balance of power in Washington, DC. While a ‘balance’ may be touted and advertised, there will always be backdoors authorized for ‘homeland security.’ The corporations who will financially benefit from ‘homeland security’ will always sell the fear factor to the paranoid types. The accumulations of data will never be secure since those that write the code can break it or compromise it. Much like Microsoft OS has spun off multiple secondary businesses like Norton, etc., like the planned obsolescence of old Detroit autos with the secondary markets of parts stores, the data business has and will continue to spin off multiple secondary markets with big financial interests and deep political pockets. If you do not want to be tracked by photo, telephone, Internet —stay in your compound home, and turn everything off. If you choose to do otherwise, you have and will ‘pay’ to play in public. Everyone will understand. If you do not understand or are in denial, you will pay the price as open to compromise.”

A self-employed author, researcher, and consultant wrote, “Online consumers need to understand that American Express, Bank of America, and many other conglomerates and large corporations have been collecting data for decades. In spite of what Ed Snowden says, loss of privacy did not ‘just happen,’ and it certainly cannot be entirely attributed to the US National Security Agency. Such data collection is needed for efficient use of online activities. Online data mining is important for the national security. That said, the issue of privacy becomes problematic only when personal info is used for immoral and unethical purposes, such as stolen IDs for individual gain; this is the aspect of privacy that concerns the typical online user. Policymakers and tech innovators will move toward creating a more secure and trusted infrastructure. I want to see individual and national security improved with more than just the use of simple passwords. We have fingerprint techniques and eye scans that need to be available to the masses.”

A US federal government employee commented, “Criminals (and, maybe, the government) will always figure out a way to hack into this data. There is starting to be a backlash of private data becoming public. By 2025, there will be no expectation of privacy.”

The director of corporate development for a NASDAQ-listed Internet company replied, “They will try, but it will never be secure. A secure system has never been created whether it’s the banking system, military systems, political systems, or religious system. They will do a good enough job that we will all be able to operate. There will be greater awareness about what information is captured, and people will have more centralised control over it.”

A self-employed researcher wrote, “More people will want security and privacy—so it will happen.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “The current generation of teenagers feel less concerned with privacy than their parents. They have grown up in a world where they constantly share their lives online with others and do not hold privacy as high as a concern.”

An anonymous respondent commented, “Our privacy will be more protected, but it will not be done by 2025. There are too many groups making a lot of money from data collected via the Internet, i.e., Amazon, Facebook, and SEO companies. These groups will oppose tight regulation of what they can collect. Younger people are not concerned with the need for privacy that the older generation seems to be wary of. Having personal information on the Internet is not a concern. They quickly go through spam mail and flashing ads that collected information can generate.”

A manager of a company that provides online town hall meetings wrote, “There will be multiple systems in place that will be popularly accepted and trusted; however, I am uncertain that these systems will work together and that, by and large, consumers will be left to judge the value, security, and trustability of such systems. The public norms about privacy will be more polarized within the social context with one side leaning toward heightened security regarding privacy concerns with the other side leaning toward a more laissez faire approach.”

A higher education administrator replied, “The extremely high economic incentives will motivate corporations to create an infrastructure that is popularly accepted but secure, their mining of data will allow them to create content that is increasingly more compelling, and although public policy advocates will continue to lobby for online privacy, and easy-to-use privacy settings will be available, consumers are unlikely to consistently and accurately utilize these options. In short, consumers will continue to trade their privacy for compelling content and perceived economic gains. Public norms about privacy will continue to evolve, so that individuals will have less and less expectation of privacy and less sensitivity to loss of privacy.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “I do not think security will come from infrastructure solutions. The free market will provide as much privacy and security as people are willing to pay for, with one exception—the government. Right now, if you want to ride an airliner, you must submit to a search. If you want to ride the New York City subways, you have to agree to a random search, if asked. In the future, people who want to use the public information infrastructure will have to agree to have their content screened for certain content; child porn is the easiest to advocate for. As a counterbalance, future corporations will be born that promise to protect privacy and will seek to protect the privacy of their clients. There will be less cooperation between these businesses and government and more court orders, which may be a good thing. Ownership of content will change. People will own their own content and keep their own content in their own walled gardens that they can control access to and alter (remove content from) whenever they choose. People will take, or at least have the option of taking, more control over what is public and private in their lives.”

An anonymous survey participant replied “Certain brands and companies will be willing to offer privacy controls individually to members, but they will continue to take advantage of those who do not know how to use privacy controls or opt not to use them in order to generate revenue. Most American companies believe it is the consumer’s burden to take care of such controls, not to offer them as a default. People will be more willing to forgive minor public gaffes in 2025, as there will be so many people who have committed them. There will also be an uptick in companies willing to scrub past embarrassing incidents from profiles, etc., for a price.”

The owner of an Internet and digital marketing company wrote, “There will be a way to develop personal privacy, while using aggregate, anonymous data. The data is necessary for businesses, but privacy is of paramount importance to individuals. As users, we want a personalized experience without giving up too much information. By 2025, a way will be developed to allow both sides to be somewhat happy. Right now we see two sets of people: those who are adamant about very strict privacy, and those who are willing to be more open and public. I see more people being willing to be open by 2025 as we live out our lives online. And, I think this is a good thing in that we will see people more as they really are, not just as they construct themselves for an online audience.”

A PhD candidate at a university in Montreal said, “A right balance will always be a challenge for policymakers because they only can react after the facts and, generally, take too much time for updating the rules. We all face a future where securing data will remain an issue. A utopian, I believe there is hope in fair use policies. We all agree securing data is a myth. We will live with security problems (digital or not) and make the best of fair-use policies. Those who will be caught fooling with these rules could face very important criminal charges, but as the world goes round and round, securing data will always be an issue.”

An anonymous respondent commented, “By 2025, there will be a completely different understanding of what privacy means in what will surely be a very different digital age. I do not think there is such a balance between privacy and flexibility that will appease everyone. It is more likely that the balance will favor corporations, though there may be rules about transparency and being very clear upfront about how personal information will be stored and used. Public norms have to shift. In order to function in 2025, I imagine that far more of people’s personal data will be available. People will be more open to having their personal data out in the open for ease and flexibility of different tasks. That said, I hope there would also be more stringent rules that protect against identity theft.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “We have been learning so much in the past few years about Internet security and privacy that governments and political deciders are starting to look at these questions with more urgency. The balance is not easy, but it is most definitely necessary. The citizens will demand that from their governments. With the development of the Internet, we have found that public norms are not enough to protect and empower citizens. They lack many aspects of our daily life as we log in our computers, smartphones, and tablets to access our email, use Facebook, or check the weather app. By 2025, legislators will be able to understand and satisfy some of those needs, as citizens will demand changes, even through courts and lawsuits. It is a never-ending job, though. I believe we will evolve and be nearer a desirable amount of public norms about privacy to balance our needs.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “We run the risk of huge civil unrest if privacy is not properly addressed by 2025. I am not certain that we will have it under control by 2025, but we better! I think that people will start to share less and less in the next five years—we may even seen a resurgence in paying bills via US Postal Service, with a personal check, or paying bills in person. Once we get privacy under control, there will likely be an upswing in shared content.”

An executive in a consulting firm advising on change management replied, “The stakes are too high for us to fail at this, so I predict that we will succeed—probably well before 2025. It will probably take a few more scary violations, such as the recent Target database invasion, to gain commitment to the effort needed for a full-scale solution; however, we have two historical tendencies which work in our favor: First, we are adept at letting a situation reach near-crisis proportions, then generating a brilliant and effective solution; and second, we really do not like people messing with our privacy or sending us low-value content. What if we re-focused on the old, time-tested wisdom of ‘if you do not want it on the front page of the local paper, do not do it’? It seems to me that a kind of social peer pressure has been pretty effective in the past. If I do not have anything to hide, I am not going to freak about privacy issues. The one thing that could change that is if we began passing laws that are based on taking the moral judgments of one group and making variations illegal. At that point, we will see people protecting their privacy in militant ways (and in my mind, it would at that point be justified, as well).”

The social media manager for a broadband company responded, “They will have to in order to be successful in online commerce. Privacy will be impossible (i.e., at the person level). Only financial privacy will be improved.”

An anonymous respondent commented, “I do not think people will expect privacy in the way that we expect it now. We already see that the Millennials are used to sharing anything and everything, and eventually, that will just be the way things are done. Very little will be private.”

The CEO and editor-in-chief of an international media services company wrote, “Privacy, like Internet security, will be a fully funded enterprise whereby users will have to pay third parties to secure their privacy. Like privately run prisons or police services, privacy will cease to be a ‘public service’ but be something for which individuals will have to pay. Competition will be fierce, but ultimately, a handful of megalithic global networks will, like Kaspersky, Symantec, Microsoft, control the privacy business. Global financial institutions will have increasing power over individuals. By 2020, privacy will be big business. Trading in personal privacy will have become a criminal enterprise. Though social outrage will still surface, it will ultimately become irrelevant. There will be personal trade-offs for security—and privacy as a right will cease to exist (just as freedom from viruses, malware, spam, spyware, advertising, etc., have ceased to exist today).”

A technology usability specialist responded, “Privacy will only continue to be infringed upon. There is too much money to be made off our data. It may become regularly accepted.”

An anonymous respondent commented, “The over-commercialism of the Web reflects the runaway consumerism of our society and the rise of corporate power and its challenge to democracy. The Web reflects an out of balance society and will not be successful or be in balance unless we are make changes in our behavior and take back as citizens our power. I am not seeing our citizens succeed. Many of our citizens are being born into a world where their experiences both on and off the Web will provide such a low level of privacy as to be non-existent. How can you miss something you have never experienced except as nostalgia?”

A university faculty member wrote, “Changes in the online world will continue to advance faster than regulation or law will be able to keep up. Also hackers will continue to find ways to beat the system. Little change is expected. If anything, more will be visible about us and what we do.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Businesses and law enforcement/national security organizations will continue to undermine online privacy to the point of near non-existence. Public perception will be mixed. Less privacy will be expected, but the perception will be that it has not changed.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “This is absolutely necessary if we are to have any kind of ecommerce at all in the future.”

An anonymous respondent commented, “In the future, as you are doing in this survey, it should ask permission to direct the publication of the content and data of each individual; this should be an international policy regarding the use of Internet. No doubt, if a country does others will follow them. The digital life in 2025 will be almost total for everyone in every aspect. It would also be interesting an option of coming an age for ‘adult digital life,’ all your data created before the age of 18 or 21, depending on the country, should be deleted or reset, to start an ‘adult digital life.’ By 2025, everyone will have a better awareness of their digital life as a part of theirs live, both aspects work and personal. So everybody will be more careful about their publications.”

A retired business reporter wrote, “By 2025, most people will get used to a state of cyber nakedness, with the confidence that wrongs will be righted.”

An associate professor at Utica College in New York replied, “We will have some kind of biometrics solution to protect privacy information. Businesses will become more invasive with consumer tracking and mining of consumer information to further tailor their pitches; tracking consumer movements will also become routine in retail stores. People will know that their online privacy is important and will take steps to prevent businesses from tracking their online lives.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “The global nature of the Internet will be the biggest impediment to creating a secure online environment for all users. Tracking and analytics will only become more sophisticated, and transactional systems will remain hack-able. Without a global accord that has stringent compliance guidelines and enforceable sanctions, security and privacy issues will continue. The nature of the Internet encourages the erosion of personal privacy. Users growing up in an online world will find fewer meaningful distinctions between public/personal personae.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Without a doubt, by 2025, in the name of public services and public safety, many local, state, and federal governmental agencies will be leveraging related legislation and implementing policies giving unrestricted governmental access to all electronic personal information including clickstream, purchasing (online and offline), motion tracking (of vehicles and individuals via facial recognition), and browsing history. There is little privacy now; current NSA practices will serve as a beginning model of greater intrusions on personal liberties to come in the name of public services and public safety.”

An anonymous survey participant responded, “There is no choice; privacy rights will have to be handled. The public will demand a balance, and the ‘crazies’ will fade, outnumbered. (Pardon the slang.) More expectations based simply on common sense.”

A social media consultant replied, “So many things are being done online that, if a more secure approach is not adopted by or sooner than 2025, no one will trust the processes of online, and there will be as top to the evolution. There will need to be some consolidation or collaboration of efforts and entities.”

An anonymous respondent commented, “My initial reaction is to answer ‘Yes,’ for the simple reason that the alternative is so unmarketable (not to mention unacceptable) in a free society. Well, I think it is obvious that government agencies (i.e., the NSA) will not be able to get away with some of the big data approaches they’ve been getting away with up to now. Furthermore, and equally as important, as we move more of our content to the ‘cloud’ we still need assurance that this data is private and only accessible in traditional ways (i.e., warrants). Note: this need for privacy concerns private corporations as much as it does government agencies.”

An information science professional responded, “It is an unfortunate fact that there are unscrupulous people in this world, who use online sites, emails, hacked personal information, to do damage to others financially and personally. I can only hope that it will not take until 2025 to have the type of infrastructure described in the survey question to be a reality. While many of the current generation live their life in line for all to see, there are still many reasons for privacy rights; financial transactions, personal information that is used for securing access to many websites; medical information, etc. I feel that we need to teach both this and future generations the need for privacy, especially when it comes to personal, legal, medical, and financial information.”

An anonymous survey participant wrote, “I am not sure what it will look like, but something has to be done to protect privacy better than it is protected right now. I think we will be much more aware of them. Right now, most people are blind to naive about how their privacy has been infringed.”

A information science professional wrote, “The government and the technology industry should do the things listed above, but given the dysfunctional nature of our government (in the United States), I am skeptical as to what they will be able to accomplish in the next decade. I do think that the tech industry itself will do a better job, and have more success, at creating infrastructure and norms to support innovation; however, without government buy-in, I think we will still be having debates, problems, and issues implementing an infrastructure that protects privacy-rights and allows for innovation. I think that people will be more aware of privacy issues in 2025; however, I think that, in some cases, concerns about privacy will be relaxed. I do think that people will become more comfortable with having personal information shared and used, in certain contexts. There are certain benefits to having your information shared and used, for instance with recommendations from a store, and, to some degree, people will be willing to trade privacy for convenience, even as they are more aware of and are better able to articulate privacy issues.”

An information science professional commented, “Yes, they will have to. Too much information is shared online, and businesses cannot function in an online society if users do not trust their information with these companies. The US government is driving us faster to this, as the American people will request to see what they have in their records. Freedom of Information Act requests on our own selves to see who has what on us will become the norm! People will no longer be willing to sign over all of their rights to companies so that they can utilize their services. The company that learns how to make it easy for folks to hide their identify will be the consumer’s favorite.”

A self-employed digital consultant wrote, “It may not be the ‘right’ balance for all, but instead, for the more tech-savvy and personal-security literate among us. The rest can (more easily than 2013) opt to benefit from action-oriented disclosures of breaches by a multitude of accessible ‘outers.’ They will differentiate commercial identity from social identity.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “By 2025, there will have been a consumer revolution against uncontrolled personal data mining. A coalition of privacy advocates will lobby for stronger protections for personal information. This will in part have been driven by the need for opting in to share personal health data in order to track population health metrics for improving health outcomes for all.”

A high-level administrator responded, “I do not think it is possible to be both totally secure and totally private. The debate will continue, but as long as there is money to be made in sharing private information, it will continue. Government surveillance may be less intrusive due to public outcry. Public norms will be more accepting of online and other types of surveillance. It will be drummed into the heads of the low-educated and low-information citizen that such surveillance will keep them safe. I already see it on Internet forums; people are so desperate for an even false sense of security that they will compromise their privacy at every turn.”

A professional who works for a large legal services organization replied, “This would require member of Congress and their staff to actually understand the consequences of this privacy debate and to turn down the money from the lobbyists representing those that will profit. I do not have that much confidence in our political process. I think there will be a period where indiscretions will have a lot of consequences, and then, they will not—much like a child out of wedlock.”

A journalist wrote, “Yes, they will create such an infrastructure, and then, it will be made insecure by technology innovators who will break its code, etc. The public will come to understand that they have less and less privacy, and they will accept that. Because technology allows increasing polarization and fragmentation of society, the acceptance will be greater among some than others.”

An information science professional commented, “People will be less cautious about online privacy because now, we are getting to generations that will grow up with computers and Internet. For those of us who di not, we are more cautious. But to grow up with that technology, they will be more comfortable with it, more relaxed, and less cautious.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “It would be too difficult to secure consensus for this, too many competing interests and points of view. The public already has accepted decreased privacy as a tradeoff for Internet and social media use. By 2025, there will be two or three lines that one cannot cross (i.e., in the United States, social security information, and I am not sure what else) and those will still be considered norms of privacy.”

An instructor at a primarily online university replied, “The insistence of political elites that the Internet be used for surveillance and social control—and attendant regulatory capture—will largely dictate its future. Add to this the growing ability of traditional criminals to massively exploit weaknesses in retail systems (i.e., the Target breach), and online trust will continue to erode, limiting the Internet’s economic and social potential. Surveillance will be absolute, and big data mining used by both government and related private industries to smother dissent and compel self-policing (i.e., by refusing jobs—or even interviews—to individual matching certain ‘undesirable’ profiles created via data mining). All private life, such as it exists, will occur entirely offline, and be subcultural at best. Most people will be resigned to this.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “With the perception of the Internet being basically a ‘free’ service, it is not in the best interests of commerce to provide a completely trusted privacy-rights environment. It is a trade-off between cost and privacy. As new techniques or approaches are developed to protect personal information—new techniques and approaches will be developed to access personal information.”

A market intelligence analyst for a medical publisher commented, “There will be pushback from European countries regarding the right to online privacy, and the United States will need to conform to European standards. US FISA will be repealed and more sensible laws protecting privacy will be enacted. Personal privacy norms will be expected for online privacy. The current gathering of online data by the government, and even metadata, will be found by the US Supreme Court to be in violation of the US Constitution. The pendulum will swing the other way. New standards will be set.”

An information science professional replied, “There is momentum in this direction. Policymakers will want secure infrastructure, and there will be financial (and intellectual) incentives for technology innovators. The public (in terms of popular acceptance) is ready to embrace whatever is introduced on a large scale—Amazon, Google, iPhone, Wikipedia, Facebook, etc. There can be broad acceptance. There will always be people who do not trust, and it is likely that popular trust maybe foolhardy. But, look: people still leave their doors unlocked, and only a fraction of those homes are robbed, right? Sometimes the locked doors are kicked in. I have personally been robbed three times. Twice, the door was unlocked, and once, the door was kicked in. But, I have lived in that house for twenty-six years, and those events happened three times, probably less than an hour for each of those events. So, how secure is my home, whether or not I lock it? We need to put Internet security in context with our other forms of security. Digital natives will not make so much of a distinction between their homes and their online world. So, I do believe that we will have easy-to-use formats that satisfy the majority of the public. With people’s ‘dirty laundry’ being aired on a regular basis, I believe that our tolerance for certain indiscretions will increase. Have you ever sexted anyone? Ever posted an angry comment about your boss? Ever captured a drunken moment and posted it through social media? At some point, this will not be a deal breaker for employers and other decision-makers. We are already seeing norms change about revealing earnings (once a highly secretive piece of information). Our sense of privacy will be different in 2025.”

An anonymous survey participant responded, “We have moved from bartering to cash to check to debit card to whatever is likely next. With each move to a new payment method, there has been the scramble to gain acceptance and adoption of the new method, provide appropriate security (when applicable), and write applicable laws. With the rapid changes in technology I do not think they can get it all balanced in the next 11 years. With Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and their like, the concept and definition of privacy is already changing. There is already far too much available on the Internet about people who do not necessarily want all their information known. I hope that, by 2025, we have found a balance where those that wish to keep information private will be allowed to do so.”

An information science professional wrote, “We seem to have worked these issues out in the past, and I am confident we will again. We will continue to allow our privacy to be compromised for safety reasons.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “There have been plenty of incidences in just the past couple of years that should have caused society to be outraged over privacy breaches. They do not seem to get as much traction as the kerfuffle over that Duck Dynasty guy. The American public is not passionate about privacy and, because of that, it will not push corporations of government to make changes. People are not passionate about privacy because many do not feel like they have had it for a very long time. Also, privacy, like so many things, is a fluid concept. What people defined as privacy in the twentieth century would not be practical in the twenty-first. So, what is privacy? The concept of privacy will continue to flux and it will look nothing like it looks today. Open seems to be the way we are going, and I am not sure where people will draw the line and say, ‘No, you cannot have that information; that is private.” Should your height and weight be private? It is already on your driver’s license. What about your home address? It has been in phone books for a long time. How about your net worth? Depending on your job, that is already public knowledge.”

A senior product manager providing software and content solutions for the healthcare industry wrote, “The reality will be that the conflict between business and personal rights will continue and that business will win—at the cost of personal privacy. Privacy will take on extremes. Either individuals will have little or no privacy—which will be the default, driven by business and perhaps consumer apathy—or, individuals will become extremely reclusive, and take extreme measures to protect their privacy (this, however, will be a small minority of society). Most will give in to pressures and challenges/barriers to protecting ones privacy.”

An information science professional commented, “The future will, unfortunately, reflect the way that monetary interests have ruled copyright legislation and short-term memory, combined with long-term bureaucracy that has affected the overriding development of security interests versus privacy in the Internet. Long-term copyright actually inhibits productive use of works, but Disney’s corporate interests ruled legislation because they have the money to influence. People have short memories about the licensing they sign, preferring immediate wish fulfillment versus long-term security or privacy. Public norms are trending away from privacy. We broadcast personal data and personal interactions in increasing frequency in exchange for convenience, and the pace is rising.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “As the public becomes more aware of security and privacy issues surrounding access to data, I believe that a system or standard will emerge to address these issues. It seems as if this evolution is inevitable and necessary. People will be increasingly aware of the limitations of privacy and will demand change.”

The senior manager of digital for a marketing agency providing services to nonprofits wrote, “Unless the partisan tone on Capitol Hill changes drastically, there is no way that Congress, The White House, and all of the other stakeholders involved will be able to agree on something this big. In 11 years I think they will be able to make decisions on certain parts (like, say, when you make a simple online purchase), but other things (political speech, phone calls, social media, and health information) will be fraught with disagreements and loopholes, thanks to special interest groups and political maneuvering. It is hard to say. It seems like we are putting most elements of our lives online now. Maybe there will be a backlash and people will be come extremely private again? After all, the children of people like Heather Armstrong will have spent their entire lives being photographed and having the minutia of their lives shared with millions of strangers, and maybe, they will want to take themselves back.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “As policymakers and tech innovators launch a more secure environment, those individuals seeking to cause damage, and harm will also develop new innovations to continue to challenge all of the potentially positive impact of the Internet. I see evidence today of people’s willingness to accept breaches to their privacy, and I suspect this transition will continue to become the norm. Young people may not know what privacy means, and so, I believe the standards will change.”

