Elon University

The 2014 Survey: Which tech companies will rule 2025? (Credited Responses)

This page contains only the for-credit 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 for-credit respondents’ written elaborations 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 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 anonymous responses to the report, please click here.

Following is a large sample including a majority of the responses from survey participants who chose to take credit for their remarks in the survey; some are the longer versions of expert responses that are contained in shorter form in the official survey report. About half of respondents chose to take credit for their elaboration on the question (anonymous responses are published on a separate page). They were asked: “Will policy makers and technology innovators create a secure, popularly accepted, and trusted privacy infrastructure by 2025?”

Bob Briscoe, chief researcher in networking and infrastructure for British Telecom, wrote, ” Society’s memory is short—Stalinism, Maoism, Nazism, and McCarthyism happened too long ago to worry about. The technology will be created, but policy-makers will not make it compulsory under pressure from corporate interests. It will not be used widely because commercial organisations have strong interests to gather information about their potential customers. Although many people are uneasy about erosion of their privacy, only a few feel strongly enough to withdraw their business from companies who put customer privacy below their desires to gather market information. Therefore the business risk of not introducing a new privacy-rights infrastructure is low for all commercial organisations. Younger people are already less concerned about their privacy than older people. I would like to think that repeated high-profile abuses of people’s private information would cause a backlash, however the trend will continue towards less concern about personal privacy. Lack of concern about privacy stems from complacency because most people’s life experiences teach them that revealing their private information allows commercial (and public) organisations to make their lives easier (by targeting their needs), whereas the detrimental cases tend to be very serious but relatively rare—the very bad downside generally happens to someone else, while the slightly good side happens to each individual often. Also, many people seem to be more complacent about revealing private information to a remote anonymous party, than to the same unknown person face-to-face. So, given more and more interaction is becoming remote, complacency about privacy seems set to continue. If commercial and public organisations are stupid enough to commit high-profile abuses of people’s information, this could change.”

Futurist David Brin, author of a highly respected book on the future of privacy, The Transparent Society, wrote, “See my book, The Transparent Society. We will get used to an open society. Answer surveillance with ‘sousveillance.’ It matters less what others know about us than what they can (not) do to us. To control that, we must look back at the mighty and watch the watchers. The question implies that the only solution will be to create some paternalistic, unified structure to control and parcel out information. Even if it is designed by honest and skilled people, this approach cannot work. Can you name for me one example when that ever worked in a reliable way? How many supposedly reliable systems and databases leak (surprise!) every year? There is a better way.”

Alex Halavais, an associate professor of social and behavioral sciences at Arizona State University, predicted, “There will be multiple such infrastructures within smaller communities, but nothing even approaching broad acceptance. The problem being addressed is a significant one, but efforts thus far have proven to be too complex to navigate effectively. If history is any guide, concerns over the NSA incursions and related breeches of privacy will be too short-lived to create the impetus for real change. Perhaps, however, we may see a slight increase in the availability and use of strong encryption tools. I suspect our language around privacy may evolve. The word, on its own, is too broad to encapsulate the broad range of concerns: everything from marketers stalking Web traces to state use of CCTV [closed-circuit television, or private video surveillance]. Until the issue of ‘privacy’ is appropriately segmented, we will have a tough time either talking about it or addressing it.”

Alice Marwick, researcher of the social and cultural impacts of social media and author of Status Update: Celebrity, Publicity, and Branding in the Social Media Age, wrote, “It will be quite difficult to create a popularly-accepted and trusted privacy rights infrastructure. This is for a number of reasons. First, countries, regions, and cultures differ in their approaches to privacy. For example, the United States, European Union, and Canada all have different approaches to online privacy and what constitutes acceptable data collection.”

Clifford Lynch, executive director for the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) and adjunct professor at the School of Information at the University of California-Berkeley, wrote, “Government and industry have aligned and allied to almost totally eliminate consumer and citizen privacy. This will not be allowed to change at scale—it is too convenient and too profitable for all parties involved. Today, it is almost impossible for consumers to opt out of the corporate side of this data collection and tracking because it is so pervasive, and, in 2013, the stunning scale of the government side of data collection has become clearer, as well as the government’s willingness to either purchase or legally demand data collected by corporations that the government cannot collect directly. You will see a small fringe of technically savvy people who will try to continue to deploy technology to protect some privacy for some purposes, but this will be small and periodically attacked or placed under particularly intense surveillance. You will also continue to see the government try to punish corporations who try to side with their customers, and reward corporations who are helpful to government objectives.”

danah boyd, a research scientist for Microsoft, responded, “What you’re suggesting sounds like a fantasy, but I expect that the dynamics of security and privacy are going to be a bloody mess for the next decade, mired in ugly politics and corporate greed. I also expect that our relationship with other countries is going to be a mess over these issues. People will be far more aware of the ways that data is being used and abused, although I suspect that they will have just as little power over their data as they do now.”

Peter McCann, a senior staff engineer in the telecommunications industry, responded, “There is a large momentum toward increasing privacy protections on the Internet in the wake of the Snowden revelations. A new infrastructure of pseudonymous communication and transaction will be created over the next few years, with robust privacy protections built in. These protections will take the form of a distributed database, where cooperation among many entities will be required to reveal personal information about a user, making the secret warrant useless, and warrantless intrusions on privacy impossible. There will be a broad expectation of privacy unless social norms are violated in an obvious way, in which case, the offender will be rapidly tracked down and sanctioned.”

Deborah Lupton, a research professor at the University of Canberra, Australia, commented, “The reconsiderations of privacy and the ethics related to digital data, will be a key feature of the next decade. Digital technology users will become increasingly aware of how their metadata and data are being used (or misused), and there will be pressure for them to be able to exert greater control over how their data are being used. There will be a greater awareness of the relationship between digital technology use, the production of personal information via this use, and the importance of knowing what happens to these data and having control over them. Consumers will be more aware of the tradeoffs between the benefits they gain from using digital technologies and the privacy issues that this use may entail. Privacy concepts may incorporate data control concepts to a greater extent than at present.”

John E. Savage, chair in computer science at Brown University, and a fellow of the IEEE and the ACM, wrote, “A secure, accepted, and trusted privacy-rights infrastructure on the Internet, at the global scale, is impossible for the foreseeable future. For too many large nations a tension exists between state security and privacy rights. They will not sacrifice the former for the latter—a position that is not going