An anonymous survey participant responded, “As we have seen, the government will not always do what it promises or follow the law. I have little trust that the NSA or CIA will follow any laws passed by Congress. I feel people will become accustomed to business and government intrusions and spying on their personal affairs. Any notion of privacy, or a right to privacy as we know it, will become a thing of the past.”

The digital communications manager for an independent book publisher wrote, “I say ‘No’ here because the bar identified is so very high. (That is, there are big ‘ands’ in that list of seven or more descriptors.) Vested interests will continue (as they basically always have) to take advantage of the public. Ensuring one’s own privacy and security will remain up to the individual’s judgment. Indeed, it is to be fervently hoped (and actively advocated) that it will remain even possible to do so.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Online communication will be the primary mode of human interaction, thus providing a higher level of awareness by users who have grown up with this model of the technological limits of protection, while the infrastructure itself will be more mature and will have developed protections that could not even have been envisioned at its creation. People will be more knowledgeable about the technological limits of privacy protection and, consequently, have reduced expectations.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Not enough people will find it to be such an important issue, unfortunately.”

A self-employed digital consultant based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, wrote, “Security will be easier, allowing you to setup what you want to everybody see, or not to see, or who can see what.”

An professional at a private, nonprofit university, commented, “After the frenzy and panic regarding 9/11 terrorism, and the generational reduction of expectations surrounding privacy on the Internet, I think we have given up most, if not all, of the right to privacy. The fact that Obama, a liberal, was supporting spying on cellular conversations, seems to be another frightening indicator that individual security has fallen by the wayside. Twenty-something techies work ‘in the round,’ with little physical private space and an underlying assumption that everything is known about everyone. Might makes right, and policymakers and corporations will continue not caring about individuals in the broader profit-seeking game. I think this depends on whether the ecological infrastructure will continue to support high technology. If global warming starts to produce more frighteningly noticeable environmental traumas, i.e., closer to ‘home,’ inside the US mainland instead of somewhere out in the Far East, privacy (and perhaps, even electricity) may become a moot point. If we continue to fumble along at our current breakneck technological pace, people will probably still want to buy the next iGadget, regardless of what the underlying innovations might do to their personal privacy.”

The Web marketing manager at major Chicago academic medical center replied, “I am concerned that data security hype will usurp some needs by corporations to effectively track users for business needs. People will delete tracking services outright without recognizing their essential uses to target marketing and customize services. I hope that people will continue to share information, but we are only a few more disasters away (i.e., Target credit card theft) from tighter security that could be long-arm rather than considerate.”

A businessperson in the medical technologies sector wrote, “There will be more security than today, as well as more enforcement of standards in the medical industry and consumer commerce. Consumers will demand more rights to privacy in social media and voluntary online forums. In 2025, people will be less willing to share personal information.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Our lives will be so intertwined with the Internet by 2025 that it will be difficult to balance privacy and security with our desire for online content and apps. Policymakers and corporations will do their best, but there will inevitably be wide swings of too much and too little privacy and security.”

An academic administrator, and former foundation executive with responsibility for information technology, replied, “Some are researching ways to do this, but 10 years may be too soon for a safe and secure Internet, unless the Internet is broken up into many gated communities—a possible alternative, but an unwelcome one. They say young people now are more open about their privacy—will this change as they get older? Or, will their attitudes now shape the future Internet? You probably have a better idea about this than I do.”

A professor emerita in the graduate program at a research university responded, “We are all going to have to come to grips with the Internet, or whatever takes its place. No doubt, our transactions through the Ethernet will continue to escalate as the years unfold. I do not see leadership coming from government, however. It seems to prefer a reactive mode rather than providing leadership in this area. Perhaps, as younger folks enter government/policy positions—those who have grown up with computerized interactions—the issues of security, liberty, and privacy will be addressed. Then again, their idea of privacy is markedly different my Boomer generations’. As above, the technology youth seem to share (and broadcast to large audiences) much more of their personal lives than previous generations. Perhaps our concept of privacy will be redefined as they begin to fill professional positions.”

A former professor responded, “With the recent problem that Target had, and with information coming from the Snowden information, this will lead to an all-new evaluation. The problem with hackers has compromised all levels of privacy. The penalties will be stronger. Public acceptance of the penalties will be stronger. New and better ways of detention will happen. Civil privacy and the compromise of that will mandate the changes.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “At this point in our global maturation, I do not foresee a requisite level of representation and collaboration between all stakeholders that would bring about such an infrastructure. Progress would need to take some incredible leaps first, possibly initiated by major economic events, before such could take place. Barring any huge events taking place that would precipitate significant swings in current practice, norms will likely continue to erode personal privacy and enlarge corporate and governmental intrusion.”

An anonymous survey participant responded, “Until we have international cooperation and a unified system for dealing with Internet criminals in all countries, we will not be able to build such an infrastructure. I do see that happening—ever; however, I do hold out hope for technology that will be available to consumers that allows them to block any incoming peek into their personal online behavior. The biggest problems—criminals and hacks are always a step ahead. They will basically be the same, unless we have some kind of precipitating event or catastrophe. Privacy concerns are individual and not universal.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “I do not think the government will have achieved the kind of privacy rights infrastructure you describe by 2025. It will take much longer than that.”

An information science professional replied, “They have already begun making information private and asking for permission to relay information. They are also creating more secure websites to prevent hacking and are able to catch it right away before more damage is done. As to the apps, they warn you before downloading if your information will become public, giving consumers the right to decide how they want to proceed. I feel that, with social networks, privacy is eroding as people put their personal business online. I think it could get worse, or could get better, as laws catch up to the Internet and what is and is not appropriate to put online.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Guidelines will be created but forgotten or neglected by consumers.”

An anonymous survey participant responded, “We will likely see a predominance of commercial dealings via the Internet, at some sacrifice to personal privacy rights. Data will become more secure and the enticement of ease and convenience will offset some of the remaining resistance, so that the norm will be online transactions. Those who choose to protect their privacy will be marginalized as the general marketplace moves toward more public exposure. The vast majority of people will become more comfortable with trading off personal privacy for convenience in order to participate in the marketplace. Younger people, those who grew up with the Internet and have become adults in an era of social networking, will take this for granted, while the older generation (those who are over 50 years old in 2025) will give up some of their old standards of privacy. Many will take a resigned, ‘What are you going to do?’ attitude. Most people will experience some form of identity theft but will also become more sophisticated about protecting their personal information.”

A retired professor said, “They will create something, and they will say that it is secure, but actual security is another issue. From what I can see, 20- to 30-year-olds, do not trust the Net, but neither do they worry about it. The public is largely clueless about how computers work, how the cloud works, and the weaknesses of the legacy software they use. Now, they think that if they are using ‘no tracking’ software, or anti-virus software, the software actually delivers. They will be more jaded in the future, still using the software, while realizing that point-specific security may not do all that is promised.”

An anonymous respondent commented, “I would like to dream that there will be an ‘Internet’ platform that is secure, innovative, and yet monetize-able and private. But, there are too many Russian (or other nationalities) hackers and smart programmers who will spend their entire waking hours trying to break in to secure systems. And, there are too many lazy people who won’t use more secure passwords. There could be several tiered systems for common users that include one, a more open and public system for browsing, two, a more secure system that for purchases, three, a more secure system for private communications, and four, high secure and above. Levels ‘Two’ and above could be on VPNs or virtual VPNs. Given the amount of financial exposure, there could be another level of folks who might be willing to pay a fee to be more protected. Unfortunately, people ages 30 and under seemingly have no desire for privacy and security, and no amount of preaching will encourage them to protect their identities and finances. Witness their activities on Facebook and other sites. They will change as they get older and as their assets grow and become more exposed.”

A self-employed technology consultant wrote, “The privacy Pandora’s Box has been opened. Big Brother is clearly watching us. It strains my beliefs that a credible privacy rights capability can/will be implemented—and believed by users. Certainly, privacy laws may be passed but since the beginning of technology, capabilities and potential have outstripped our societal ability to understand the implications of the new capabilities and to either embrace them or avoid their implementation. I am not wise enough to project, though I worry that privacy will go the way of the 45 RPM records, dial telephones, and button hooks.”

The CEO of a business replied, “As technology moves ever more quickly, I find it difficult to believe that slow-moving policy makers will be able to encourage an adequate privacy-rights infrastructure. Even if they should make an attempt, it seems that those whose intent is to circumvent security and user privacy would be able to move much more quickly and overtake those efforts. It is a scary thought, but privacy may be little more than a distant memory.”

A retired management consultant for a large international corporation commented, “Protecting personal information is a growing concern and consumers will favor offerings that address this issue There will be a diverging dichotomy—certain types of data will be expected to be held private, while other will become more public.”

The CEO and general manager for a US public broadcasting organization wrote, “Policymakers will be under extraordinary pressure in this arena during the next two years and will address the question soon after the 2014 elections. The limiting factor will be public understanding of how to navigate these balances, but that will improve over time. We will have accepted that our lives are far more transparent and track-able than ever before.”

A pastor active in the TEA Party in the United States,commented, “It has already happened. Sorry you did not notice. I also have a college degree in computer science. I hope that people will realize in 2025, as now, that not everything you read on the Internet is true.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “After the Target fiasco, there has to be a solution for safe commerce.”

A physician and healthcare researcher wrote, “The boundaries between what is private and what is public are rapidly changing—the way we date, learn about one another, access information about others, etc. As new generations are born into this ‘way of being’—the concept of what constitutes privacy will be radically different, and one that we as a society have yet to even acknowledge (rather than being dismissive of ‘kids don’t know any better’).”

A leader of a major nonprofit grassroots organization in California replied, “Our personal information is too valuable to both politicians and to business, and so, I do not think our individual rights will be respected. Every time we find a way to protect it, they will create a new way to collect it by using new frontiers, secret backdoors, systems which makes privacy violations mandatory (like supposedly anti-terrorist tracking or pointless identity verification), and other opportunities. My dream would be for us to stop trying to control information and instead focus on how to control how information is used, particularly protecting minorities from abuse.”

An anonymous survey participant responded, “Anything is possible. I am nearly 70 years old, and when I was a teenager, I could not have envisioned this iPad I am using. If it can be dreamed, it can be done.”

A consultant to the government of the District of Columbia replied, “An infrastructure may exist in 2025. It may even be popularly accepted. But, I do not think it will be as secure as promised. I think privacy will continue to be an issue with two sides, one of which vies for prominence. This side is one pushed by privacy rights supporters. The other side is those, driven by young people, who have little sense of personal and private. So, at a high level, there will still be discussions and pressures about ensuring privacy. There will also be greater repercussions for those in their twenties and thirties, who earlier put out lots of personal details. I do not think, however, that putting lots of personal information out (such as on Facebook) will become the norm.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “As technology continues to make possible both stronger privacy-security measures and smarter countermeasures, the public’s concerns about and expectations of personal privacy will undoubtedly lessen—especially among those who have grown up in an era of ever-greater online exposure and expression.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “This is a bad yes/no question. Clearly, all the qualifiers need to be defined and quantified to answer properly, but broadly considered, there is just too much need for all of the above for there not to be some kind of popularly accepted, if cobbled together, structure that gives users at least a minimum of a sense of privacy requisite for their use of the Net for an increasingly number of transactional and personal activities. The public will likely be more aware of the nature of incursions on their privacy but probably will not care anymore—or, probably, even less—than it does now.”

A PhD candidate in the social sciences replied, “Those with power will dictate the online realm within which individuals operate.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “I, frankly, do not have confidence in policymakers to protect public privacy; I think corporate interests have too much need for that information, and they will continually lobby legislators to allow them to continue to collect personal information. I think the innovations companies create to make life more convenient require a certain amount of buy-in from their users, and people will be swayed to give up a lot of their private information to enable that convenience. Therefore, privacy norms will become more permissive over time, even with data breaches.”

A fundraising consultant wrote, “If experience provides any lesson, hackers will always find a way to access Internet information. While the Internet will become more secure over time and more difficult to gain illegal entry, it is unlikely that a fully secure system can be devised. People have given up much of their privacy via Facebook, Twitter, location tracking, and the cookies that are placed on their Internet devices each time they access a particular site. In addition, the increasing prevalence of ‘reward or membership cards’ provides merchants with a wealth of information about ones purchasing habits.”

A shopper analyst for a major Internet shopping company wrote, “This effort seems to already be underway with Facebook’s clear description of security components and the ability to turn off or moderate them. People are becoming more tolerant and even expect companies to know our likes and interests. Apps need to be smarter and they can only be easier to use if data is shared. Targeting needs to get even better—companies need to know that I only want the American Doll catalog for my daughter when she is young and around religious holidays and birthdays. I do not need to see those ads when my daughter is 18. Who has access to the data and the ability to protect the data will be the key question rather than what the data is. Norms are already much looser for privacy than they were five years ago. Privacy will continue to loosen, though at a much slower pace, as we are close to a plateau, particularly as Millennials enter the workforce, start to marry and have children, and build their bank accounts. When you have more to lose, you become more conscious of the exposure.”

An anonymous survey participant responded, “Digital security will absolutely be required if we are to forge ahead in the digital world and option to lead. I think the question will be who is to set the parameters: government or commerce. I suspect the pendulum of social privacy will swing both ways in the next decade. Recent events, i.e., Snowden’s exploits and 40 million Target credit card documents having been compromised have set the stage for one extreme. Following the resulting oscillation reaction, I am sure the issue will settle at a required, workable, and secure midpoint. All is well in moderation.”

A marketing and public relations specialist for the business-to-business sector commented, “People want to know and to be known. At the same time, they want to feel safe and secure. This will be the motivation for policymakers, industry leaders, and service providers to work together to develop a reliable infrastructure. The safer people feel, the more freely they will share personal information and preferences. Just like any relationship, the greater the trust the deeper the familiarity. I do not think 2025 will be the end of the journey. There will always be those who ‘misbehave,’ but in order for online industry to thrive, the public must feel that they are secure and safe. As security protocols improve, users will be more willing to share information for a more personal relationship. Consumers will be weighing the benefits of sharing. No longer will they be as free in completing profiles, tweeting their locations, or posting vacation photos unless there is a personal benefit. Consumers will be savvier about revealing info that could be compromising but, at the same time, more free in sharing info on platforms where they feel secure. Today’s Millennials will be graduating college. Finances, job-hunting, and family will take priority and the free-sharing mentality they have today will be replaced with, ‘What could sharing this information do for me/cost me?’”

A former DuPont electrical engineer said, “My reason for a ‘No’ answer is that technology always seems to move forward at a much faster rate than policymakers do. Thus, while they might have today’s issues under great control and regulation, I believe that, by 2025, things will be so different from a technological perspective that things we never thought about today will be issues in 2025’s society. From a basic rights standpoint, things will be better defined as to what one should and should not expect. I suspect, however, there will still be the sticky situations, where policy and people’s thoughts will be wildly divergent. Personally, I still think we will need guys like Snowden to reveal what might be going on ‘in secret’ so that an informed public discussion can be had to shape policy, etc.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “This would be a great goal, but I do not believe that business and personal rights interests are aligned, so I do not think there is enough incentive for this to happen. I think we have a younger generation growing up who are not aware of, or who do not care about, privacy in the same way those who grew up without smart phones and other browsing devices do. I think more will be shared—not less—over time.”

A social science research supervisor commented, “The pervasive, intrusive use of the Internet, along with its seductive lure of monetization, will continue to run amok, with little regard for privacy. Look at our attempt at healthcare reforms—little steps to help our nation, large steps to line the pockets of insurance companies, et al. Transparency will overshadow our basic right for privacy as every account gets linked and the most ridiculous minutiae gets shared.”

An anonymous survey participant responded, “Policymakers (i.e., politicians) will never agree enough to do anything for or with the Internet. It will come from the private sector, if it comes from anywhere. Privacy will be a big issue in the not-too-distant future. We will have private online personas as well as public. The public ones for social media and general information, the private one for purchases and other things that would require private information.”

A former defense systems executive, electronics, and computer engineer wrote, “With 12 years to achieve this objective, one would expect significant improvements in the infrastructure; however, convergence among disparate interests may not be possible. Furthermore, there will likely never be a fully secure and private infrastructure due to the efforts of criminals and government agents. The public will be compelled to move from face-to-face and paper-based transactions to a cyber-based infrastructure. Doing so will cause a convergence in norms. Luddites will be few among cyber-savvy citizens.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “They will need to. There will be so much pressure to do it.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “People will always have to accept a certain amount of risk. You cannot have your cake and eat it too. Anonymous postings will no longer be ‘allowed.’”

An information science master’s student commented, “Using the last few years as a gauge to measure the aptitude, ability, and agenda of policymakers, it is an unrealistic expectation that this statement could be true. I believe the expectation of privacy by end-users will further be degraded with anti-privacy pioneers such as Google and Facebook. Big data, data mining, and the wholesale collection and sale of consumers’ personal data will continue and get worse. Big corporations want this data, and these same companies pretty much control policy in the United States. We see, year after year, rights to privacy eroded, and I see no evidence of that changing.”

An anonymous survey participant responded, “Ten years hence we are likely to have a scenario that is not different from what it is now. Big business will continue to hold information with the help of a government, who is ever-ready to help their rich friends.”

A business professional replied, “My best answer would be somewhere between ‘Yes’ and ‘No.’ Those who can create privacy systems that an individual can control are in a position to make a lot of money. There will be increasing demand for it, and people will be willing to pay to have it. Whether Washington can move at the same speed as the developers is a long shot.”

A consultant for nonprofit organizations said, “There will be a policy developed by the federal government around privacy for US citizens, as well as a department similar to the Office of the Controller of the Currency or Department of Consumer Affairs. All corporations will have to abide by it, and there will be regulators in place to enforce. Other countries will also have laws. Each individual will have a single sign-on and password and a unique token that will enable them to look at data collected and opt-out of other data. There will be a court for privacy with specialists and technology companies will have invented privacy screens and multiple securities to help ensure people’s data is protected. Everyone will be more educated as a result of a more technology competent society. As a result, it will be demanded and abusers will be viewed in the same way as sex traffickers or heroin dealers.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Security will, and must, be as trustworthy as humanly possible, or widespread input of personal data will decline. Once you have had you identity stolen, or privacy compromised in some way, you think twice about opening yourself up to a similar experience. That could ultimately mean fewer purchases online, fewer memberships done online, etc.”

A director at a college replied, “With public perception of what privacy means, and whether it is important, creating some kind of infrastructure will be difficult, and it seems unclear whether anything that is created and that is easy to use for business and consumer of digital media would ever be secure enough from hacking to be valuable. This seems to me to be the big unknown. Will the tracking that e-book services can already do affect reading habits? Does anyone care (and, how many people really understand) to what degree our personal movements can already be tracked with our phones? I think there may be a much greater tolerance and acceptance of much less privacy than we have now.”

An anonymous respondent commented, “There will be no privacy, and the norms will not protect the citizens.”

An anonymous respondent said, “We have the ability to do so technically and innovatively, but I worry that nosy governments and greedy companies with more power will want our information for nefarious reasons, which will impede the progress to reach this goal. If data is truly aggregated and not able to be attributed to individuals or identifiable groups of individuals, then I do not think that is an invasion of privacy. It is when data can be attributed to small groups of individuals.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Policymakers have already shown that they do not value privacy, since the US government created the Department of Homeland Security and passed the Patriot Act, as well as the Terrorist Information Act, whose sole purpose is to collect massive amounts of personal information.”

A university professor replied, “At least, there will be industrial standards. Specialists may have figured out way to use different security levels and tools to protect information. On the other hand, it will be up to how people are willing to work together for common good. If the computing industry put profits as priority, maybe it is not possible to reach any agreements and get works done. I think that both personal and physical identities will have to use in order to protect personal privacies and some data securities.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Ultimately, it is only by building an open and secure Internet, where we are also secure in ‘not being interfered with,’ can the power of the Internet be unleashed—to make all people productive. Anything else can create control in the short-run but not real wealth. The Internet will not be perfect—but the progression of history is one of increasing inclusiveness and greater responsible autonomy. Privacy is not anonymity—privacy is the right to not be interfered with. Transparency and especially reciprocal transparency (anyone can see my information—but I am alerted to who is looking at what—so I can look back) can breed the necessary civil norms for us to self-govern our behaviour. Not being able to look (at anyone or anything) is the alarm that something may be wrong.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “In the wake of the recent discovery of NSA abuses, and from my own experiences, I do not trust the current system of privacy assurance. It might be taken for granted that aggregate information will be gathered and used to monitor and predict trends in politics and commerce. We will have to be increasingly careful with the information we freely give to websites and their database gatherers.”

A professional who works for a nonprofit social services provider wrote, “I do not believe that consumer privacy will ever be a priority as long as money is to be made. Business and corporate interests will supersede individual privacy rights, and we will just be forced to accept it if we want to participate in society.”

An anonymous respondent said, “It is a significant enough problem getting users to fully understand privacy and confidentiality concerns in research, and we would need some massive and centralized legal infrastructure to police the standards for privacy rights. We will have some kind of solution by 2025, but I have no doubt it won’t be graceful from a user-experience perspective.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Creating such an infrastructure must be a priority in order for consumers and users to feel safe to engage in online exchanges. People, including myself, currently have a false sense of security in online privacy, but we will shortly see how insecure put information really is.”

A self-employed author and blogger replied, “Privacy will continue to be an issue. I do not see how privacy is going to be protected—those of us who use the Internet will just become accustomed to having ‘our business’ remain track-able. Even though companies claim privacy is protected, I tend to think that is just something they are saying that they are trying to do. I do not trust these messages. As mentioned above, I think people will slowly become more accustomed to less privacy. There is, and will continue to be, a veil of privacy, which likely will be quite thin, in fact.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Unfortunately, unless the citizens supporting this Society find it necessary to reclaim their constitutional rights by those means necessary, the puppet masters, politicians, and corporations (in descending order), will continue to use propaganda techniques, lies, laws, orders, taxes, and threats to ensure that control of the citizens is maintained and/or enhanced through 2025. As the speech and actions, reflecting a citizens opinion and beliefs, will continue to be monitored and/or controlled, public norms will either be modified to accommodate their concerns or modified to provide more privacy to the public norm.”

A management consultant commented, “The history of computing demonstrates that this is an unlikely outcome, unless there is a strong commercial incentive for technology providers to create this type of infrastructure. Recent history, in particular, indicates that the public does not generally value privacy very highly, other than when posed a specific question. As far as consumer purchase decisions are concerned such things as cosmetic appeal, ‘functionality,’ and even price, play a far bigger role than privacy or security. I cannot see any reason why this will change in the future—perhaps a raised awareness that our right to absolute privacy is circumscribed by what we need or want from other aspects of public infrastructure, like e-health records.”

An information science professional in Australia responded, “Technology will continue to outstrip legislation, and also, people will become less aware of the way that linking apps (i.e., signing into sites via Facebook), compromises their privacy. There will be a continuing battle between privacy and security. The public norms will be shaped by the success or failure of Wikileaks, Snowden, and other activists in making people aware of how much their privacy is already compromised by security and commercial requirements. Convenience will win out over the bother of increased security protocols, and I think that, unless there are clear and immediate individually detrimental consequences for privacy breaches (i.e., loss of passwords from a website), public norms will be more relaxed than they are now. As we get used to the regular breaches of existing privacy provisions, we will lower our standards, not increase them; after all, reality TV is the ultimate breach of privacy, and people willingly perform for it and watch it. While these total and utter breaches of individual privacy are treated as entertainment, this will shape our public norms.”

An entrepreneur and business leader said, “My ‘Yes’ means ‘I hope so.’ I do not have abundant confidence in the willingness of corporations to give users the privacy they want, which goes much further than consumer tracking would allow. Users deserve a measure of anonymity, and I am sure those who insist on privacy will find ways to get it if policymakers and corporations do not create regulations and analytics that allow user choice. As more stories emerge about the consequences of lack of privacy, the youngest Internet users will be better informed and better trained to maintain their privacy. That knowledge and training has to start when users start. Privacy maintenance will be integrated into the user experience.”

An independent consultant specializing in research issues relating to aging wrote, “The concept of individual privacy ended with the development of data analytics and the ability to process large amounts of data on a real-time basis. Business and government has too much invested in analytics to reverse their models. If anything, the intrusiveness of these entities into personal data space will increase. Millennials and younger generations already have surrendered much of their online privacy voluntarily through their use of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media. The recent Snowden revelations and subsequent reaction of the NSA and the Obama administration will, in my opinion, result in cosmetic, rather than substantive, changes in government domestic data collection—and, after a brief period of sturm und drang, the public will cease to be interested in the issue. They will be no different. If anything, social media and related technology will become so embedded in individuals’ lives that privacy, as we currently understand it, will cease to exist. There will, however, still be the ability to voluntarily opt-out, to some limited degree and, one hopes, to control the data spigot that currently gushes into our lives.”

An anonymous survey participant responded, “I am hopeful that, by 2025, the mess we have gotten ourselves into will be ironed out. We are, I believe, getting better with the basics of email scams and credit card privacy!”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Since the leak of the practices conducted by the NSA clearly signaled that privacy is a thing of the past. Anything we do, say, share, or distribute online is a permanent footprint. It is difficult to see if they will ever be some sort of a balance. They will be far more sophisticated, controlled, and centralized, with just a handful of people controlling practically everything.”

A marketing research analyst responded, “Security will be improved to the point people will trust the system, but it will never be completely safe. I think the trust will come from safety nets similar to the way our money is protected by the government when put in the bank. I believe that people will not have to carry wallets or cards around but instead use identification numbers that will be confirmed with security codes we would only know.”

A knowledge-management professional at a large law firm in the US said, “Security breaches are becoming more prevalent, and having a disjointed policy response by the states will be recognized as inefficient and bad for business. Thus, federal legislation will be passed and an International legislative framework will be created. Curiously, US citizens tend to expect more privacy intrusions than Europeans, so creating an international framework will be more challenging than passing federal law. Public norms are still evolving because most us citizens still do not understand the data collected about them and what can be done with it. Once there is better education on the type of data, data aggregation, and security framework, then consensus can be reached.”

A digital content strategist wrote, “Due to big data (specifically, our personal, often confidential information which is continuously building up on servers), the use of the Internet by younger and younger people, as well as recent security concerns in regards to government and military accessing our private information seemingly secretively and without our permission, advances in technology such as Google Now, and the increasing use of the Internet for business that improved security and privacy services, both software and hardware, will be made available for people to use if they choose. These changes will be made more by technology innovators than policymakers.”

A retired lawyer and political activist replied, “The benefits of much of the free information, communication, and entertainment comes at the cost of privacy. The providers need to make money. The public will accept the lack of privacy.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Companies will continue to do as they have always done: find ways to appear to conform and do what is best for the common/public good, while, out the back door, continue to pay lobbyist and politicians to do their bidding. I have no idea and do not want to guess. At the rate of things, nothing is going to change.”

An anonymous survey participant responded, “Knowing some aspects of all business and government activities must remain outside of the public’s purview should grant the public access to what is not ‘secret.’ This should extend to information about the citizens themselves. Policies should reflect the need for further transparency and access to personal information that has been gathered if and when a private citizen requests this information. There needs to be better security for consumers regarding apps, and this means forcing the publishers of apps to disclose their privacy policies and terms of use up-front and in plain English, even if it means iStore and Google play have to display this information for them. The public, in general, is shortsighted and forgets to add 2+2 and then wonders why the NSA would be spying on them and possible terrorists. To avoid another media feeding frenzy and popular outrage scenario, perhaps social sites and other information providers should let their users decide in advance if they want to be their customers by disclosing the fact that federal agencies are tracking their clients. All of these need to be in plain English and not hidden from easy public access. Honestly, as much as things change they really do remain the same. There will always be someone, somewhere, violating someone else’s privacy. And, as should be obvious, the harder-to-access information is the more challenging the game is for hackers. I see more private individuals using encryption programs and apps, if only for a false sense of security.”

A university professor based in Romania wrote, “Everyone needs to be trusted, no matter if it is an app or a human, so it is obvious that security must be the number-one priority to do business or just to communicate.”

A chief evangelist in Brazil for a global IT company based in the US commented, “The law always runs behind the technological innovations. For every attempt to regulate, many other innovations that are outside any regulation will emerge. Therefore, despite various measures and laws, most probably we must continue to see this discussion on privacy in 2025—like today, lagged.”

A science center administrator wrote, “They will try but have a difficult time gaining consensus on who manages privacy and security and who pays for the cost of something like that. I would like to see more transparency across the board. There is too much division now between selves.”

A consultant to state higher education organizations commented, “Policy and law will have to be nimble to stay on top of rapid change. A fully plugged-in lifestyle will be the norm in 2025.”

A digital analyst replied, “Business innovation will always outweigh an individual’s right to privacy. The future of the Internet (so far) has been an increasing lack of privacy with individuals contributing to this increase. Children are being exposed to an online profile through their parents’ social networking sites even before they are born. Compelling content must be personalized to an individual’s interests resulting in an increase in behavior tracking online.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Personal data is worth too much for corporations to meaningfully self-limit access to it. There is little political fire rising from the body politic to drive significant legislation to change this dynamic. I believe that the evolution of privacy will lead to some businesses setting up proprietary tools for users who value it to protect their own.

An anonymous respondent said, “I do not believe that, by 2025, our individual privacy online will be much different from it is today (December 30, 2013). I look at this issue as I would be contemplating the socioeconomic status of individuals. There is such a gap between lower (poverty level)—and upper middle class; this should also probably include upper lower and upper middle. The only people who will be guaranteed privacy and security in the Internet-invasive world will the upper-upper class (the rich and richest). They have the money to do what it takes to block and secure themselves in their electronic fortresses. They will not share information. The socioeconomic classes below may feel that ‘Big Brother is always watching’ via technology, via satellites, via credit cards. It will be extremely difficult to achieve privacy when they have no money to spend defend against the invasion of their privacy.”

A regional sales director for a business wrote, “The US government is becoming less trusting and will continue to be dysfunctional until the American public creates a complete overhaul of Congress. With the government heading down the path (such as the recent NSA news regarding snooping) it is, the American people will finally say enough is enough and will move back to being more private and social media companies should make it easier to control privacy through very user-friendly settings.”

A university-based researcher and educator replied, “I am not sure if it is possible to develop a policy that meets everyone’s needs Hopefully, they will not become increasingly restrictive.”

An employee at a US university wrote, “The forces of special interest (particularly business) will keep Congress from establishing any substantive legislation that protects citizens. The current makeup of the Supreme Court will keep rulings from protecting citizens. Today, money rules more than ever before in our society. People will seek out paths that offer more security and anonymity. Think of the technology that powers Snapchat, for example. Youth are learning to seek out these paths. The tweens of today may well become the activists of 20 or thirty years from now that eventually address privacy successfully.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “If it makes good business sense and they can see a profit to their bottom dollar, they will do it. With today’s youth being ignorant on the necessity of privacy, I fear the lack of privacy will become more normal by 2025.”

A communications professional who works for a US government agency replied, “Businesses, corporations, and policymakers will have to continue to focus on the balance between privacy and ease of access, meaning providing users with privacy choices in a way that isn’t burdensome. People seem to say they care about privacy, but they do not act like they care about privacy. I think people differentiate between security of their financial information and their own privacy or anonymity online.”

An education consultant, teacher, and developer, replied, “There are numbers of people who will not be bothered by having data mined; they will be unaware or consider it part of the price paid for access; however, there will be scores of people who will consider that a breach and inappropriate use of their participation in Internet activity. There must be a way to access information and be guaranteed privacy and anonymity. There must also be safety on the Internet, or else entire tech infrastructures will pay the price. It will be developed out of necessity, as well as to satisfy consumers.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “I am not optimistic about any kind of increase in privacy rights for individuals. Corporations have pretty much taken over the Web and will not easily give up their ability to collect information about individuals and market to them directly. There may be some palliative measures, but for every innovation in privacy protection, we see stealthier ways for businesses to collect personal information. People will be even less concerned about personal privacy than they are today. Those who try to protect their privacy or complain of incursions will be seen as paranoid kooks.”

The president of a Washington-based center advocating health solutions wrote, “The public places low value on online privacy and, seemingly, only slightly higher value on security. It is difficult to believe that commercial interests will pay more than cursory attention to these issues without a robust public outcry. The public’s response to revelations of NSA surveillance and the recent Target security breach are only the two most-recent data points informing my opinion. Perhaps some egregious violations will change attitudes and behaviors in the coming years.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “I am not confident that policymakers have the best interest of the public on mind when creating policy. Presently, they are fumbling through events without real understanding of the ramifications for decisions. There are no forward thinkers with true intelligence to even think this far in advance. Until great minds collaborate, it is a marketing free-for-all.”

An Internet marketer commented, “Policy is too difficult to defend in the Internet world. They may evolve policy to reflect greater privacy protection but it is almost impossible to enforce. People will have to be more vigilant in monitoring their own privacy. People will share a lot less information about themselves publicly on the Internet.”

The director of financial stability and workforce development for a medium-sized nonprofit organization commented, “Based on recent history, our policymakers are unable to address any issue, much less privacy. Even if our policymakers can get their acts together, business interests will hold precedence over individual privacy. I would like to hope individuals would become more aware and concerned about the lack of privacy protection they really do receive via the Internet; however, it does not look promising. Unless a catastrophic event occurs that impacts individuals’ confidential and private information, I believe the norm will probably continue to be the same.”

A professional counselor wrote, “I think (hope) a nonprofit, non-invested entity will develop a secure system for transferring sensitive information—much like the group that assigns Web addresses. Once established, that entity will attract the most traffic, leaving commercial enterprises to manage their own data, with the public’s understanding that such channels are not likely to be entirely secure. We certainly have the technology to bring this into existence.”

The digital manager for a hospital, and member of the computing professionals’ honor society, commented, “With Internet changing frequently and different types of technology emerging to capture private information, I do not feel that law makers would be able to get up to speed and pass policies in a timely fashion. By the time a policy would be past, a new technology would emerge. Right now, I think more people are open to sharing certain pieces of information—which is a lot different than it was even a few years ago. As people become more accustomed to sharing even more information, they may feel acceptable at sharing things that today, we wouldn’t dream of sharing.”

A Web technical analyst for a major US county commented, “Laws and guidelines have traditionally been created ‘after the fact,’ or as a reaction to something that has gotten out of control. This is how I have seen things happen on the Internet in the past, and I have no reason to believe it will change. This sounds great in theory, but accomplishing those three simple tasks (security, liberty, privacy) is a very difficult, if not impossible, task. People will learn to be more careful and respectful of their privacy. I am sorry to say that I believe this lesson will likely be learned the ‘hard way.’”

A manager for a major US foundation replied, “The Internet has not even been regulated, so I find it difficult to believe this could be achieved by 2025. I also think the tech lobby is incredibly capable; I am not sure how their role would play out. I hope there is more awareness. I am constantly shocked by what people put online.”

A university-based researcher commented, “When I look at what policymakers and corporations are doing today, it is really not enough. Compared to Europe, where many companies have invested in things like throw-away card numbers (that are connected to your card and get sent to your phone each time you make a purchase, so your permanent card number is never used) and three-point security systems (where you not only have to enter your personal identity number but also sign the receipt), Canada and the United States are lagging behind. And that is just in the simple, offline consumer realm. When it comes to online security, there have been so many recent breaches that seem very simple to avoid that I do not trust that this is a priority for those in charge of innovations and decision-making. I personally feel that, by 2025, decision-makers will still be attending to other priorities and will still be expecting consumers to change their attitudes about privacy, instead of requiring that our leaders change the privacy environment. By 2025, the children who were raised in a world with wireless Internet and mobile phones will be hitting adulthood, and they certainly will not have the same hang-ups and expectations about personal privacy that the previous generations had. For them, the norm is to share information and have that information used to facilitate their own information gathering. By 2025, we will still have to protect privacy to some degree, as the older generations who are concerned about it will remain active. But as time goes on, I think our perceptions and understanding of privacy as well as our valuation of it as a society is going to drastically change.”

A middle manager in the digital division of a public media company responded, “Business will pressure politicians to establish a controlled Internet environment, probably following a series of disruptive events that threaten the public’s overall sense of security. There will be acknowledgement and acceptance of trade-offs that balance security (transactional, primarily) with personal privacy. We might very well have a two-tier system: a formal, more secure business space, and a less controlled anonymous space for everyday communications. People will wonder why anyone cared about privacy.”

A digital strategist wrote, “Privacy controls will be more explicit, with greater transparency. With that said, I expect that there will always be a layer of data that is collected about you, which you can’t control. This will be perceived as part of the cost of being online. The only way to truly protect all of your information is to not depend on centralized systems (energy, commerce, etc.), which will also be increasingly difficult to achieve. It will become accepted that one cannot retain full control over their digital footprint. We will stop trying, and trade on some pieces of information simply becoming expected as part of the public domain.”

A healthcare consultant replied, “By 2025, private industry will have developed more ways to protect ourselves online. We will always be challenged because security breaches will continue to occur, and policymakers will be several steps behind those who develop technology, but for the vast majority of consumers, the trade off will have value. I am unsure; I think life will be considerably less private, but we will have to find a way to minimize the risk of things like identify theft and discrimination due to personal habits.”

A professor at a large public university wrote, “I hope I am wrong, but I see no technology being developed which will increase Internet privacy. In fact, I see the exact opposite happening. It already exists, but I believe there will be a boom in companies whose business is protecting your online privacy. Complete privacy, however, is gone forever. The youngest demographic (ages 18 to 30) seems to have no problem sharing anything about themselves, as if the Internet is somehow separate from reality. I believe personal privacy will erode to the point that knowing everything about a person becomes the new normal.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “While it will be difficult to develop an infrastructure acceptable to all parties, it is possible and that there will have to be a solution by 2025.”

The owner of a creative services group responded, “The NSA controversy has dramatized the (stupidity of) warehousing of metadata, not only as the highly publicized mass storage of data without due process, but also as the non-functional system that does not really serves analytical purposes. Once the fog over the issue has cleared, we shall see the nonsensical nature of warehousing data compared to true and agile trends analysis.”

A professional blogger wrote, “Government and industry are not interested in protecting privacy; they prefer to violate it and have no motivation to guard consumer privacy, despite public complaints. People will increasingly accept the surveillance state and assume that privacy is a relic of the past.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “There are many concerns about security and privacy and their impacts on liberty in 2013 and, probably, for the immediate future. It is my opinion that these very valid concerns are due in large part because technology moved so rapidly that the associate security and privacy technology has not yet had time to respond to the issues. If Americans are concerned about security and privacy and their actions reflect their concerns, solutions will be forthcoming. Younger people are sharing information without regard to implications for privacy or security; in fact, most of them are not aware of any possible issue. It will be interesting to see if their attitudes change as they mature and understand the possible consequences.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “I expect that this will happen. Unfortunately, I think it will happen several times, and each one will be incompatible with the rest. This is not something that is likely to be solved universally strictly with a commercial approach.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “There are too many countries and governments with opposing goals. It appears likely that, by 2025, it will be virtually impossible to have any kind of digital privacy if you are born in a western culture, a hospital, or participate in any form of an organized society where you consume or contribute any goods or services and especially if you own any connected device. For eastern cultures or third world countries, privacy might be attainable at the cost of serious quality of life.”

A freelance writer commented, “Corporations will be allowed to capture the Internet and write rules that favor their interests over the interests of most people. Public norms will not change; these will just be ignored.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “There is an increasing voice for privacy and security online. I can see the underlying the turbulence to the use of personal data without permission. As the maturity of usage of the online individuals continues to grow, this will take shape very quickly. Companies will be forced to build these rights if they want individuals to use their services. It will be under customers’ or individuals’ control. They will decide if they will want to share the information, and they would expect value in return.”

A technical manager who works with professional and financial enhancement tools commented, “Mail exchanges and other personal data transfers will be more encrypted and secure. There will be more encryption in 2025.”

An organizational, marketing, and planning consultant for nonprofit organizations, commented, “Without better and more security, the Internet will devolve into an entertainment forum only.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “We are moving towards a tipping point, where hopefully, policymakers will step forward, develop and implement policies to protect the least knowledgeable consumers from being exploited, and enable the more knowledgeable to adapt to protect their privacy. I do not think it will ever be perfect, but it may be more balanced. I would like to see, by 2025, more ability to participate in transactions even as minor as a game app without the requirement to give up access to contacts and data. The next generation of consumers will have grown up with technology and be cognizant of their digital footprint, as educational efforts will have expanded to include more technology and make them aware of the tradeoffs. Advertising will be even more specifically oriented to each individual consumer, making the bubble effect more pronounced. I think people will be even more concerned about the invasiveness and making decisions based on protecting themselves and their children even more so than we have done. I think that will vary based on economic and educational levels, as it does today.”

A self-employed communications consultant responded, “I do not think we will ever strike the perfect balance, but I am hopeful that people, corporations and governments will make progress toward that goal. They will be much more informed and perhaps cautious.”

A technology journalist replied, “There will be several Internets, with varying degrees of privacy and access to information, and that people will give up privacy in exchange for greater access to services, entertainment, information and connection—much as they do now, though perhaps with more realization—meaning the government won’t be able to control the loss of privacy but at least force its disclosure so people can make choices. That would be a best-case scenario. It depends what happens politically, both in the United States and abroad. Right now in the United States, there is very little downside to loss of privacy—if your credit cards are stolen, you are still protected from unauthorized purchases. Identity theft is oddly less common than it could be. Laws are still liberal and strong, so people are not being unfairly prosecuted and/or jailed. If the political climate changes that—so that people tweeting about getting high find themselves being arrested, for example—then I think the public perception about privacy would change in a hurry. It is a first-world luxury to give up privacy in exchange for social entertainment; in dictatorial states, it is another matter.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “While the government officials’ probability of setting the right policies is questionable, it is fairly certain that technology innovators will find ways of hitting the above mentioned targets in similar ways they developed the Tor Project, Bitcoin, and the like. Now, will they be legal? Will they be able to hold off government interference? How much of the population will have access to the innovations and for how long & to what extent? That is uncertain. People will probably be more aware of the struggles concerning privacy rights.”

A self-employed web designer, developer, and writer, responded, “Some policy efforts will be made; however, the technology and the desire for information are not things that are going to go away. The public will continue to see governmental and corporate use of private information as an invasion, even as many share nearly all of their private information and want greater transparency. Privacy is dying, and has been for ages. People just are not sure how to deal with that yet. By 2025, though, I think a lot of younger people will be asking why we aren’t sharing more information. If transparency is what enables us to learn about each other, corporations, and governments, it stands to reason that more transparency will be desired across the board.”

A professor at the University of Pittsburgh wrote, “A combination of government regulation, consumer awareness, and the development of software tools that enable consumers to control access to personal data will produce a more favorable balance than the one which exists today. Consumer awareness will be greater, and the educational system will provide more of the knowledge and skills necessary to maintain personal privacy in online environments.”

A professor of new media at a major university in the United States replied, “Privacy and security are concepts that work in tension with one another. Policymakers today do not heed the voice of either privacy advocates—only those who are sophisticated and/or skilled enough to produce the infrastructure, which is increasingly dominated by commercial interests. Unfortunately, those who monetize personal information from Web searching, online purchases, GPS tracking information, and the like, are less than transparent about what data is collected and how it is used—therefore, the general public has no conception of what information is being captured about their every move. When this information is used inappropriately (such as what we saw with the IRS offices earlier this year), liberty and freedom are negatively impacted. There is an increasingly prevalent resignation to the control of personal information by large commercial entities, as well as the government, and this resignation will color broader social contexts. I think this will ultimately force individuals to become more secretive about their activities, not more open.”

A former legislative aide and budget analyst responded, “By 2025, either we will have lost all right to privacy, or there will have been something of a revolution in which some rebels will insist upon privacy while some entity—probably corporations—will control information, money, and our lives. I am disillusioned about the future of privacy rights. Corporations have now been declared as persons, and those persons will have more clout than individual persons.”

A professor at the University of Colorado wrote, “Policymakers and technology innovators will create a secure infrastructure, but it will still be able to be broken into by criminals; however, the process will be required for global interaction, so people will take the risk of having information stolen. Some set of people will refuse to participate in the networks that require information to be divulged. There will grow an industry that will supposedly assist people in maintaining privacy in social contexts.”

A professional educator wrote, “There will not be too many things in 2025 that are completely private.”

An anonymous respondent commented, “Nothing will be entirely secure: for every innovation, there is a hacker ready to compromise it. The expectation of privacy is what determines actual privacy. If people accept that nothing is private, then they can adjust their behavior accordingly.”

A system designer based in Texas wrote, “Tracking software, back door access, and hackers will continue to make all information vulnerable. Privacy will be viewed as a new norm, which I will call the new normalcy of quasi-private or semi-private.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Today’s teenagers will be adults in 2025, and today’s twenty-somethings will be more established thirty-somethings (or, at least, we hope to be). These age groups are more likely to seek out different content and apps if dissatisfied with one service, and current education surrounding privacy, security, and consumer tracking is inadequate. I do not see consumers responding to these issues in meaningful ways nearly often enough.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “The public will have lost all trust in policymakers and corporations. Policymakers will not be able to come together on this or any other subject. Unless corporations are allowed to suffer natural consequences of their actions (as opposed to being bailed out and protected by policy makers), they will continue to gather more and more data on consumers to the point they will be more powerful than the NSA. There will be two classes of individuals: those that have the ability to keep data private and those that have no private data.”

An information science professional replied, “We will have to lose our privacy in favor of feeling ‘protected.’ Once we give up our privacy for this false sense of ‘safety’ we will not be able to retrieve it. It is an all-or-nothing choice that often is not even our own, but instead, mandated by society as a whole. Loss of privacy, sacrificed in the name of safety, does not always make us ‘safe.’ Right now, we use Facebook and buy on Amazon. Both track our habits and try to focus advertising on our past ‘habits.’ Grocery stores print out coupons based upon what we purchased. I think that, by 2025, we will have not noticed that we no longer have a sense of privacy. Is that good or bad? It depends upon what else is happening in society, government, etc.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “The government and large corporations will work against individual privacy rights. Information is power. If the powers that be can control the flow and distribution of information, then I feel that will totally inform the dynamic between companies, governments and security and privacy rights. I can see that the public norms about personal privacy are already changing. Younger generations—those who grew up connected—see their privacy rights completely different from my generation (Generation X). I think that it will be publicly accepted practice to have very specialized ad targeting to a user, with more difficult ways to disengage from the social outlet. Look at Facebook today. That service will not erase your data, even though that is something many users want to happen.”

A Web developer wrote, “Nothing about our lives will be private, and all our data will be owned by the corporations and sold as a commodity. It will be accepted ‘to protect’ us from the ‘bad guys.’”

A technology developer wrote, “This will be in courts for years, tied up until privacy is a thing of the past, and it will not matter. By then, there will be biometric devices, and what people divulge will supersede privacy, as people will have already defined what data-miners have amassed. People will have accounts with data-miners so that they get it correct and don’t have to extrapolate it.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “The war between innovators and hackers will continue into the indefinite future. This will probably happen, but expectations will still remain relatively high.”

A manager for an Australian lobbying organisation replied, “If technology makers do not collaborate to create an acceptable, trustworthy privacy-rights infrastructure within a reasonable timeframe, people will take steps to protect their own privacy by not using the least trustworthy social networks, using an evolution of something like TOR, or just plain logging off. And that will be business disaster for the technology makers, who rely on the data we provide to monetise their business. I doubt policymakers will have much to do with this. They seem to be incapable of understanding the problem, let alone come up with a practical solution. Even if they were capable of understanding the technology, they have no political impetus to do anything about it. And, the voting public knows it, so they do not trust any suggestion politicians put forward on online privacy. By 2025, we will have generations whose entire lives have been documented online. What will be the point of calling for publication of a president’s birth certificate, when you can just watch YouTube footage of her or him being born? When everyone’s embarrassing high school hairstyles, or experimental university days are documented on social media, there is not much point pretending that only a minority of people make a few mistakes in their youth. The embarrassment will be when those mistakes are repeated, instead of becoming a learning experience. At the same time, people will be willing to pay for services that allow them a level of anonymity (such as Tumblr does now). Privacy is complex, and anonymity is simple. Instead of reading the terms of service and looking up reviews and keeping up with security updates to use a service under your real name, but still in control of your privacy, it is easier to just register another email address and use a service anonymously. Service providers who make that process simple and reliable will be sought-after by anyone who wants to express an opinion that might offend current or future employer or social contact.”

A director at the US federal branch wrote, “I do believe that policymakers and many other actors will create several solutions, but none of them will be secure. There will two categories of norms: those who are able (and can afford) to hold their privacy are doing that, and those who follow the public norms, who cannot be sure of anything.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “Policymakers will establish a legal framework and set of laws in order to facilitate a safe online environment. Within this framework, individuals and companies will be able to invent, share, and act in a balanced, private, and secure way, without any need of ‘Big Brother’ to watch them. They will be more advanced and progressed due to years of experience and a structure of cultural norms.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “More security issues and challenges will emerge.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “The reality is that the people will continue to fight for our rights on the Internet. The Internet is a place that gives us a voice free of censorship and some of the regulated services of the offline world. Online users will always have a negative perception of government regulation.”

The research and program evaluation lead at a small nonprofit commented, “It will take longer than 11 years to get this down across the sectors. It is not that I do not think there is interest in solving the problem of privacy, but I believe there will be much work to find common practices that meet the unique needs of private versus public sectors. It takes decades for research to inform practice, and we are just now starting to focus on knowledge translation (in health) to be a critical discipline.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “By 2025, privacy will be a non-issue because both government and business will have to address privacy issues to remain viable. Public concern about privacy issues will demand viable solutions.”

A government-based cultural technology research analyst wrote, “More and more transactions are being carried out online, so there is definitely a need for the infrastructure, and it is in everyone’s best interests to ensure security of data. It is not only a problem for private individuals when information is stolen, but it becomes a bureaucratic problem as well, so policymakers will understand the need for security and (I hope) move to ensure that. I think (hope) that there will be some sort of move to a single, secure access. It is a big problem right now to remember multiple passwords, so the two possibilities (either writing them down or using the same password for everything) occur, and they are not safe. I am expecting some sort of encryption to be developed.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “The public perception is not an easy variable to change when it comes to personal information over the Internet. The technology innovators are able to develop a secure infrastructure, and the policymakers can follow to implement the right regulation to apply a secure infrastructure, but it will not be at the same pace all over the world. And, the public trust will not be immediate, nor an easy change towards the new infrastructure because with new technology always come new ways to challenge privacy rights. As technology changes, the perception of privacy and social norms will change, will relax, and people will increasingly come to terms to give more and more about their personal information for the sake of the new technology use. What cannot change are the basic human rights to privacy like the protection of children online privacy, first of all, and of the most vulnerable groups in society.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “The public may perceive that using the Internet is more secure; however, whether one’s information is secure and actually private would still be up to the individual, and what will be most important will be the education of each individual so they would know what to do, and what not to do. There will be those who will be very cut off from society (not using Internet or any social sites to ensure privacy), and then, the rest (public norms) will not have any privacy.”

An administrative assistant for a major US foundation commented, “The companies with the most money will be able to work the political system in such a way that their interests are the guiding principles behind any Internet privacy or security legislation. I do not think the general public’s privacy interests will be included. I expect there will be a much smaller expectation of privacy. Whether intentional or not, I expect people to continue over-sharing their information.”

A leader at a US state environmental agency replied, “Privacy, data, etc., will still be a constantly shifting field. Businesses will probably be more satisfied with any legislation than consumers will be. The self-determination of privacy will probably be more widespread.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “A ‘Yes’ answer is certain because new stories are emerging every week about our technological capacities, increasingly intrusive information gathering, and privacy issues. Privacy and security will continue to be top concerns, both internationally and personally— and our governmental and corporate leaders will be pressed to respond. The tech companies and the telephone service providers are already trying to develop anti-encryption busting capabilities. And, I just read that President Obama is planning to announce NSA changes on January 17, 2014. I have not yet read Dave Eggers new novel, The Circle, a sort of techno-horror story; nonetheless, the future of privacy is certainly at risk. The question is what we will do about it and whether we will be able to protect ourselves from it.”

A senior Web designer responded, “With the recent revelations about NSA snooping and scandals involving Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites, I think it is inevitable that we will have laws and judicial rulings that bring our privacy and protection back in line with core civil liberties. The world is too open not to protect privacy, liberty, and security as much as we can. They are already different. People are posting things that previously would have remained private. This is not always good, but sometimes we move to an extreme before resetting to a more balanced norm. The government must become more transparent, as it will be hacked and robbed of the ability to conceal from the public. This is good, as people need to become more informed and engaged in what our government and business are doing.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “I would like to see a balance struck between security and liberty online, but I’m not sure it will actually happen. Policymakers will likely try to do the right things, but security will never be 100% foolproof, and privacy will never be certain for any information shared online. I think we all accept the risk that our personal information may become public via the Internet. We have systems in place to ease the impact (FDIC/HIPAA), and perhaps, other systems will be created as breaches are identified and remediation is necessary.

A consultant wrote, “Policymakers and large corporations have too much monetary incentive to do anything to change the current structure. As the population gets more and more digitized, rights will be thought of ‘in the aggregate,’ and individual rights will not be considered essential or guaranteed.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “Policymakers will always be behind in creating laws to protect individuals’ privacy.”

An education technology researcher wrote, “Policymakers continue to disappoint the public by not understanding the specific privacy concerns individuals, programs, organizations, and corporations have. This is a moving target, and policymakers are, in a sense, out-of-date with the times in understanding the needs and desires of younger audiences, who are both the voice and the authors of the Internet (content, apps, platforms, tools, etc.). Companies like Google will eclipse any tool that policymakers can control. In the same way there was a digital divide, I predict there will be a privacy divide. Those who have the intellectual capacity and resources will be in a better position to guard their privacy and will take an active role in ensuring their business and personal privacy is intact; however, the rest of the masses will be have no choice but to give up their data to anyone who mines it.”

The managing director for a large advertising and marketing agency responded, “The solution will be an amalgam of what the courts rule and what technology can do. Opt-in, and religious and rigorous enforcement of opt-in, will be the backbone of any policy. Consumers want personalized, relevant, and useful information delivered proactively and on-demand. But, they need reassurance that private data and financial information will be encrypted and secure. The technology exists today; what is missing is a comprehensive policy that everyone can buy into. There will be more scrutiny and more common conversation, but the sensibilities will be pretty much the same. Consumers willingly trade personal data for utility, convenience, and discounts. This will not change.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “Business interests—especially influential tech players—will always trump personal privacy concerns. The concept of ‘privacy’ is becoming generational—digital natives are losing the concept as tracking becomes more entrenched in our lives.”

A freelance writer, author, and journalist commented, “The overall public perception will be that policymakers have made sure the interests of the corporations have been protected, even if to the detriment of the public. I would hope that more people would stand up for their privacy and be bolder about it; however, if enough people are continually convinced (i.e., they don’t wake up) that giving up more of their privacy will somehow make them more secure, they will probably do it.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “Policy solutions will lag behind industry due to the nature of the process and timing of policy change, particularly on a national level; however I believe the threat of regulation resulting from consumer advocacy will push the privacy agenda more aggressively in the next few years and that industry will respond. The generation that will reach maturity in 2025 will be more tolerant of the use of consumer data to promote commercial interests and will also be more educated about the ways private industry can and shout cater to their personal data use preferences. At the same time, technology will be in place that allows consumers more control over the levels of data and information privacy. Government access and use of consumer data will be more openly known but will not be further limited than today.”

A university-based teacher and data scientist responded, “We here in the United States will move closer to EU standards of confidentiality and privacy. Business and consumer interests will drive the movement toward tighter personal privacy and far more secure data. There is, and will be, engaging content and apps. We will expect, and demand, tighter privacy and data security. Both established cyber-security organizations and start-ups are leading the way.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “This will become a bigger issue than our current healthcare efforts. This is the new arms race and the enemy does not sport guns or weapons. We will need to establish a new branch of government that will focus on techno-privacy concerns. It will become a representative effort across public, tech, and privacy experts. You will likely buy privacy protection and or being authenticated access into a Web 4.0/5.0 at that time. I could envision clearance levels and premium access levels, based either payment or value of you as an individual. Because the Digital Natives will be now running things and making policy decisions, I believe the public norms will mirror what the current digital native believes to be the norm. Surrendering personal data for access will be commonplace, until we have some significant breeches that will reset the public perception towards a more conservative tone.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “The current situation is confusing, and disturbing to consumers is not optimal for businesses—we still cannot get all the information we may be able to benefit, and consumers are annoyed with the information we are able to collect. I believe we will have to solve this, and by 2025, we should be able to.”

An online news producer commented, “We should make it up with the end of privacy.”

A technologist at a university in the United States wrote, “Security will depend upon personal characteristics that cannot be duplicated. Internet privacy will no longer be expected. Governmental security will trump privacy. Those who cannot accept that will. Or, they will use the intranet but will find private and expensive means of private communications.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “Privacy rights are generally determined through the legal process, which is often lengthy and does not create easy-to-use legislation. Legislation also tends to be created in a very reactionary manner by policymakers, meaning that it is often skewed based on recent events or lobby groups. Laws very rarely address the concerns and wants of all stakeholders. Privacy seems to be an increasingly important issue to the general public. I think privacy rights and expectations to technology will become more explicitly stated in click-wrap and on websites. The average user will be much more knowledgeable about the topic than they are now.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “Policymakers will support an infrastructure that will favor the rights of corporations over those of individuals. The public will allow intrusions into their private information in exchange for perceived benefits.”

A strategy and business intelligence manager responded, “The NSA-spying revelations and Target security breach during the 2013 holiday shopping season brings this issue to the forefront. Although people have blithely given away their private data for the last 10 years to save a few dollars or get a free gift, the consequences of these actions are just starting to become evident to the average person. As more individuals have to deal with the fallout of identity theft or online fraud, they are becoming more aware of the need for data privacy, especially financial data. By 2025, the public will expect to be able to conduct transactions online without compromising their private information and financial security. Personally, I keep my financial data on an old computer with no Internet connection and do not do online banking. I think the privacy pendulum will swing back to the middle. It will not be the privacy giveaway of the last 10 years, but it will not be completely sealed records for any information, either. My Millennial children are reaching their thirties and are much less willing to share much information online and via social media. Perhaps, the ‘share everything in your life’ is more a function of age than the generation you inhabit.”

A district administrator replied, “I do not see a distinction between policymakers and corporations in the future (or in the present). Personal privacy will not exist online. Consumer tracking and analytics will not allow companies to produce costly compelling content or applications because profit margins would be too low. This will be somewhat different. Assumptions about inherent personal privacy will not exist.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “People will expect a much higher level of public and private intrusion into their digital habits but also have many more skills and tools to respond to privacy threats.”

A market researcher for a technology company wrote, “The privacy-rights infrastructure will remain fragmented and confusing, as they are today, in 2025. There may be a few easy-to-use formats, but I think they will remain fragmented, with some solutions developed by academia, some by government and some by industry.”

A professor at a state university in Minnesota responded, “All of those entities must piece together some sort of secure, profitable model of e-commerce that is acceptable and workable. After, this is the United States. ‘Profitability’ has become most individual’s mantra. Privacy norms will be broader. The notion of privacy will evolve as the Internet and its users mature. Many people are rather naive and immature about online privacy today.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “It is inevitable as we learn to realize that our personal information is exposed and that the risk is too great to ignore it; it will either getter better or worse, not stay the same.”

A healthcare entrepreneur said, “Public backlash against privacy will lead policymakers and/or business leaders to define limits for privacy. Companies that reside outside of this will still exist, but value will ultimately depend on consumers. I feel that consumers will be more willing to share information, include confidential and personal information, if given the right context that the information will be used. In fact, most data is anonymized, with algorithms used to analyze. In this fashion, computers and programs will be the sole utilizers of personal information. Given this context and the limitations (i.e., similar to third-party marketers) consumers will share more than they ever have.”

An information science professional wrote, “There are too many variables to create a single solution or overarching policing. In 2025, the landscape will be just as varied and full of pitfalls as it is now. Although I am sure progress will be made in security solutions, they will have to keep up with innovations in content creation and sharing. Trends will continue to allow for more ways and means to share information. There will be greater push to educate youth about information sharing as these possibilities grow.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “As long as governments manage Internet infrastructure, their vested interests in spying will trump personal privacy. Wrestling the management of the Internet out of government hands seems unlikely. Privacy, as currently espoused by civil liberty groups, already seems quaint or even irrelevant to so many people. In another dozen years, I imagine ideas of what privacy means will be entirely different. What would be seen as Orwellian government intrusion today may simply be the assumed-normal state of affairs.”

A higher education professional wrote, “Technology innovators will create such an infrastructure and will incorporate more privacy controls for the end consumer into technology that collects and transmits data, but policymakers will lag behind in the understanding needed to create appropriate policy by at least 10 years. I expect public norms to be considerably different! I am an anthropologist and love to study cultural change. One thing that fascinates me now is watching my friends toddlers grow up in age where they constantly have a smart phone recording them. At least one 2-year-old knows when video and pictures are being taken and knows specifically when it is taken of him or herself. He or she will ask to see it. How will his or her expectation of being recorded and having his or her pictures and videos shared in public spaces, like Facebook, be different from mine when he or she is my age? I expect it will be very different.”

A US government research professional responded, “There are too many conflicts of interest for this to be likely to happen. Government surveillance; profit motive to predict consumer patterns from ‘big data’ and marketing to consumers; and privacy rights and expectations of private citizens of varying degrees of Internet literacy, all pose conflicting agendas for such an infrastructure. I expect that this will continue to be a lively discussion and conflict past 2025 as technologies evolve. Private citizens will be more informed about privacy and perhaps savvier in how they use the Internet. There will likely be emerging technologies that will impact norms, but people will learn better how to gauge the privacy needs and requirements of Internet venues, set their limits and expectations more clearly, and pick and choose venues and technology to meet their privacy needs and expectations.”

A researcher based at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government observed, “A combination of government intervention and consumer advocacy will result in stronger protections for citizens. Businesses have every interest in fostering confidence—the incentives point in the right direction—so there is a very reasonable chance that the right balance will be struck. I suspect there will be much more mandatory, explicit, and simplified disclosure to consumers (i.e., ‘Warning: I just put a cookie on your browser; your purchase of this product will be recorded and sold to a third-party; etc.’) that will likely be regulated by the FTC, FCC, etc.”

A senior director for digital media at a healthcare nonprofit wrote, “I feel confident that policymakers and technologists will innovate to create a secure, popularly accepted, and trusted privacy-rights infrastructure by 2025, but I also think that privacy and liberty issues will continue to challenge us all. I also believe that there will be an ongoing debate about what privacy means and that as technology improves public opinion will change on the topic—perhaps many times swinging back and forth between more control and more openness. I think new technology will change our norms. It will allow us more confidence that our information is protected and, at the same time, any intrusion on our privacy (stores of data) will be condemned. With greater confidence in privacy controls and what will become obvious advantages for storing information in the cloud, but in private places, public norms will change to be more open.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “There has always been, and almost certainly always will be, a tension between state and citizen, even when the state is ostensibly operating on behalf of the citizen.”

An anonymous respondent said, “There is no political or monetary incentive for political leaders to tackle this monumentally challenging issue.”

An editor focused on how technology affects policy and society for a major US-based online news organization responded, “I am not sure whether policymakers and corporations will have struck the ‘right’ balance, but I believe that there will be a balance—one somewhat weighted in favor of business, but still with more protections for consumers than there are today. By that time, I think—hope—that consumers will have better understanding of how their data are used and, thus, will be better equipped to take advantage of privacy safeguards. Privacy literacy education will be vital. There will be increased tolerance for some behaviors now considered private and embarrassing, i.e., drunken shenanigans from a person’s early years.”

A professional, who works for a US university public health program, replied, “This will happen because the market demands it, and hopefully, before 2025; but, 11 years should be enough time to find solutions to privacy issues dogging Internet commerce and consumers’ rights. I am not exactly sure. While people share their lives on Facebook and Twitter, they are outraged by Edward Snowden’s revelations about NSA spying. I think if consumers control of their information, they are happy, which is what makes people so angry about the NSA news. If I decide to expose something, that is my choice. I do not think there will ever be a time where people want less privacy, even with threats to national security.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “I do not believe there will be any holistic approach to privacy issues by 2025. More likely, there will continue to be piece-meal solutions (or non-solutions). I think we will continue to see privacy erode and an attendant devaluing regarding the importance of privacy. By 2025, many people will realize that privacy (as understood today) no longer exists. We will have started to adapt to this reality. There will be less handwringing about our personal information being ‘out there’ and being used for purposes both beneficial and harmful—it will simply be a reality of life.”

A PhD candidate commented, “Many will experiment and refine solutions over the next decade or so that will ultimately settle on a solution that works for pretty much everyone. I am reminded of how the music industry was shaken by digital music and piracy in the late 1990s, but within a decade, the purchasing of digital music became standard and easy, and the industry has for all intents and purposes recovered.”

A professor at Florida State University responded, “There will be a range of privacy options, but consumers will have to pay for privacy enhancement with regard to private sector commercial collection of information. Privacy against government monitoring is a more difficult question, and higher cost encrypted systems will be offered to users. Some types of online communication and areas on online behavior will lose current expectations of privacy. Offline options may regain value for those who value privacy of specific communication, such as business leaders or professional service providers.”

A government-based program specialist replied, “Online security, liberty, and privacy will continue to be an issue. As it evolves, so, too, will the criminal element that figures out how to circumvent it. People will be more nonchalant about their online privacy; this is already happening on a generational level (for example, 20-year-olds are much more casual about their online privacy than their parents).”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “There will be more general, overall awareness of how much information is shared, but there will be a concomitant indifference to individual privacy.”

A university student responded, “It is not clear that neither policymakers nor corporations are committed to principles of liberty, except where it promotes profit. It seems to me that evidence of late has demonstrated a profound lack of respect for individuals’ privacy rights by both groups, and I do not see this improving in the near future. Where individuals’ liberty and privacy are at odds with corporate interests, I see corporate interests continuing to win out. Privacy may well be a thing of the past for individuals. Could be that corporations and governments will face a similar lack of privacy, finding it increasingly difficult to hide things from the general public.”

An online marketing professional replied, “The vast majority of people (i.e., reality-TV watchers, who believe what Fox News tells them) do not care about privacy. I believe there remains sensitivity around privacy when it comes to financial transactions and information, but in terms of personal and social information, the ethos seems to be ‘the more outrageous, the better.’ Maybe I am spending too much time on Twitter. There will be less sensitivity to privacy and more ‘over-sharing.’ Left to their own devices and facilitated by social media, people—especially young people—are becoming inured to the ramifications and consequences of sharing too much about themselves online.”

An anonymous respondent said, “With all the sharing on Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram, selfies, etc., privacy will not be seen in the same way it is now. It will relate exclusively to banking and financial data. For e-commerce to proceed—and it will—secure data has to be a first priority. To this new generation, the concerns are less for privacy than for making sure their important key data is not stolen for fraud. I do believe tracking and analytics will be inherent in all that we do, i.e., creating an ‘Amazon Like:’ if you like this, you will like this scenario.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Due to the ease of use of technology now few people who use it have a true understanding of what happens on the back end. We need to make people aware of how these processes work, starting at a young age. I hope by 2025 we will have figured out the importance of privacy in communication. Privacy, in general, seems to be an eroding principle, and people do not see it as important. People are willing to give up personal information much more freely than in the past, and the use of personal information for ill uses is more prevalent than in the past. Now people are starting to make conscious choices about what is important private info, and what is not (to them personally), but I think and hope in the future we will have a better understanding of what sharing information really means—where it goes, what happens when we share, etc.”

An information science professional replied, “Most likely, some extreme situations will occur to drive a privacy rights infrastructure by 2025—it is not likely to happen in an organized manner, but in reaction to the need. There may be private entrepreneurs who see the need, are not hampered by regulations who develop a service for fee model at first that may be adapted nationally. Already, we are seeing more and more people of all generations who are less concerned about privacy. People are willing to share much more information than ever before. This loosening of ideas regarding privacy will continue, although there may be some natural self-regulation that develops over time.”

An anonymous respondent commented, “Policymakers already find collection of personal information easy to do, and there has not been the pushback that I would have expected to see. Teens now have a very different view of personal information and what is ‘OK’ to be out there than older adults do, and this trend will continue. As one person told me recently, ‘I never consider that anything I write, in emails or online is private, regardless of the setting.’ So the definition of ‘private’ will change a lot. I hope this is not the case and that, by 2025, there has been a complete change and privacy is again ‘in,’ but I am not optimistic.”

An anonymous respondent noted, “The trend is currently to convince people to give up privacy in order to have convenience from applications. Most people have a faith that business they like—they can trust—and therefore would not do anything the consumer wouldn’t want with their data. As long as they believe their data is safe from some hacker or con artist, who would want to steal their identity—I do not think much of the public is concerned about the security of their data or how much of their information is public. I do not see that trend changing without some major scandal that shift public consciousness. Norms are shifting around the spaces, which are considered public and private. We will be even more willing to open up are lives and traditionally private spheres of our home, kitchen and sometimes the bedroom for discussion and debate—especially in digital environments.”

An anonymous respondent said, “Recent incidents show the difficulty of maintaining personal security and privacy.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “The Internet will be the way of life by 2025. We are still dealing with sharp generational differences in 2013 that may not exist as much by then.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “This will have to exist, or else our economy will not be able to function. I am thinking more in terms of financial transactions and institutions, but protecting personal data is part of protecting against identity theft. If we do not solve the identity theft problem, we put all electronic transactions at risk and business cannot operate in that unsecured environment. Our expectations of privacy, compared to those of 50 years previous (1975), will be vastly different. We will have accepted that life online means ‘putting yourself out there.’ People will expect their financial privacy but little else.”

A communications manager responded, “I do not know if I can predict what the answer will be or whether policymakers have struck the right balance (always difficult to imagine!); however, I believe that these issues are bubbling up so strongly right now that users will demand more clarity and options around online security and privacy.”

An information science professional commented, “There will always be people that are one step ahead of any security system. I do not see the creation of one secure system as ever being a reality. Corporations will probably work out their own solutions. Privacy is definitely a thing of the past. The upcoming generation has few qualms about sharing every detail of their lives. They are so used to the sharing and public access to all their information that it will seem like second nature.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “The currently-implied barter of allowing access to online data (and providing free content) for access to apps will be made more explicit, providing the public with an informed choice: is the perceived value of this app or platform worth giving my time, energy, and data? One problem with this is that Digital Natives (born 1990 and later) seem to see no downside to giving up privacy and data. I see privacy as comparable to clean drinking water, more valuable and scarcer than our predecessors might ever have imagined fifty years ago.”

An anonymous respondent said, “Privacy will no longer be expected.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “It is hard to imagine a future in which any privacy infrastructure related to the Internet will be widely accepted, especially one that is created by policy makers. Security measures will get better and more personalized, but I do not see having a ‘popularly accepted’ infrastructure. Because more information will be available online, knowing and sharing more information about others, and ourselves, will be commonplace in a way that is ‘creepy’ now.”

A writer, website operator, and technical consultant for local and wide area networking, responded, “Policymakers and technology innovators will disagree and will reach compromises that ill serve the public, business, and government. Privacy will continue to be eroded. People will get used to it.”

An anonymous respondent commented, “I would like to think that we would come to a universal realization that personal privacy is a reasonable expectation, but the combination of generations of people who do not have that expectation, corporations who will pay dearly for all data that allows them to increase their profit margins, and governments that do not respect the citizens they represent, will keep that from happening. The technology will exist—it probably does right now—but policymakers and the people who donate money to keep them in office will continue their exploitation of consumers.”

An anonymous respondent commented, “It will take longer for the backlash of public indignation to take effect to the degree that real controls will be implemented. The ability of hackers and criminals to pretty much use technology as their tool, combined with various governments’ propensity to want uncontrolled access to personal information, is not going to be easy to overcome. As young people mature, it would be nice to fantasize that they would want more privacy, but I’m not sure that is realistic. With instant access and ‘fame’ available the depressing possibility is that the drawn of exposure might be greater than the possibility of privacy.”

An anonymous respondent commented, “By 2025, we will see more transparency when it comes to policies and how they are created in collaboration and negotiation. The conversations around privacy will have changed by then—more individuals will come to understand why privacy concerns exist and will then work towards addressing them in more logical and rationale ways. I am hoping we can trade in the currency that seems to be associated with an individual’s identity for other, less invasive measures. “

A self-employed attorney wrote, “Businesses do not want to ensure your privacy. The data that they own is valuable and they want to be able to sell it. As data mining becomes more and more sophisticated and the interpretation more nuanced, the less businesses will want to respect your privacy. As far as the government goes, has the year 2013 not proven that the government is not interested in an individual’s privacy? The norm is for less and less privacy. First, most digital natives are used to less privacy; in fact, they themselves over-share and have pushed the boundaries norms of privacy farther and father because of their prolific participation in social media.”

An anonymous respondent commented, “The lure of the marketplace will make it too easy for corporations to misuse personal data. I realize, though, that my requirements for personal data security are probably higher than for most people.”

A personal coach, author, and speaker, wrote, “The basic rights afforded to Americans now are basically to own a gun. The right to privacy and liberty is being eroded away. Whatever benefits the 1% industrial ruling class is what will occur. The current trend of policymakers is, unfortunately, a dumbed down bunch, who cannot even spell. Technology may come up with secure and popularly accepted ideas, but it is probable that it will not affect the 99%. They are already much different than 10 years ago. More people in the world know more about me today than my family ever knew 20 years ago. Businesses, advertisers, and politicians know a lot about my personal life. The sad thing is it is not to be helpful, but to use it to their advantage. Society is going to change drastically in the next five years, possibly to the point of extinction, if changes in the way we treat our habitat are not changed radically.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “The current state in Washington makes me doubt it. In the future, people will be more conscious of the problem, but improvement will be slow.”

An information science professional, based in Delaware, responded, “Due to all the breeches of policy to this point, I feel that there are ones close to developing (if not already developed and being tested) a platform that protects the privacy of the user. With this protection there will be a price; it will be more cumbersome to get to the desired end but this will be necessary to protect our privacy. We are heading to the norm of ‘nothing should surprise you.’ What we do not know should be a surprise because it will be out of the ‘new normal.’”

A former educational technologies specialist commented, “Policymakers are clueless about technology and security based on the security mess that is the ACA marketplace website. Even if they attempted such a policy, they would never be able to provide all the criteria you state above. Collectively, these are too much to expect. They were clueless that the ACA site was not even secure! Your question features these: 1. Secure; 2. popularly accepted; 3. trusted privacy-rights; 4. allows for business innovation; 5. allows for business monetization; 6. offers individuals choices for protecting their personal information; 7. easy-to-use formats. The American people are outraged! We want our personal freedoms back and that includes privacy!”

An information science professional at a major US school of medicine wrote, “The year 2025 is quite a long time away when it comes to technology. It is quite possible that there will be significant advantages in technology that will allow for greater data security—especially when it comes to finances and commerce. If there is not greater privacy and security in online commerce, that does not bode well for the nation. That will spur development in both the technological arena and the political policy. Also, by the time we get to 2025, you would think our politicians will be better versed in technology—today, we still have quite a few policymakers who are Internet newbies and do not understand the issues. People will expect less privacy than they do now—with the exception of financial issues. There will continue to be a high expectation of privacy regarding finances. In other areas, people realize that there is less privacy than they seem to expect now.”

A former systems programmer and security specialist in mainframe systems replied, “I do not have any faith in government and business to provide protection for privacy and personal information. I expect the future to have more risk.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Most privacy initiatives will continue, with regards to personal ID information and how it relates to fraud, identity theft, etc. I think (hope) there will be a backlash against all the current social media and instant gratification of tweeting, Facebook, etc. With the ‘permanency’ of the Internet, the younger generations will start to realize the value of discretion and privacy.”

An anonymous respondent said, “Technology companies such as Facebook and Google will make it increasingly make the process of protecting personal information more difficult and more opaque. Privacy will be for those wealthy and educated enough to pay for it and understand it. For the masses, personal information will be the currency used to gain access to online applications and forums. Will it be utopia or dystopia? Lives will be public record. To quote Dave Eggers’ The Circle, ‘Everything that happens must be known.’”

A retired longtime IT professional commented, “Business does not want personal privacy. They are making money off of tracking. As long as there are ‘crooks,’ security will be an ongoing problem—i.e., forever. People will either be paranoid, or will have given up any hope of privacy.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “Privacy is a fading concern. My impressions (completely anecdotal) of young people’s opinions about privacy is that they just don’t place a very high value on it.”

An anonymous respondent noted, “In the past few years, we have been shown in numerous ways that neither businesses nor government are supportive of personal privacy, if it impedes their ability to collect the information they want. It is also pretty clear that the average person does not particularly care to protect their privacy or data if it means giving up convenience. The only areas in which we will see advances are those where theft of data might have an adverse economic impact, and even then, I expect that most companies will be acting from self-interest, rather than supporting an idealized right to privacy. In today’s world, it is not possible to maintain the level of privacy that our parents and grandparents expected to have. Most likely, we will focus on protecting the security and privacy of data such as payment information, and health information. The public at large will begin to have an expectation that anything they do in any public venue might later show up online. Your past will be well documented online and will follow you. That said, because we are all human and make many mistakes, society may become more blasé about online faux pas, as more and more of them are documented, ‘A drunken photo, posted online, from your college days? Who cares?’”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Corporate interests and government entities have too much at stake (income, intelligence, monetization of ‘private’ data) right now to adopt a new infrastructure. As much as I want to believe that individuals will have a stronger interest in privacy in 2025, I would not be surprised to see even less privacy in the future.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “Technology innovators and online privacy advocates will be at the front of personal privacy changes by 2025, and policy will slowly follow. Users will demand more control over privacy settings, and technology innovators will provide that control. Eventually, the federal government will create a network to police online privacy similar to the no-call list. Private disclosure will be mainstream, but public norms will not make commercial sharing acceptable. We are comfortable sharing on our own terms, not on having a commercial entity profit off of sharing our information.”

An anonymous respondent said, “At the current time, governmental and corporate interests are better served by reducing privacy and transparency and increasing the complexity of surveillance/data mining systems beyond the grasp of most citizens. Unfortunately, I do not think there is enough awareness/digital literacy yet to create a successful, organized movement against that unfortunate trend. Hopefully, we will at least be somewhat on our way by 2025, though.”

An Internet user wrote, “Policymakers have shown no particular interest in guarding the privacy rights of individuals particularly when weighed against the desires of business. People have shown a terrible tendency to accept that policy makers have the right to invade their privacy if the policymakers convince them that this is for the greater good. People are sheep.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “The NSA scandal has opened peoples eyes to the need for some protections on the Internet. All of the hacking of businesses and credit information has made people more aware of the potential dangers. We have been so focused on the security issues since 9/11 that people were willing to overlook some loss of privacy. As that event gets further away, people may not be willing to lose personal security for the good of national security. If there is another major attack, that might make a difference in how people view personal privacy.”

An anonymous respondent commented, “Legislation will be passed to ensure some privacy online, but it will be the user’s responsibility. On the Internet, privacy is a lot more difficult to ensure. The definition of privacy is going to change. The onus of ensuring one’s privacy will be on the user and not the owner of the websites you are using.”

An anonymous respondent said, “This will always be a work in progress, as new technologies will continue to challenge the balance between convenience, security, privacy, and liberty. So-called Millennials are less concerned than prior generations about privacy, so I think many previously ‘taboo’ subjects will be out there; however, the pendulum always tends to swing from one extreme to the other, and later down the road, it is possible that as this population ages, they may become more interested in protecting privacy.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “In this case, capitalism will be the driving force behind improvements in security. Online transactions will become safer, as this is in the interests of the businesses that sell. The US government will fall in line. People will be savvier about using free applications. Edward Snowden will be seen as hero in 2025.”

An anonymous survey participant replied, “This herd of cats has already ran out of the holding pen. I do not see how policymakers will catch up on privacy and security issues when the Internet is changing so much so quickly. Most people will just give up. It is harder and harder to maintain privacy and still be connected to technology and technological trends. People will continue to sacrifice privacy for the benefit of the technology. By 2025, we just might be ‘okay’ with having very little privacy. Or, we will live dual/multi-lives and personas.”

An anonymous respondent said, “In the next 11 years there will need to be concrete compromises between business interests and personal privacy. Though there will be individual choices for protecting your own personal privacy, probably many people will not take advantage of these. People are becoming used to sharing more of their personal data with the world. Privacy is less valued than it used to be.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “This will be accomplished because it will become a business necessity for businesses and government. We already share a tremendous amount freely, and I think that will continue. But, there are things that we all want protected, and that will continue. Even in 2025, people will demand that certain personal information, such as financial records, health care information, grades, and other similar details, be given out only on a need-to-know basis.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “I answered ‘yes’ because it my hope that some security regulation can occur as rapidly as the increase in technology, but I am not confident that it will. It is discouraging, and I want to believe in the ethics/morals of my fellow citizens. I work hard at protecting my own security.”

An anonymous respondent commented, “The reality will be even more of a Big Brother atmosphere with deception and distrust at every corner for older people. Younger people have grown up to believe that it is okay to share everything about themselves. The younger generation will believe that it is okay for everyone to know absolutely everything about them, with the exception of those who distrust the government.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Too many large financial interests will not create a structure that properly protects individuals. If we continue as we are, we will have no rights at all.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “Steps will be made toward privacy protection, but will it be done in a way that is popularly accepted? Business innovation and monetization is a whole other issue. Large corporations have too strong a sway over policy makers who have not done enough to understand the technology. Current efforts have been muddled or too beneficial to the ‘Big Guys.’ The protectiveness we feel toward ‘personal privacy’ will continue to erode. Employers, friends, family, the government, credit card companies, etc., all know more than they ever have before. Most of that information is given willingly, for the sake of fun or convenience. People will not react negatively unless something directly impacts them, such as a data security breach or a use of that information against them. The attitude is, ‘If I am not doing anything wrong, what do I have to worry about?’”

An anonymous respondent commented, “The public will want greater privacy protections, but I am pessimistic that policymakers and businesses will comply. Government is so far in business’s pockets that I do not see it efficiently protecting citizens from predatory business practices that rely on technologically simple data gathering. I would bet certain things would be more accepted (people will probably care less about having a social media record of their drunken college parties, for instance, since by that time we will have about twenty-five years of such histories). But, I am sure there are other things that people may continue to guard carefully.”

An information science professional at large, public research university, responded, “As long as there is not codified law protecting citizens which forces companies to enact privacy and security standards, then nothing will change. I hope that people will be kinder to each other based on what is posted online.”

An activist Internet user replied, “With the recent personal information leaks and cyber attacks on online resources of all kinds, that consumers will demand more careful control of information and information innovators will need to work with more diligence to establish such a system. Many people, especially those who are digital natives, are not as concerned about privacy, until there is a breach of their personal information that affects their finances, etc. Social networking has allowed many people more open access of information and a higher percentage of users will continue; however, in speaking with Millennials, I hear them saying that they are dropping off some social networks that have been around for a while, while looking for new avenues to share information.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “I believe that policymakers and technology innovators will be able to create such a secure system under government regulations.”

An information science professional commented, “It is too little, too late, when it comes to creating a privacy infrastructure for the Internet. It is like inserting bones into a body after it is fully grown. The Web has expanded so much, and, at this point, security can be patched, but not inserted after the fact. “

 An anonymous respondent wrote, “Not much will happen to ensure privacy by default. No substantive actions will occur due to lack of consensus. People will be less concerned and will have grown up with fewer protections.”

An information science professional replied, “I am afraid that privacy will continue to be eroded. Younger people do not even seem to value it as much anymore. At libraries, we try to keep a patron’s reading habits private, but much of the public does not seem to understand why. I am afraid people will get used to all the cameras and electronic snooping and consider it normal.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “I have severe doubts whether policy makers will have the initiative or the impetus to create such an infrastructure. Innovators, perhaps; however, it will take legislation to implement it, and in 11 years, I foresee they will still be well-controlled by corporate lobbies. Furthermore, it will continue to be in the government’s interest (or their perceived interest) for us to not have the privacy we should. I expect things like sharing people’s tweets, statuses, pictures, etc., even if meant to be private or one-to-one, will get broadcast more often and more broadly than they intend. There will be some who will be upset that their business will be shared, but, overall, we can all expect to have less privacy about our online doings in the future. I think/hope that the idea of privacy will be taught to the next generation in the active sense of ‘know what everyone can see, and do not assume that they cannot see everything else.’ It will probably create a societal sense of paranoia, unfortunately.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “Internet privacy and security is almost as complicated as climate change, and just as contentious. Technology innovators will probably come up with some good ideas, but changing the Wild-West culture of the Internet will take large-scale policy decisions, as well as just good ideas. And, until governments and policy makers become more rational and less political (effectively never), there will be no meaningful change. I am not sure. I assume things like personalized marketing and advertising will be accepted as normal, rather than an invasion of privacy as many people see them today.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Unfortunately, I am not sure if a true balance will ever be a reality. I think that as we become a more ‘online’ society, public norms about privacy will be more relaxed than they are now.

A retired Information science professional commented, “The technology will be available, but government ‘security’ requirements and pressure from the retail sector will be too strong to allow them to be effectively implemented. People who have grown up with all their information online and communicating online as a matter of course will move the definition of privacy to a point unrecognizable to people of my generation (born 1945). They will be naively unaware of how they can be manipulated and what government power can do to them until some cataclysm occurs to change thinking on a large enough scale to rein in government and private-sector activities.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “Infrastructure cannot be secure, and will not be secure by 2025, because of the global nature of the Internet. Which country or organization has the authority to regulate? Which country’s laws and norms should apply? How can a political entity or state enforce innovations within their boundaries or regulate the receipt of content from other states? How much privacy can be expected anyway? It is possible that privacy and security for individuals will be forfeit. Business—not so much, but then, maybe the Web should only be used with advance knowledge of its limitations. I can only imagine for the United States, but privacy will be re-evaluated or redefined between now and 2025. There will be less defense of privacy rights because people opt-out themselves with their actions.”

An author and editor commented, “I do not believe, given the determination and the level of sophistication of those who seek to make money through dishonest means, that there ever can be a perfect, fool-proof encryption system that can guarantee 100% safety online. I wish this were not the case.”

The head of a department in a state government agency wrote, “Most commercial enterprises place the value of the transaction over the value of privacy. And many do not care at all about privacy!”

An anonymous survey participant responded, “Improvements in Internet security will follow the model of security that prevented car theft. Automobile makers began installing locks on cars, then car alarms, then ‘the club’ was sold, and now, they have computer chips in the keys. The same route will be followed for Internet security. It will take time, but it should be in place between 2025 and 2050. I do not know how people tolerate government intrusion in today’s world.”

An information science professional responded, “The reality will be the same as it is now. Policymakers and corporations will continue to try and compromise to produce a product that offers protection of personal information while also being able to monetize; however, it will not be up to the standards of those that advocate personal privacy. While there will be products that do meet these standards available, the majority of the public will still be entangled in platforms that have existed and already have an established network. As it can be seen today, while the public does care about personal privacy, they care up to the point that it does not inconvenience their day-to-day lives.”

The vice president of a major public association in the United States wrote, “In the near future, a major security breach will force this issue to the forefront. Currently, the upside of using the Internet for commerce or social transactions is higher than the downside; however as the breaches continue for major retailers such as TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Target, consumers will begin to demand greater security. Although people talk about security concerns, it does not seem to have dramatically impacted consumers’ activity. Possibly, there will be some sort of ‘pay-to-play’ in order for people to take more risk with their information.”

An information science professional commented, “Sadly, I do not think they will be different. We have an entire generation (or two or more), who has been in the habit of disclosing everything via Internet surveys (such as this one, which I am, quite honestly, reluctant to complete), social media, etc. Do not even get me started about the NSA. When not enough people value something, like privacy, that ‘something’ quickly disappears.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “While I believe privacy and security will always be concerns, by 2025 policymakers and corporations will have found a balance that works for both individual and corporate interests. Already, we see younger generations being less concerned with some aspects of privacy than older ones. I believe this trend will balance out as consumers learn what types of information make sense to share and make publicly available online, as well as what types of information to keep offline.”

A digital information specialist for a nonprofit organization, replied, “Things will change and get closer to that outcome, though not by 2025. And, the hackers will always find a way to access the information, no matter what security is implemented. Privacy will become narrower. It will be only accessible if the individual actively pursues it.”

An information science professional and teacher responded, “The perception of the younger generations not caring about privacy is inaccurate over the long run. As they grow older, privacy will become more important to them, and changes will be demanded.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “I would hope that this will be possible in the near future, and I feel this is something we are capable of now with all our knowledge and technology.”

An information science professional commented, “This is inevitable—if not pushed by the government, those who use the Internet will demand it be more open. It appears that digital immigrants hold tightly to, and value, personal information compared to digital natives. Digital natives seem more willing to offer personal information to further their online experience. By 2025, the numbers of digital immigrants will have decreased, and continue to do so.”

An anonymous survey participant responded, “Nothing is ever completely secure. People who create and monitor security enhancements will always have the ability to hack the system. Outsiders who love the challenge will also eventually prevail. PAC’s (political action committees) have too much influence and money and will skew the process. The same goes for big business or other similar interest groups who thrive on greed. It is hard to say. It could go either way, as people are more outraged over breaches like the Target situation. Or, people could become blasé about their privacy and assume that breaches are inevitable.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “I do not believe that there will be a way to secure privacy online. By 2025, we will be persuaded that it is in our best interest to allow these invasions to our privacy. There will be no need to create or maintain a privacy rights infrastructure.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “Policy makers do not seem to have the will or desire to protect privacy. The public’s privacy has been eroded to such an extent that they are expecting it less all the time.”

An anonymous respondent commented, “The way things are going now, I find it difficult to believe that balance will be struck by 2025.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Ten years will not be enough time to develop a secure and trusted privacy-rights infrastructure. There is no will in Washington, DC, to work on anything. That means than any advancement in privacy security will come from the private sector and will therefore be piecemeal. That will continue to allow for breaches. That will depend on how many people are adversely affected by security breaches. For example, I shopped at Target during the time indicated that information was hacked. I have replaced my debit card and have a new year’s resolution to never swipe my card at a retail establishment ever again. I am establishing new routines in accounting based on how I will pay for items. I have no faith that anything on the Internet is private and secure. Still, I know that many people feel that it is okay for someone to have their information, so again, a change in social norms is going to depend on how many people change their habits, as I have done.”

An information science professional said, “Our notion of what is privacy will be completely altered by this time. Not much of what we do, say, or buy is private now, and that will continue to snowball. I do think online security will be improved, but our methods of transferring money, credit data, etc. will have also changed dramatically—totally. We will be aware of what we are only glimpsing now—nothing is truly private.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “We are slowly becoming used to the idea of information not being secure in an online environment, and lacking outrage from the American public, I doubt policy makers will concentrate much on it. Corporations will develop their own protocols for privacy and security. There will not be drastic change in the next 11 years. I do not know how we could become much more lax about it! Between social media and ‘reality’ television, we have become quite a confessional culture.”

An information science professional wrote, “The federal government has made policies that significantly reduce the privacy of US citizens.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “If steps are not taken now to ensure privacy, the Internet will, of necessity, cease to be as pervasive as it is now. Either privacy gets taken care of or people will cease to use it. More people will understand the implications of the need for online privacy.”

An information science professional said, “This is just a hope—hoping that security has improved by then and that personal privacy is just that—private. With the younger populace not so careful or mindful of privacy, it may be that public norms will reverse to our detriment.”

A former information science professional wrote, “A balance will be struck because people will grow less and less concerned with privacy, opting instead for convenience. I suspect there will be less emphasis on privacy.”

An information science professional replied, “There will be a catastrophic security breach that will cause a significant national event like compromise of the power grid or launch of a nuclear device. This will necessitate a policy initiative to improve the system. I believe that our smartest minds can improve the current system now, but the political will to do so is lacking.”

An anonymous respondent commented, “The government cannot protect our personal information now, and I do not see this improving. I am guessing that we might be more comfortable with less of our information being 100% private for the convenience of having that information be accessible by multiple services (doctors, accountants) or from multiple places (work, home).”

An anonymous respondent replied, “Data will still be vulnerable; corporations will be able to gather and use even more personal data and do an even better job of integration of diverse sources, and policymakers will continue to lack the will to do more than Band-Aide fixes. New generations will not have an expectation of privacy.”

An information science professional said, “There are conflicting perceptions on striking an appropriate balance between privacy, information sharing, and service customization. There can be no concrete solution without an agreement on the problem that needs to be solved. Again, each individual will have different perceptions on the amount of privacy they are willing to relinquish in order to obtain services. Some will freely share information about activities and interests but seek to draw the line on income and savings. Others will recognize that income and savings are becoming increasingly available through public information and hence retrench by building their fortress around personal health details. Still, others will recognize that sharing health details or the speed at which their car is travelling will entitle them to certain benefits, like lower auto insurance or health insurance costs, and find that the reward outweighs the risk. Certainly, by 2025, information that used to be known only by a few close associates will now be broadly available to those with the necessary skills and resources.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “The people growing up with the Internet and technology, the kids who are now teenagers and younger, do not seem to be concerned with privacy. My perception is that they accept not having any privacy for things they put on line. Unless that perception changes, there will be no driving force for policy makers or technology innovators to create a secure, popularly accepted, and trusted privacy-rights infrastructure. Current teens will be early to late twenty-somethings. The trend I perceive in this demographic is they do not care about privacy; they are all about sharing and over-sharing everything about themselves. Those who came of age prior to social media, still have a modicum of concern for privacy, but that will weaken over time, and it will become accepted that the concept of privacy as it existed in the 1970s and 1980s will no longer exist. Those to whom it will matter will choose to ‘be off the grid,’ much like the survivalists of the late 1990s.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “Policymakers and corporations will do what they want to do—after occasional pushback, and consumer will just throw their hands up in the air and go back to what they are doing. There will still be a lot of people going around saying, ‘Well, I do not have anything to hide, so why should I care?’ and others who have no clue. The benefits of having digital access will be too great for people who are not happy with the arrangement to opt out. People who are aware of data collection and tracking will assume their privacy is limited and hope no one is paying them that much attention. People will come to accept, whether or not begrudgingly, that they have less and less privacy online or offline.”

An academic librarian wrote, “Policymakers and technology innovators have no interest in creating a secure, popularly accepted, and trusted privacy-rights infrastructure. The current state of the Internet is much better for their purposes of collecting data about people. Only those who are able to unplug will be able to have a degree of privacy.”

A director commented, “I do not think people demand privacy now, and I do not see people demanding additional privacy in the future. For that reason I think business interests and use of private data will prevail—businesses have the lobbying power with policy makers, and if people are not outraged, nothing will change.”

An anonymous respondent said, “A more accurate representation of my thoughts is, ‘Maybe?’ The question of Internet privacy has been simmering in the background for a while. The Snowden leaks opened up the conversation about government snooping and will hopefully lead to reform. I am not sure the same has happened with corporate data. By 2025, there will be enforced policies about the protection of personal information. On whether those policies will be popular, or well executed, I remain skeptical. If I take changing technology and copyright as an example, there is a possibility that the future infrastructure may border on the absurd. My Facebook feed is filled with baby pictures. These babies already have social presence online through their parents. A social presence online will be natural. I can see a product in the future where people will be able to purchase to see everything their parents posted about them as babies.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “The infrastructure will favor corporations over individuals’ rights.”

An information science professional wrote, “Corporate interests and profit will trump privacy concerns. I see increased monitoring of online data by the US government, as well. Less privacy will be expected by the younger generations; as they become a greater percentage of the population and Baby Boomers die off, this will be less of an issue.”

An anonymous survey participant responded, “Either the public will experience a backlash about openness by 2025 and privacy will be highly regarded or the notion of privacy online will dissolve entirely. Given the typical give-and-take of the political arena, I would not be surprised if there is a privacy backlash.”

An information science professional wrote, “Individuals’ desire for immediacy and expediency will trump their concern for privacy.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Advances in technology privacy, and our understanding of such, coupled with the ever-present desire to operate from the other side of that technology will keep the security, or lack thereof, at a stand-off. Taking into account the apparent transparency of people’s lives, exposed by themselves on all forms of social media in recent years, I think we will experience a backlash, and then hopefully establish an equilibrium on what people are comfortable exposing about their private lives. At present, many people are unaware of how exposed they are their practices using social media have left them.”

An information science professional wrote, “This would require everyone to agree, and I do not think that is going to happen that soon. More likely, there will be policies that are popularly hated. There will be a privacy pushback at some point, leading to a generation that takes slightly greater care with their personal information.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “Privacy will continue to become less and less possible on the Internet.”

An anonymous respondent commented, “For the Internet to work more widely as a vehicle for money and credit transfer, it must become much more secure, with little chance of a user’s identity and assets being compromised. It is therefore logical to assume that policy makers and corporations will have solved the present day problems twelve years hence. Given the problems that have arisen with today’s social media, I expect that they will be much less in favor and usage twelve years from now.”

An information science professional wrote, “It is hard to answer ‘yes’ to this question in the current privacy (or lack there of) climate; however, we are learning to accept that the concept of privacy has changed, and that the kind of privacy that was enjoyed fifty years ago is not available now. There will certainly be attempts to strike the right balance, but I also think there will continue to be misuse of data and the presence of hacking. Maybe public perception in 2025 will be okay; however, we will expect a degree of risk and lack of privacy online. Even now, new generations are learning there is no such thing as true privacy.”

A graduate school research leader commented, “Privacy worries are largely the concern of older generations. Most individuals under age 30 are just not as obsessed with privacy as older generations are. I see this as a librarian and as a graduate school instructor constantly. My older colleagues (over age 50) bring up privacy concerns constantly; my twenty-something students shrug off privacy concerns and just do not get worked about sharing personal information online. As I said earlier, public norms about privacy are going to be shaped by a younger generation who is just not that concerned about protecting their personal information. I believe the demand for a privacy-rights infrastructure will diminish significantly by 2025.”

An anonymous survey participant responded, “The government will not succeed in this because the private sector will put too much pressure to not regulate. First Amendment advocacy groups will be unable to reach consensus about proper regulation levels. People will continue to voluntarily relinquish their privacy to social media.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Individual choice for protecting personal information will only continue to degrade. The option will be limited between opting out of particular app or content driven database and sacrificing a certain amount of privacy. The balance will continue to degrade and splinter as the younger generations age, as I believe that they have not only a more relaxed and carefree attitude toward their online privacy, but also a fuller understanding of how to limit their and manage their image online. I see a generational discord between that of my generation—Generation X—and the Millennials, who have come of age in a time when online privacy has become a nearly extinct concept. More and more of our current beliefs about privacy will degrade further and matter less.”

An information science professional said, “I believe that this is more a matter of corporate domination in American life than a lack of interest in privacy concerns among informed citizens. With corporate control of Congress, there is no way to get meaningful privacy legislation passed. All efforts will be minimal and smokescreens. Unfortunately, the public will be numbed by consumerism to see their privacy rights significantly diminished.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “Customer demands for free and simple access, plus a generation of Internet users expecting free ad-supported everything, will push more towards the giving up of privacy and demographic data in exchange for free services.”

An information science professional wrote, “People are very willing to give up their privacy for convenience at almost every turn. It is quite disconcerting. I only see that increasing. It is difficult for me to imagine with the skew toward business in Washington that consumers will be protected. In fact, much of the protections are needed from the government itself (NSA). Given the climate of gridlock in Washington over basic things like funding, it seems to be that the inadequacies of meaningful legislation a number of areas will continue for the foreseeable future.”

An information science professional wrote, “They must convince the public that their information is safe, and they have a vested, commercial interest in doing so. The recent Target hack, and the fallout from that, is a wake up call for e-commerce. I do not think we will have to wait until 2025 for more stringent PCI requirements, as well as more transparency in explaining to customers how their data is protected. Personal privacy has been eroded to a point that there will be less and less expectation about privacy in the future. Considering the lack of outcry about the NSA spying, people have become complacent about their information.”

A university professor based in Ohio wrote, “Commerce will always trump personal rights-to-privacy, regardless of policymakers’ best intentions. In 2025, public norms about privacy will have shifted dramatically so that privacy is not something individuals assume we have or have a right to. At the present time, we individuals realize that hardly any of our personal data is actually confidential (think Google, think Amazon)—that acceptance of our lack of privacy will become more pronounced.”

An anonymous respondent said, “Do consumers want it? Yes. Do businesses want it? Yes, and no. Privacy does not generate funds. Also, government is not interested in privacy, either. I think small independent enterprises will strike the balance, but they will not gain mainstream traction. No one will expect to be private.”

A former information science professional commented, “I do not think ‘secure’ and ‘privacy rights’ will be possible because the policymakers and the corporations controlling the infrastructure will push things through to suit them, not the public welfare. It is either going to get way out of hand, with no rights whatsoever, or it will remain static.”

An information science professional wrote, “There is a clear tendency towards an intrusion into our private lives. A good example is the NSA scandal. In spite of it, this criminal organization is doing its best to get into everybody’s life. We are living more and more in an Orwellian world. Unless citizens react, the situation about privacy is going to be worse.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “I do not believe in the privacy-rights infrastructure will be in place. There is too much business pressure to get whatever knowledge they can about the consumers to continue to market. I do not trust policy makers, nor technology innovators, will promote privacy. Also, standardizing formats is not something I see happening either. As more is revealed about the tracking of personal information via the Internet, I believe there will be more caution by the public and more concern about what is revealed and not via the Web.”

A writer commented, “I am very concerned that businesses (now given the same rights as individuals) will strive to achieve profits at the expense of real individuals. Money is the root of all kinds of evil. Because the reality of a free press will continue to wane as media resources continue to consolidate, the balance between individual security, liberty, and privacy online, versus corporate profit motive and government status quo/homeland security concerns, will likely be thrown to the latter. A child born today will not have the same privacy standards as the child’s parents, and that child’s standards are likely to diverge dramatically from standards of the parents’ parents. The generation growing up now will be less concerned with privacy and more concerned with financial security and freedom of expression.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Public information will contain your age and sex, if nothing else. There will always be the opportunity to shape advertising to your personal preferences, even if it is just to that publicly known age and sex. The ability to control how much companies know about you will depend on how angry individuals become about their data being hacked, i.e., the Target and Snapchat incidents recently. The technology innovators can already create a secure infrastructure; it is usually easier and cheaper not to do so. If they are forced by public opinion to change, it will be wonderful. Already, people use workarounds, such as a Google phone number, to keep their real phone number hidden. People will find ways to stymie the dealers in information if they can. Facebook has changed privacy in ways Mark Zuckerberg never thought about. There are people who do not understand what they are giving away are on Facebook, sharing all sorts of personal info. This has changed what is out there in the public sphere. Consequently, there will be many more people who just merrily share away, diluting their privacy and creating a new norm for sharing personal information.”

An anonymous respondent said, “Policymakers and corporations will be at odds about how to best execute and manage security, liberty, and privacy, but that healthy conflict will result in tentative policies and programs that balance technology, security and public perception of privacy. Individuals will continue to relinquish their privacy in exchange for access to services and information. The idea of convenience will outweigh privacy concerns and erode individuals’ current high standards for security.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “While I cannot expect that such an infrastructure will be totally secure or totally trusted, I believe there will be sufficient demand to support a general solution, which will likely include additional layers of personal protection and encryption at a cost; however, neither government, nor the private sector, will be able to forego vital information gathering, and some loss of privacy will be generally accepted, though often resentfully. As Lily Tomlin said, ‘No matter how cynical I become, I can’t keep up.’ There will be markedly increased cynicism about privacy, due to the need to accept a lower standard that which people may have been born with. People will remain concerned about their own privacy while totally unconcerned about the privacy of others.”

An information science professional replied, “One good thing about the NSA being in the news these days is that people are at least aware that maybe not everything they are doing online, or on their smartphones, is private. On the other hand, working in a technology center in a large urban library and teaching basic computer classes, I see so many people who have terrible passwords and are sending money to women overseas who profess to be in love. It is a discouraging situation at best. At its worst, these people with low tech literacy skills frequently have low literacy skills as well, so when it comes to having a voice—which happens online more often than not these days—my customers are not heard. This situation is definitely going to affect policymaking and the products corporations create because people who are not concerned with, or don’t know about security and privacy, who also may not be able to communicate their opinions electronically, are not going to insist on privacy-rights infrastructure. Even if the choice is offered, in ‘easy-to-use formats,’ who will tell new users about their options? Already there is much greater openness about some things, like having a profile photo on Facebook, or blogging, for example, than even just a few years ago. At least I am starting to feel like, if I choose what to share, and create the online presence I am comfortable with, it almost trumps the things that show up online that I have little or no control over. So, awareness and discussion around privacy (for people who are comfortable with technology) will be more prevalent in everyday activities in the future. For people who are buying hand-me-downs and using free Wi-Fi, I am not as optimistic.”

A retired general manager of customer service for one of the major telecommunications companies wrote, “They will have to do so because the users will demand it. After a time of loosening privacy, we will see it become tighter.”

An information science professional said, “Who knows how we will communicate by then, but it will be very different—probably similar to what is being used in some of the sci-fi books that are being written right now. I believe it an impossible task to provide total security. There are too many smart people who have nothing better to do than mess with other peoples’ information and see if they can benefit from someone else’s wealth or knowledge. Privacy is already almost non-existent. I cannot think of anyone I know who has not had their information put out there somewhere that they did not want it to be, myself included. Everyone wants a form of privacy, and yet, with all the social networks, that seems to negate an individual’s desires. A long as the Web exists, and we can be in contact with anyone, anywhere on the earth, there is really no privacy.”

A consultant wrote, “Our current (and probably future) government priority is a vision that encompasses the word security; thus, it could not recognize ‘privacy-rights’ security. The public has surrendered many of its Constitutional rights. I see it surrendering even more. I wonder how many, including current lawmakers, truly, know and uphold the Constitution in their lives.

An information science professional wrote, “Policymakers will try to create such an infrastructure; however, if the balance between privacy and safety continues to be hotly contested it will be challenging for the result to be popularly accepted. The recent holiday security nightmare at Target stores (secure data) and Snapchat account information (privacy apps) hacked both illustrate there is work to be done. There may be a differentiation between social privacy and fiscal privacy as the expectation of overall privacy lessens.”

A self-employed writer and editor wrote, “I do not see any change in the political status quo in Washington coming before some major economic collapse. There are too many reasons to continue to kill privacy. My only hope is that the continued lawless environment online will drive consumers away (out of fear) and business will have to step up and clean things up; however, that suggests privatization of the Internet, which few seem to want. No, we will continue to muddle along with competing interests, desires, and needs for some time to come. Privacy is already considered dead—failing some revolution, my expectation is for it to be a quaint notion from the past—you know, like women do not have the head for business or men cannot care for children.”

An information science professional replied, “Why should they? It would prevent them from selling customer data to marketing agencies and thieves. There is no incentive for ‘policymakers’ to protect our information, and few ways to enforce it if they did. I hope fervently that there is a backlash against the ‘nobody has privacy’ attitude right now.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “We will accept any intrusion on our privacy if we feel it will keep us safe. Also, just to post idiotic [crap] on Facebook. There will be no privacy, implied or otherwise.”

An information science professional wrote, “There are far too many interests vested in a weak privacy infrastructure to allow there to be a robust protection of individual rights. To quote a brilliant comment on Metafilter, I believe our notion of privacy is headed the way previous generations considered ‘honor’: http://www.metafilter.com/113517/Global-Village-People#4222001”

An analyst who works for Google, commented, “For wider commercialization, better securitization is necessary. Today, many of us are widely exposed in financial transactions—as exhibited by the recent Target stores breach of security that exposed tens of millions of people. Will we be protected from unreasonable search and seizure by the NSA? I am not so optimistic. I expect state-of-the art to include a chip log-in, much like credit cards currently used in Europe.”

An information science professional said, “I am not sure how it will be implemented, but more disasters like the target breach will compel policymakers and technicians to find ways to protect our privacy. There will be less privacy, but hopefully, more safeguards and ways to mount challenges to unfair use of personal information.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “We do not have privacy on the Internet now. I opt out of everything I can that reminds me my data is being collected. They still collect it; I just do not want to see targeted ads. All the fuss about the NSA misses the point. None of our information is private. If you want to say something in private, write a letter. I do not think this will change. We have traded privacy for instant access to information or misinformation. Security online will depend on keeping a step ahead of the hackers. There will always be hackers. The concept of privacy I grew up with has already changed. I am 64 years old. My kids, and many of my friends, use social networking sites to visit with their family and friends. They post pictures of their lives and never think about privacy. They just like to share. This will continue. The younger generation is so totally connected. The real question is how this will affect human conversation. We sit in a room together, ignoring one another while texting to someone elsewhere.”

An information science professional responded, “As long as government agencies are allowed to ‘spy’ for legitimate or other reasons, we will not ever have real privacy again. I expect people will have decided for certain by then that there is no such thing as anything private.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “I do not care to have my physical health records available to just anyone, but I really believe that security within the nation needs to be compromised when it comes to dangers involving foreign enemies.”

An anonymous respondent said, “This statement is much more ideal than the situation will actually be in 2025. I find it hard to believe that policymakers will be able to create a reliable privacy-rights infrastructure at all, much less one that is trusted and accepted by most of the population. With regard to businesses, they will always want to do more data mining, so they probably would not be advocates for user privacy rights.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “I do not have high hopes for online privacy, as it is difficult to take away what is already pervasive. Liberty and security in an online context seems to represent the freedom to purchase from an array of offerings and not have payment data stolen. The idea of an anonymous Web is being disparaged and shown as a place of incivility and danger. There is every chance that individual privacy will be an antiquated notion. Given the insignificant reaction to knowledge of the NSA’s broad reach into private individuals’ domains, it is difficult to imagine a scenario where people will be sufficiently stirred up to fight the growing loss of privacy. The more we are encouraged to share our private life on social media and elsewhere on the Web, the less chance we will feel compelled to isolate due to privacy concerns. Heightened privacy will be afforded to government and, possibly, corporations in a shift or reversal of norms. The demonization of Wikileaks’ founder indicates that the public may not fully understand the dangers of the loss of privacy. A growing surveillance infrastructure makes us prone to intrusive political and corporate influence.”

An anonymous survey participant responded, “Due to recent surveillance problems we will see a strong system of oversight before governments can tap into personal data. The recent Target issue will also spur stronger checks on personal data. Due to recent government spying and the Target issue, heightened public awareness will raise social awareness.”

An information science professional in Oregon replied, “Change moves fast in the digital age, and policy has always struggled to keep up. The optimist in me would like to think that the government, private citizens, and commercial entities will have come up with a unanimous agreement by 2025 facilitating equitable Internet use that respects the user’s right to privacy; however different types of users will, at the very least, still be struggling to maintain their own agendas, and I fear those with the most power (the government and businesses) will gain the most control over online resources. We will not be able to come to an agreement until our needs unite. Once governments realize democracy needs a free and informed citizenry, businesses realize customers will flock to them if they trust them, and the average user realizes that the Internet works better with structure and regulation; perhaps then we can have a productive conversation. Privacy today is popularly defined differently than it once was, and we are already beginning to see a divide between people who accept the new definition and those who do not. I think a vocal minority of people who reject online resources and technology that collects personal information will emerge, and will become very creative about subverting any attempt to violate their privacy. In the mean time, most people will be impressed with technology that continues to get better at personalizing online experiences, and will accept as the norm the fact that the Internet is not just a global but a personal experience, and personal data collection is a necessary part of what makes that possible. In other words, most people will accept that there is no privacy online and will seek it offline if they need it.”

A post-doctoral researcher commented, “There will be some security in place, but most especially for business innovation. With regard to personal security, there may be some framework set up for ‘protecting’ personal security; however, I do not think it will be accepted as very good. People’s perception of privacy will erode with time. People will become accustomed to seeing services that match their deepest preferences that they were not even aware other people new about. Again, I think that the public perception will erode over time; what we consider as privacy today will be fair game for corporations in the future.”

A self-employed data journalist and Web developer replied, “It is likely that there will be an accepted privacy-rights infrastructure by 2025 that allows for technological and business innovation, while still providing some privacy options for consumers. Technology is far outpacing laws and policies related to the use of technology. It will be technology providers and innovators that drive policymakers to implementing an appropriate privacy-rights infrastructure. The rapid pace of technological development is also driving the need for a trusted privacy-rights infrastructure to be created. Although there will most likely be some type of privacy-rights infrastructure in place by 2025, public norms about privacy will be very different from today’s norms. Today, people have accepted that they have far less privacy rights than in decades past. For younger people, lack of privacy and social sharing of personal information has become the norm.”

An information science professional wrote, “People’s perception of the need for privacy has changed; they are considerably less concerned about it than in the past. Some companies may develop software to protect privacy—at a cost.”

An information science professional commented, “One of the biggest flaws of the Internet is that it creates a loss of privacy, and many people are unconcerned about that. Cloud technology is growing in popularity, and while I readily admit I do not understand how it works, it seems as though it opens the door for even more vulnerability. It will become more difficult to protect privacy. Younger people seem relatively unconcerned with privacy issues because they have grown up with the Internet. They are willing to trade connectivity and convenience for privacy. We are all photographed many times daily with security cameras, we gladly allow websites to track and analyze our behavior so they can effectively market to us, and we share everything about our personal lives on Facebook and Twitter.”

An information science professional wrote, “There may be levels of opt-in and opt-out. A movement will emerge which will have things more aboveboard with tracking, analysis, and marketing, but more choice on the consumer side to engage or disengage without negative effects on their ability to purchase. This would mirror the movements to label foods. All the information is there on the side, and if you purchase, you are an informed consumer. In addition, there will be a wide variety and some responsiveness to still retain free market aspects. So, some standard of making consumers aware that they are being tracked and analyzed, as well as some way to measure risk of privacy breaches would be implemented, while consumers can freely engage and have choices. There would be variety too, so that those who have certain stricter privacy requirements will not be blocked from the market. I think people will be more sensitive to intrusions that seem involuntary. For instance, tracking people’s use and activities. On the other hand, people will be more forward with being open on the Net, where it is perceived by them to be voluntary.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “There will be a privacy-rights infrastructure by 2025, but security will be a continual challenge. It is likely that there will be multiple crisis-level breaches of security in the next 11 years, which makes it unlikely that any infrastructure will be truly accepted or trusted in 2025. The infrastructure will allow for business innovation and monetization—otherwise, global businesses will not be using the Internet. As for personal information, there will be many layers of protection that will be built up over time in response to various security issues—each layer a reaction as opposed to an integrated solution. By 2025, we will have a hodgepodge of fixes that have the appearance of security and I do not foresee it being overly user-friendly. They will be less restrictive out of necessity. It will be a gradual change and not apparent to the average person, unless they intentionally compare 2025 privacy norms to 2014 privacy norms.”

An information science professional said, “We are going to have to create this soon if we are going to continue to do business online. In 2025, I suspect fewer people will be opposed to joining social networks out of concerns for their privacy. Use of social networks will become more prevalent and accepted.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “It seems to be increasingly common for people to give out information online, which they might not give out in other situations. This may be because they are behind a screen and don’t feel as exposed, or because they are not aware of how easy it is for information to spread online.”

An information science professional replied, “After recently reading Dave Eggers’ brilliant novel The Circle, this question seems especially apropos. I am afraid reality will be closer to what Eggers has predicted: a future where not only is privacy no longer an option, individuals are shunned and looked down upon if they do want to remain anonymous or protect their privacy in any way. The prevailing thought will probably be something along the lines of, ‘If you have nothing to hide, then why do you care?’ Safety concerns will be more important than privacy. Policymakers will have convinced the general public that it’s in everyone’s best interest if privacy is abolished. It will be easier than ever to learn everything about a person. Social networks will collect and aggregate data about someone, so anyone can easily see a person’s preferences as far as shopping, eating, reading, etc. Nothing will be private anymore, and the younger generation will not understand the concept of keeping things to themselves. That will be foreign to them.”

A self-employed information consultant and developer, responded, “The best indicator of what is to come is what has already happened, which is that corporations and governments are pushing as far as possible into personal privacy. Government regulations will likely mandate opt-in privacy options for corporate actors, but people will not take advantage of them unless they are exceptionally well informed. And, government spying agencies will continue to find backdoor ways to do what they have always done. Young people are growing up with no expectations of privacy and will not fight for privacy rights in the future. While I do not expect everyone will be easy with a Big Brother-style camera in every living room, cameras in public will be non-controversial (as they already are, to some extent). Law enforcement by camera is already common with regard to traffic violations in the United States and could extend to other areas of life. (Given the success of the red light and speeding cameras, jaywalking cameras cannot be far behind, especially as camera technology becomes more and more unobtrusive and affordable and as facial recognition technology continues to improve.)”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “It is going to be a rough ride getting there. The security will be the biggest hurdle. The downside of transparency will be more apparent by then, but it also offers more opportunity for people to get their 15 minutes of fame.”

A retiree responded, “The American ethos of privacy will mandate restrictions on use of personal data; we are beginning to realize the implications of unprotected use of information individuals should be able to control and protect their personal information.”

An information science professional said, “With the advancement of technology, society will believe transactions will be secure, but they will not have the personal privacy that they want. Their data will be secure but not from those who have control of it. Members of the public will care less and less about whether their information is private because the only way to anything will be through the Internet, and the public will just go along with whatever they must to live.”

A librarian for the US Department of Education replied, “Companies (and politicians, by way of company funding) stand to make a lot of money by not having online information that secure (data-mining). And some individuals are real freaks about privacy—not wanting any information online. I do not see how, in the next 15 years, these conflicts can satisfactorily be resolved. More people will be aware of privacy concerns. It is starting to be school curriculum, and students are understanding how their online behavior effects their life.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “Yes, there will be privacy programming, but people will continue to find new ways to hack into this information. Businesses will need to continuously stay one step ahead of them. There may be some leaks, but for the most part, businesses will be successful. There will be a greater need to teach young people about what is appropriate to share and what is not.”

An anonymous respondent commented, “The need for improved infrastructure to assure personal privacy and secure data will be so vital that policymakers and corporations will have to create stronger safeguards, but in their own interest, they will want to still be able to track and analyze usage. People are naive at present about online privacy but that will develop into a sense of self-awareness about the dangers of personal over-exposure.”

An anonymous respondent said, “In today’s media-savvy world, and in the future, corporations will have to be transparent.”

A professor teaching in a university graduate program commented, “It would take significant bi-partisan cooperation in the US Congress and a willingness to work with consumer advocates, as well as the banking industry, to create a ‘trusted privacy-rights infrastructure’ that, I assume, you mean would be used for commerce. Reports on the registration for Obamacare say that the site requires personal information, yet the site has not proven trustworthy. Let us see what happens with that project. I do not know, but I hope that disclosure from the government and industry on how personal information gathered through technological means will be more forthcoming. If that can be achieved, I think the American people would be willing to go with a single ID number that can be used for all types of registrations.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Efforts will be made to create such an infrastructure, but they will not be very successful. Given the speed at which technology development happens, privacy and security policy seems destined to stay a few steps behind. I think we are also moving toward a global population that is less and less inclined to protect itself or demand protection online. There are occasional outcries for greater security and privacy, but on the whole, people are not focused on these things. “

An anonymous respondent wrote, “The infrastructure in 2025 will lean heavily in favor of business monetization, with less choice for individuals in protecting personal information. We are headed down that path already. While there are certainly many mediums available to individuals in accessing technology and the Internet, companies are veering toward sneaky methods of operating. For example, the trend of packaging or bundling optional/unknown products with products necessary to get by in the business and other worlds is troubling. Companies change their privacy/user policies quite frequently, and there is a disconnect among users about what these policies actually mean. While some companies do make an attempt to release a ‘plain English’ version, I do not see attempts to standardize policies. Standardization would be helpful for users so they know to look for deviations from the norm and decide how to approach such deviations. The trend is for less privacy and less concern regarding lack of privacy. Particularly among my generation (I am on the older end of the Millennials) and younger generations, social media continues to play a huge role in interactions with family, friends, classmates, and co-workers. Signing up for a new social media site takes just a few seconds, and most of the people I know (in these generations) would not think twice about registration—willingly giving over basic information about themselves and then completely forgetting that they did when they assess the value of the social media site and find it not worth their time. I think we will get to a point where Millennials, their children, and their grandchildren, will have their entire lives online—entire records from birth to maturity accessible quite easily. Eventually, I think there will be growing concern about privacy, but at that point, I believe it will be difficult to reverse the trend.”

An information science professional wrote, “Security, liberty, and privacy online will not be secure and trusted by 2025. The focus by business for money over security has already made that too difficult to achieve. Too much information is already out there and cannot be ‘destroyed.’ There is a widespread feeling of loss of privacy and protection. People are no longer surprised about businesses and government snooping into information that was meant to be private. Enough big companies have lost personal and financial information of their customers that hacking is no longer a surprise either. Older generations have an expectation of privacy, even with public records, because they used to be hard to get. They are shocked to find information gathered by mass marketing firms on the Internet that show everyone living at their home, ages, gender, etc. Younger generations are used to finding ‘everything’ online and do not have the same expectation that their private information will remain so.”

A business professional responded, “There will be improvement; however, secure will be hard to achieve. Privacy will be less important for many people.”

An anonymous respondent commented, “There will be islands of security, privacy, etc., online by 2025, and they will be easier to access and more renowned, but policymakers will remain behind in the legislative infrastructure. The ‘Wild West’ of the Internet will remain, wherein those who are not on secure systems are very public and very insecure, but that will be tempered by more and more user-friendly secure systems (for a price). It will level out. Right now, online presence is overly invasive, or very sparse (depending on your interaction with it). By 2025, it will be more like a small town, where what is public is findable, but you can have private information with only a mild level of discretion.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “By 2025, it will be too late. But also, greed will prevent privacy protection, as well as lack of understanding about privacy by the public. People will be more flexible than now but will also have less choice.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “I have no faith that governments and huge megalopolis, non-country entities will be able to agree.”

A self-employed professional responded, “It will take more than 11 years to overcome the damage done by making people believe that corporations should have the same rights as people so many people that I speak to believe that transparency applies to individuals, as well as corporations and government. This is very scary because so many younger people do not understand that privacy is important. Corporations and government like lack of privacy for people because they can predict and control our behavior better that way; so, they are in no rush to improve privacy. I think that people will expect to get too much personal information from others, and lying will become more common in social interactions, since folks will make up stories, rather than fully divulge the real stories.”

An information science professional wrote, “I just do not think a privacy policy will work.”

An information science professional wrote, “Congress will continue to lag behind innovation, not understanding technology well enough to craft legislation able to keep up with new programs and devices. Having grown up in the information age, younger Americans will not expect privacy online and will be comfortable sharing more personal information to, eventually, get targeted.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Policies are written to respond to current and widely-predicted future trends. The evidence of the last decade points to the incredible creativity of entrepreneurs and programmers. They identify new uses for data unrelated to its original purpose (i.e., tracking flu by Google search trends data). They identify unforeseen sources of data (i.e., tracking a particular cell phone’s signal through a store to see patterns of shopping). They combine data in unforeseen ways that, among other things, may end up revealing individual identities (there is an interesting paper with a title like ‘I don’t have anything to hide’ on ssrn.com about this). So, I am betting that this creativity and ingenuity will outstrip the ability of governments to make and enforce policies that genuinely protect privacy. I also bet against the programmers’ ability to develop tools that would thwart the less scrupulous among the entrepreneurs (or the governments) from breaching the privacy tools. I would flip this question to ask what norms and ideas we will hold about identity itself in 2025. People seem to be developing online personas with various names and pictures that do not match their actual appearance. I think we may try to separate and cordon off which identity is relevant in various settings. I think there will be a smaller but not insignificant group that may either reduce its use of the Internet or use technological tools to maintain an anonymous identity. As even typing patterns become part of identity verification (Coursera, EdX) this may not be possible.”

An information science professional based in Berkeley, California, wrote, “The public will be proactive in voicing concerns about privacy and security and they will be led by nonprofits, consumer watchdog organizations, the media, and individual professions concerned with these issues. In these ways, I believe there will be an infrastructure that is accepted and trusted. The notion of ‘secure’ will evolve with people’s individual and social understandings of ‘security’ and acceptable risks, and through active participation of individuals and organization, the infrastructure that is built will comport with those evolving understandings of how secure is secure enough. Public norms about privacy will continue to move towards broader sharing and less individuality. One of the things that makes participatory democracy thrive is a broad diversity among citizens. I worry about the ways that this sharing is going to homogenize our society, but I also believe that the pressures from commercial interests and the various majorities (racial, economic, gender, etc.) will move us this way.”

An information science professional responded, “The recent NSA spying case will lead to some needed changes that will improve privacy protections. We are already seeing some changes in how much privacy people feel that they need to have—some younger people, in particular, are becoming concerned about data mining and the use of online social tools that gather privacy information, on top of the concerns about NSA level spying. So, as these attitudes shift, we will start to see a shift back towards a higher level of privacy and privacy protections for individuals.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Recent events (i.e., the Snowden leaks, other widely publicized data breaches) have given the general public the first large insight into the security and privacy issues that we face today. With this increased knowledge, the pressure from the public will hopefully motivate policymakers and tech innovators to work together in finding a secure way to handle consumer data.”

An information science professional responded, “I honestly think private companies are doing a better job of securing privacy than the government. With recent NSA revelations, I do not trust the government to really protect our privacy. It will take citizen concern and understanding (which will take a long time) to move the government and companies to create a true privacy-rights infrastructure. It could happen by 2050, but not 2025. This might be the biggest issue of my lifetime (I am 32 years old). Edward Snowden’s revelations about the NSA intrusions have helped, but it will take a lot more advocacy for privacy to be an issue American’s understand. For some American’s, they will never care; it is hard to advocate for privacy, since most do not understand how the digital infrastructure works.”

An information science professional responded, “Tracking-cookie-type objects will always be invading privacy. People will be used to the fact that there is no privacy on the Web.”

The manager of a nonprofit hospital commented, “That it is important that the relationship be a solid and trusted and that working together toward this common goal has been realized! If today’s social media and what people are willing to share is any indication, privacy will be less of a big deal for some areas of one’s life and more for other areas.”

A corporate educator working in an investor-owned utility replied, “Money and profit drives most decision-making and ensuring individual privacy has no financial benefit to corporations, policy makers, or lobbyists. I do not know. It could go either way, with everyone more suspicious or everyone giving up and knowing there is no privacy.”

An information science professional at the University of Missouri replied, “I am working on a paper with learning analytics, and I think that is a great example of both positive and negative uses of tracking software—how much can we rely on what people do online to determine what they really need in their lives? Students do not do everything online—they should have the option to work offline. Do people in other areas not want things that are offline, as well? People need options to opt out of any kind of tracking, and it is becoming much more difficult to do so. A lot of people are accepting that they will be tracked regularly because, for instance, it might enhance their shopping experiences. I hope that there is a significant group of people who opt out. The off-the-grid movement might continue to rise, and I hope it does.”

An information science professional in Alaska replied, “I often wonder: if policy makers do not come up with a good security plan, the public trust will lessen, and there could be a technology backlash. I think people will know that some aspects of their lives will always be public and that, in order to gain the level of privacy they wish, they will have to be proactive and set their own boundaries.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “The year 2025 is too soon for a comprehensive privacy-rights infrastructure to actually be in place. I expect that things will proceed more piecemeal, with technology services, policy, and public perception all at different stages. The Snowden NSA revelations will politicize privacy rights policy in unhelpful partisan ways and, actually, slow things down. That being said, both technology innovators and policymakers will make improvements by 2025. The public will become more forgiving and/or blasé about merely embarrassing privacy breaches (they will have to be). There will be more of a consensus about what breaches are considered trivial and what private behavior, if exposed, is scandalous and worthy of public notice. If the economy gets better, there will be more pushback about employer’s intrusion into and policing of ‘private,’ off-duty social media spaces. If the economy is not better, people will be more self-censoring for fear of losing their jobs.”

An information science professional in rural Washington State said, “Maybe on a different day, I would answer differently, but I am feeling pretty negatively about Web privacy and security. I am actually more concerned about corporate takeovers of privacy, but in these days of NSA snooping, I think privacy will occur less, and be valuable more; however, I also think there is some possibility of some major blow-back about the Web—privacy, security, and more—that could happen, but much less. Like I said, I am not optimistic.”

An information science professional specializing in business and health sciences commented, “One can only hope that most everyone sees the wisdom of offering opt-in/out choices that help consumers and citizens have an opportunity to be more aware (and exercise) privacy rights. There has been a lack of concerted concern—except briefly when there is a security breach of financial or user contact info.”

An anonymous respondent said, “For individuals, by 2025, privacy is going to be a memory and not a reality. For corporations and financial institutions, privacy will be protected by law but often compromised, in fact. People will eventually come to accept the new reality in which they find themselves.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “Most people will still not understand the amount of effort and consistency it actually takes for true privacy. I highly doubt that policies that are actually understood and trusted, much less robust, will be developed to fulfill the above requirements.”

A former executive at major technology company, now a social entrepreneur, responded, “The issues are likely to persist for a much longer time because they are so fundamental to our society in this century—much the same way that labor-versus-capital issues persisted for many decades during the industrial era. I am not sure. It is possible that those who have grown up with less privacy will accept that or they may change attitudes as they age. It may also be that, regardless of age, people will become desensitized or resigned to loss of privacy.”

A gaming, technology, and youth services consultant commented, “Yes, but it should not be contained in a Facebook walled garden. I can totally see something like in Ender’s Game, where there is a controlled, attributed Internet and an anonymous ‘Wild West.’ We will see a backlash as the children of those who let it all hang out online try not to repeat the mistakes of their parents—which they will be able to call up on the Internet archive!”

An information science professional responded, “I do not see it being in the best interest for neither the policymakers nor the innovators. If they do, it will be an illusion of privacy. I believe that the concept of privacy will be much different than it is now. The generations growing up with social media already have a different concept of privacy then older generations.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Neither ‘policymakers’ nor corporations have an interest in privacy or security beyond their own. Some people will do their own, much as PGP can be used by those inclined, but I have not observed many people taking security or privacy seriously, and if people are the only ones who have the vested interested, then it will not be widespread. Facebook showed that a fairly large number of people are interested in broadcasting information about themselves (more than those who videocast their lives 12 years ago), but I think people may start observing consequences of living too much in the open and not share as much ‘on the Internet’ (I do not post about vacations until I return, for instance).”

An information science professional said, “I do not believe that businesses will cede a right to privacy for individuals when there is so much value in user information. Facebook’s product is information about its users—how can it let policy develop that would take that away? I would be shocked to see a business model emerge that the corporate sector would lobby for that would protect privacy and promote business interests. Corporate America believes that individual privacy is a liability, the government obviously agrees after recent spying revelations, and I do ot see that changing. When government and corporate interests align, there is very little power for the individual. I see the normalization of social norms that build on sharing the way that we have seen in near fiction like the writing of Gary Schteyngart. Klout, or its successor, will become an even more accepted proxy for personal evaluation and a lack of online or social media public presence will be a detriment to individuals. This is already becoming evident—a recent post on the popular blog hiring librarians asked managers if participating in a specific online social media group would hurt or help a candidates chances. Almost every manager responded that it would depend on candidate presentation in said forum. Just like degrees are proxies for ability in our society today, social media will be a different kind of proxy for evaluation to make decisions easier for people in social and business life.”

An information science professional responded, “I consider privacy very important to me, but I do not see evidence that most people today (especially younger people) value privacy. On the contrary, they seem eager to share every detail of their lives with the whole world by blogging, tweeting, etc., and most also seem to have no problem with corporations and government using their personal information for whatever purpose they choose. I think we will continue in the direction of less and less privacy, unless and until large numbers of people personally experience lack of privacy as having a serious negative impact on their lives, or having a real potential to do so.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “I certainly hope the Internet will be free and open to all, secure, private, and used for good by 2025. As of 2014, all those things seem to be shrinking away. I hope there is more secure privacy in 2025 than now, but the Patriot Act and United States spying on all citizens in 2014 does not bode well for that future.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “We have given up so much of our privacy already that corporations or the government are going to give up the flow of data and information that we allow them to have. I can see people paying a premium for privacy, but it is unlikely that anyone will have any real privacy online without eschewing online tools all together. I think most people in 2025 will understand that your online life is a public life.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “We already have most of our data secured by corporations and business, like what we purchase and our purchase history. Government already takes our data and stores it. Most people do not care that their personal privacy is not so thick. I do not like that apps track what you do all the time. It is just too much information overload. I think that people will start wanting more privacy in their social media interactions. Government might pull together to do that.”

An information science professional responded, “Unless current policymakers (politicians) stop their fighting to work on the idealistic security, liberty, and privacy online, I do not believe this will happen. Business innovation needs some stability in public policy before they can go forward. The current political climate goes against this. I do not like the monetization of this. It seems that the more you can pay, the more secure you will be. What happens to the general public who cannot afford to pay exorbitant fees? Perhaps it will be more open. People share a lot of their private lives and thoughts on Facebook, Twitter, etc., currently. As the younger generation enters their thirties and forties and have younger ones to worry about, there may be a change in what constitutes private lives. Would they want others to know where their kids are at all times? Would they have concerns for their safety, etc.?”

A 75-year-old retiree and volunteer, formerly a business professional, commented, “There will be changes in two directions: first, that individuals will care less about absolute privacy rights. It is amazing to me already that people share as much as they do over social media. I do, however, think that people will train themselves to be careful about avoiding giving information they do not want known publically for any reason—just as people pretty much universally have learned to lock their doors when they leave their residences. Second, that government, business, and other organizations will realize and take steps to ensure that reasonable rights of privacy are respected. There is a fiscal advantage for businesses to focus efforts to provide their customers and clients privacy in order to keep their own privacy secure. In democratic countries, this will at some point reach a level acceptable to all the stakeholders. People have generally learned to lock their doors when they leave home and give keys to people they trust.”

An information science professional replied, “There will finally be some action on the part of NGOs as a result of the Edward Snowden whistleblowing. At a minimum, there will be some resolution at the UN level, hopefully. People may, and will, have to self-censor.”

The project coordinator for an environmental consulting firm commented, “It may be close, but not everyone will think that the correct balance has been reached. There will always be people who are wary of the advance of technology and making what used to be private public, while other previously public information becomes more private.”

A former information science professional wrote, “There will always be individuals who will take up the challenge of breaking into a secure system. As Willie Sutton said about why he robbed banks: ‘That is where the money is.’ Information will never be secure on the Internet; hackers never quit. I do not think the public will have any expectation of privacy.”

A volunteer and artist commented, “There will always be ‘hackers.’ Although I surf the Net I do so knowing that the real ‘game’ is between the programmers and the hackers. The Internet is isolating people, in my opinion, in the sense that, although we can converse with people all over the world and do a variety of things—we are not leaving our homes; we are not in physical contact. By 2025, humans may be so starved for contact—privacy may not matter any more.”

An information science professional responded, “I just do not see how, given the turmoil now and the vastly variant beliefs as to privacy rights versus intelligence needs, any overall change can occur to get us to the idyllic situation described above. After all, it would require agreement at so many levels and so much public education as to seem impossible. Right now, for instance, we have so much fact-free information being shared and so little vetting as to the authority of information that it is hard to imagine a future where people are more thoughtful and cautious. And, mindfulness and caution are required in order to accomplish change of any magnitude. The two camps will continue to diverge radically. There will be (the larger group) that is convinced that nothing is truly private and, therefore, why protect anyone’s privacy. Then there will be a small but vocal group that feels any use of data impinges upon privacy rights.”

An information science professional wrote, “Privacy and security of one’s personal information will continue to be an illusion, with online communication and data being no more secure or private than any other means of communication. Think of the ‘private’ cell phone call made in a public place, with everyone in the vicinity overhearing the ‘private’ conversation—privacy is certainly an illusion. Privacy will not be the issue it is today, especially online. When a generation has grown up posting the most private parts of their lives for their ‘friends’ to see and they become the adults in the room, the norm will be the fusion of public and private.”

A freelance marketing and communications professional, replied, “I simply do not think a secure privacy rights infrastructure is possible. There will always be hackers, and there will always be people or government officials who will somehow find a way to creep into the publics’ private lives. We are losing our privacy because people are too scared to protect themselves.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “In the past two years, I have seen policymakers side with corporations in lieu of personal privacy. Unless there is a great change in whom the policymakers are, I do not see this pattern changing any time soon.”

An associate professor wrote, “Corporations will still be focused on making money, which means taking as much advantage of consumers as possible; this will mean the focus will not be on personal privacy and secure data, unless the data is corporate data. Policymakers will remain in the pockets of corporations. The public continues to become aware of what their privacy means and how to control it. It will be up to the individual to take advantage of and use tolls provided to protect individual privacy.”

A member of the clergy, with an interest in the political and social implications of technology, responded, “I do not think that policymakers have the necessary understanding about privacy technologies to adequately protect privacy from corporate interest in undermining it. And, truly protected personal information is not in the interest of the national security apparatus, which seems to believe that any barriers to its mining of private data are to be avoided. The collusion between private profiteering and government intrusion will insure the continued erosion of privacy and security. I would like outrage to prevail, leading to more demand for privacy protection. I fear that now-troubling levels of intrusion will become the ‘new normal.’”

An information science professional wrote, “There are too many competing interests to have it be balanced for all parties.”

An anonymous respondent commented, “While I hope that such a structure will come into place the reality is that people are still unaware about how much of their information is online, how to protect themselves, and what to do if their information is breached. And, without the public insisting on a stronger privacy infrastructure, there will be no incentive for Internet providers to create one. Hopefully, people will be more capable to protect their own privacy and a little wiser on what they share publicly.”

An anonymous respondent said, “I may just be pessimistic, as my oldest son, with a Master’s in computer science, and a job working with computer networks and security, feels there may never be a secure infrastructure. (One that is popularly accepted may be possible.) Many younger people expect more transparency and do not have the same expectations of privacy, so public norms may change. (There may always be a strong minority wanting to safeguard their privacy.)”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “If this does not happen, we are in trouble; so, I believe that government and businesses, as well as the public, will demand it.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “The year 2025 is only 11 years away, and there is far too much ground to cover for policy makers and corporations to find middle ground and balance security and privacy with governments’ desire for information and corporations drive to increase revenue. We have no choice but to get used to having to provide more and more personal information online. Most government services require users to access their account information online. Corporations require employees to obtain W-2’s and check stubs online. Individuals who are perhaps 35 and under today will have fewer concerns or reluctance to provide information online and will be less concerned about their online security.”

An information science professional commented, “We are already being tracked in ways we may not even be aware of. People do complain, and people do their best to make others aware that their privacy rights are being violated each day. I believe this will continue to become worse. I believe that, as the younger generation, who does not view these privacy intrusions as intrusions, gets older, and as even younger people come in, it will become more commonplace.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “There will always be this battle, but for the majority of users most information will usually be secure. I am sure there will always be breakthroughs, also, but most of us will be used to being tracked from a distance and having targeting marketing in our lives by 2025.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “I do not know if it will be popular, but it will be accepted. And, it will be a growing and changing ideal. People are naive about online safety, and this initial measure will be welcomed by the public, though slowly, as more cracks are discovered it will be changed and modified; and, its growth will be ongoing. Companies will be forced to be more upfront about their privacy policies and offer more choices to the public who demand it. The lack of privacy will become a major issue in the future, and people will be burned by sharing too much online. They will resist the openness and want more restrictions.”

The manager of one of the largest public library systems in the United States replied, “In the United States, data is valuable, and the bottom line is a driving factor for corporations. Although policymakers may want to safeguard privacy, business interests will continue to have influence in any public policy decision. Members of the public are beginning to understand that privacy, as it existed in the pre-Internet-world, is disappearing. I think that, by 2025, individuals will be better informed about the options for safeguarding their privacy, and the expectation will be that personal information and data are not secure unless these options are exercised.”

An information science professional commented, “There have been a lot of privacy issues related to the privacy of information online, and eventually, it will get to a tipping point, where people are tired of having their information compromised. I would hope that people would become concerned enough that policymakers would respond, and someone would make a fortune finding a way to help people keep their information more private. The most recent generation seems much more lax in terms of privacy, broadcasting every thought to friends through Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc. Yet, I am not sure they understand the consequences of putting everything online when they go to look for a job, or apply to college, or look for a home loan. I would hope people would be more circumspect about what they share with the world, but things seem to be moving in the other direction.”

An information science professional commented, “I do not really know, but I do not feel as if this is will happen. There will be more awareness.”

The digital editor for a very large media organization responded, “Internet security and privacy is already out of control. It is kind of hard to backpedal at this point. I think people will either stop using a lot of social networks for personal expression and go back to keeping things offline, or people will be less worried about their personal privacy. It is kind of hard to say which way it will go.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “There will not be enough of a concerted pressure by individuals to force policymakers to come to this ideal. I wish it would happen though. People already see privacy differently. They share things they would never have thought of sharing 20 years ago. Not having privacy online will become the new norm.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “The public perception will be that there is not enough personal privacy and that data is not ever totally secure because there will be new cases of accounts being hacked, even as more secure measures are put in place. The younger generation will become resigned to a lack of privacy, especially regarding the government and corporations. The idea of privacy as a right will fade from memory.”

A communications strategist based in the San Francisco area said, “In the United States, business interests will continue to outweigh individual interests. It is likely that America will be more and more at odds with Europe and other parts of the world on privacy issues.”

A media agency strategist replied, “The ability to track and analyse every action will prevent privacy; it is already too late to build back privacy.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Attempts will be made to address issues of privacy, security, and the like; however, there will be no iron-clad, foolproof way to ensure that ‘Big Brother,’ in all forms, will not violate any rules or policies created to ‘protect’ Internet users.”

An anonymous respondent commented, “There will be a method that individuals can use to ignore or block contacts by businesses, following the pattern initially set by the ‘do not call’ list; however, all methods will have holes (like the ‘do not call’ list), and individuals will need to be aware of how their information is still available, and to what audiences (legal and illegal). Schools, libraries, and extension centers will need to continue to educate individuals on their online (and offline) privacy and security. By 2025, the public will have come to the realization that personal information has never really been protected (I can remember, in the 1970s, someone requesting, unsuccessfully, to opt-out from the street address listing phone book in my hometown because they did not want to be identified in that fashion to businesses). There should be another agency created (or a current agency re-worked, i.e., FTC, Library of Congress, whatever) to handle just privacy and security issues and questions, as well as to step up and speak for the privacy and security of online citizens whenever a new project or product is being discussed.”

An Information science professional wrote, “Given the current track of government ‘observance’ of mass communications, it may take longer than 2025 to achieve a system that the public will consider truly ‘private.’ Many members of the public that use the library seem to be very lax in protecting their private information online, either because they do not understand the risk, do not think anything will happen to them, or are uninformed in how the Internet actually functions—it is a combination of all three things, I think.”

An interactive communications specialist for a news organization commented, “Perhaps this will happen in years later than 2025, but in 11 years, there will still be enough of the old guard/old way of thinking that will push down the innovation and foresight to create effective policy. We need government thinking about it now, and yet, they are moving towards more control and less freedom (in the name of privacy) that will hinder development and natural evolution. The people involved setting the policy do not know enough about what they are doing, and the people who do either are not heard or are not involved. Public norms will be further along than policy. People will not think twice about their credit card information being carried around on their phones. We will have evolution of passwords. It will not matter as much if your identity is stolen. You will have an entire generation of adults who have never thought twice about sharing their personal stories, insights, photos, experiences, and feelings online.”

A chief operating officer replied, “With online and, in particular, hand-held communication increasing at an exponential rate, it will be imperative to protect individuals’ privacy. New standards must be developed to insure safe and secure transit and storage of information. Both government and private ventures must be held accountable to protect individual privacy. I am not sure that privacy can be any looser than it is today. When it comes to social networking sites (Facebook and Twitter, in particular, as well as Foursquare) many people do not appear to understand the personal information that they are putting out for the world (yes, literally the world) to see, save, and share. Governmental and private entities must be held accountable to help ensure privacy, but members of the public must be much better educated to understand how to protect their personal privacy.”

A student at the University of Washington wrote, “The Internet has barely started, and already, various governments are trying to strip away privacy rights and control infrastructure. I cannot envision this changing. People will have much lower expectations of privacy in 2025.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “There will be very little, if any, privacy.”

A director of university communications at a major university in Colorado responded, “I really do not know—or do not have the basic confidence of the ‘secure’ element. I do not specifically expect human nature—strengths and failures—to evolve to a state in which there will be a dramatic shift.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “The public’s perception of privacy has already broadened, and this trend will continue. The public has been willing to give up a lot of their privacy to get free services or personalized services.”

A social media communications professional replied, “At the current rate of innovation, we will reach a point at which we will be aware of the value of the data we share. I am assuming, of course, that regulators and the general public bridge the knowledge gap and become tech-savvy. While we are pushing the boundaries more and more, we will be more cognizant of the value of our personal data. There will be a high value placed on privacy and our ability to keep things that way. Just like we used to pay not to be on the phonebook, so we will in the future to avoid sharing it.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Policymakers and technology innovators need to work together to ensure all concerns and issues are resolved before rolling out any new programs to the public. It is often policymakers who are the ones who lack knowledge and are often slow to adapt and/or accept new ideas and innovation! I doubt young people understand what ‘privacy’ means at all! Look at the current Google and other apps that have the capability to pull all identities of social media into one access. That is scary! My experience was that I used one email to login to Tripadvisor, who managed, somehow, to pull my friends from Facebook, for which I used a different email address to access. I found it has absolutely violated my privacy!”

A professional writer said, “Our current political system does not support rational lawmaking, nor do our elected lawmakers seem particularly supportive of civil rights. Moneyed interests are likely to continue to press for relaxed privacy protections because there is a great deal of money to be made from utilizing or selling personal data. Moreover, too many people seem quite content to exchange their privacy for convenience and accurate purchasing recommendations. The trend towards more and more exposure of personal history, behavior, and information will continue. While some people will complain, too many will not. As a result, some people are likely to experience discrimination, difficulty finding employment, or other negative consequences for unwise disclosures.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Over the next 11 years, there will be strides made toward the protection of personal privacy, but what is already done will likely not be undone. Our lapses in judgment, with regard to privacy to-date, will persist.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Nothing will ever be secure. Unless there is some cataclysmic event to change people’s opinions, I do not think the younger generation sees any harm in non-privacy.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “I would like to hope that security and privacy are a high priority. But, unless businesses pour a huge amount of money towards this issue, it will not happen. Just look at the Target charge hacking that took place over Christmas. Privacy will be less important in 2025, and this is not good.”

An information science professional in Michigan replied, “Corporations make too much money off of data and buy the political will. Privacy will not be thought of the same way, as so much information is online and interconnected. It is online, whether you are or not—look at the data breach of Target recently.”

A information science professional commented, “We have a long way to go, but looking forward, as current policymakers can attest to, if it is not accepted by the public at large, it will not be in use; that is why you see Facebook continually adjusting their privacy settings. It comes down to user demand, and policymakers will be pressured in the same way to strike a balance that the user can live with. They are already changing, as the generations become more tolerant of what is shared versus what is not. We will see a shift from the privacy we, as Baby Boomers, grew to expect to a much more open sharing of not only the personal, but also the information about ourselves that was at one time considered very private—i.e., sexual preference, education, wealth, etc. I have seen conversations shift even when gathering with friends depending on the age group—subjects discussed that would never have been touched around my mother’s table.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “Based on what our policymakers and corporations are doing now, they will not be able to create a secure online experience by 2025. I anticipate that corporations will continue tracking our every move online, and policymakers will lag laughably behind the current technology and create knee-jerk reactions to events. A certain level of openness will be expected—it will be expected that corporations and governments are spying on you, unless you take the necessary action to avoid their scrutiny.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “For the majority of Americans, the Internet will have been a constant throughout their lives. Most people will not be able to conceive of a life devoid of computer technology, and their online experiences will have become the most important aspects of their lives. The majority of people will have become used to sharing their most intimate selves with those whom they never meet in person. As such, their actual physical selves and environs will be strictly guarded, while their virtual existences and realities will be readily available to all and sundry.”

An anonymous respondent said, “I do not believe that the public will trust the policymakers and corporations to strike the right balance between personal privacy and security. Each day, more information is made public about the leaks of personal privacy. As the Internet becomes more and more complex, the ability to strike a balance will become more difficult to achieve.”

An anonymous survey participant responded, “There may be several, or a few, highly-used systems, but due to browser and platform issues, it just seems unlikely that there could ever be just one, universally-accepted system, unless there somehow turned out to be a way to make a profit by providing it. It feels like it cannot get any more open, though the rise of wearable technology will overturn and rewrite everything we know and think about privacy.”

An anonymous respondent predicted, “They will be working towards this goal but may not yet have achieved it. The younger generation is growing up with sharing all about their life through social networking sites. As a result, the issue of privacy may be less important to them.”

An anonymous survey participant said, “Policymakers and technology innovators will have to come to a meeting of the minds in order for greater technological advances. Data protection is a big issue, and I believe that those who want to monetize the Internet will push policymakers to drive security issues forward.”

A media distribution professional replied, “I am not optimistic that individual privacy will be the major concern of the policymakers, technology companies, and the website owners. They will be interested in profit and information. The Internet will be a ‘use at your own risk’ proposition, but who will be able to avoid its use? It is already a basic need in modern life. What motivation would government or industry have for denying itself the wealth of information the technology offers? Moreover, the nature of embedding privacy technology seems both expensive and burdensome to design, implement, and monitor. Even if the legitimate website owners are willing to respect privacy, the hackers are formidable enemies. So many people have given up on their personal privacy by writing on the ‘bathroom wall’ of the Internet that there will have to be an erosion of the belief that people are entitled to privacy. I have my own question. Right now, the US Census is private information for 72 years. In 2012, we had the release of the 1940 census. But, the life expectancy has risen, and I am sure there are cases of people whose personal living arrangements in 1940, when they were 18 or 19 or 20, could create problems in their family when they are, say, 88 or 90. In 2025, will the census release date be different?”

A human factors professional and member of ACM SIGCHI, responded, “While I believe that more people are now aware of some of the privacy and liberty issues than was previously the case, I am not convinced that the self-interest and commercial benefit of collecting and using such data will not overcome the likelihood that it will be protected. And, I think the public will simply forget. It has been suggested to me that Millennials simply have less fear of government and commercial interests than does my generation (Boomers) because they have grown up revealing private information without protection. I am not completely convinced that this is true across the board, but I am ‘on the fence’ about this.”

An anonymous survey participant wrote, “The ‘public perception’ are the key words here, as the public can and is convinced of their privacy online. The younger generation is not as concerned about online privacy, and those who do, like me of the Boomer generation, will be dead or too old to care.”

An attorney and partner in private law firm replied, “As each technology advances, there will be additional problems, and government lacks, or does not want, the ability to cope with these issues (i.e., NSA).”

An information science professional wrote, “We will not recover our eroded privacy rights. They will continue to erode, and the non-private life will be accepted. Those truly interested in privacy will opt out of social networks and possibly disconnect from the growing Internet life.”

A media distribution professional responded, “If there is not money to be made, the concession will not happen. I just hope people will have the option to opt out. I hope people will be more aware of their lack of privacy and be more concerned and knowledgeable of privacy issues.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “I do not see the government doing anything further to protect people’s privacy rights online, and companies seem to be taking more and more information from people (and having it stolen by hackers). So, I do not see anything getting better in terms of our privacy being protected. Judging by younger people, who tend to be less upset with sharing their personal information online, I would say people will get more used to the concept that, in the digital age, the concept of privacy simply does exist, and they will become more comfortable with this but still, probably, be proactive about what they share.”

An information science professional commented, “These issues are complex and have political implications. Based on today’s political climate, I do not believe we will have good enough policies, protections, and solutions by 2025.”

An anonymous respondent said, “People are growing tired of the amount of both human error-type of exposing personal information and the increasing surveillance of government seems ripe for pushback. There is always going to be some privacy infringement, given the nature of Internet communication. Perhaps someone young and bright and full of indignation will find a way to make security easier and better. As I say, we just will not have the privacy of the past, but I think that we are at a point that privacy may become more private. There will be court cases that will be part of the process of our society figuring out the privacy issues—which speaks to the need to find our way. The Internet has become quite commercial, as well as more intrusive, and there will be a bit of people looking at what they really want government and commercial entities to know. As far as what will be norms, I do not know. We are in a process of figuring out what is acceptable with the way social media and metadata work.”

An information science professional replied, “Policymakers are lagging too far behind in this arena; I do not think they will have it figured out by 2025. I expect a backlash will have set in by then, and the pendulum will have swung back to a focus on privacy.”

A metadata librarian based in a large US metropolitan area commented, “While policymakers and corporations may create a privacy-rights infrastructure, individuals will still willingly give up those rights. And, when the rights are given up once or piecemeal, they can easily be aggregated digitally leaving footprints that are impossible to retract. People and their attitudes change; and no amount of technology can address past actions. Data is out there, and once it is out, it cannot really be re-privatized. People are ambivalent about protecting their personal privacy. They want recognition for their thoughts and opinions and, thus, freely share their point-of-view and personal information. Of course, it is a different scenario when the personal information is not offered, but instead, is taken. But once an individual has put their personal information out there, it is out to stay. I think that, in 2025, people will be personally more exposed, and they will be comfortable with it. In the olden days, phone numbers and addresses were freely available in phone books and directories—exactly the kind of information that is carefully guarded now. Twentieth-century Americans thought nothing of it; and, I believe twenty-first-century Americans will be drawing their own, different privacy lines that will vary from what we think of as privacy today.”

An anonymous respondent wrote, “There will always be a need for protection and care by members of the public. I think there will always be a portion of public perception that will wary of government and large corporations; however, I think that there is an incentive within the business community to push toward more privacy protections. If business does not act, then consumers will not trust them and no longer give them business. I think much will change by 2025.”

An anonymous respondent from Colorado commented, “As people are developing more secure infrastructures and safeguards other people are working just as hard to counteract those measures. If people will accept things such as retinal scans to ensure their privacy, then there will be a better chance at a secure infrastructure. I think that people who want to be a part of the global network will realize that, between government agencies and hackers, they will need to give us some of their privacy ‘rights’ to be a global citizen.”

A higher education administrator commented, “There will be a lot of discussion and the beginnings of policymaking. I simply do not believe everyone involved can pull it off in 11 years. There are so many pieces to this. Pieces will be in place in large categories (health care, for example), but it is just too broad to think that there will be a ‘trusted privacy-right infrastructure’ in place by 2025. We have flipped over to the other side already. The general loosening of ‘privacy’ as a concept for younger people has already happened and we will not see any sort of reversal of that. Having said that, it is likely that this generation will want more safeguards as they grow into their 30s, 40s, and beyond. So, we will see ripples in the general movement toward openness—ripples in the form of calls for increased security overall. The difference is,previous generations saw technology as the problem (i.e., move away from technology in order to protect privacy), but the new pro-privacy movements will want to harness technology to the cause—use the tool itself to make our use of technology more secure.”

An anonymous respondent replied, “We will still be in the midst of figuring out how to create a structure that both protects individuals and allows for businesses to innovate. The only way this will happen is if we, as a culture, completely shift the burden of responsibility onto the individual in the same way that we are responsible for our belongings, locking our homes and cars, etc. Today, if my car is stolen because I left it on with the keys in it and the door open—it is accepted that I am the idiot. In the same way, we need to not only create a new infrastructure, but we need to forge a new social contract with each other. Government and business that shifts accountability onto the individual and creates a system that enables me as an individual to choose and determine how I want to share, open use my data.”

An anonymous respondent said, “It seems as if our information is less secure; you hear about major corporations being hacked more and more often—i.e., Target, Snapchat, etc. Unless stiffer penalties are imposed, things will not change.”

An information science professional replied, “I see a less secure and less private Internet. I also see our liberties and freedom taken away as governments and businesses try to protect the Internet and their interests and make it secure and private. People have given up a lot of their privacy today by being on the Internet. They will continue to want to be more private in the future, but there is no turning back. We have ways of tracking people that people are not aware of.”

An information science professional commented, “Security will increase for corporations as they seek to decrease their liability for issues with hacking and breeches such as Target experienced, but personal privacy has already been lost. People do only understand that there is no expectation of privacy between social media and data mining by corporations. I do not see people taking back their privacy without something catastrophic happening. There will be less concern as the younger generations age. These generations have had no expectation of privacy in their lives, so why would they expect it?”

An information science professional wrote, “By 2025, the public will have been so thoroughly snowed under by promotional campaigns and ‘targeted disinformation’ that they will willingly give up their rights to privacy, security, liberty, and safety in the name of ‘defending freedom from terrorists.’ They will agree to total, all-encompassing invigilation in the guise of ‘freedom.’ By 2025, the entire field of online privacy will be an anachronism, as the US government will have further developed its online spying apparatus to the point where literally everything that happens online will be visible.”

To read full official survey analysis, please click here.

To read credited responses to the report, please click here.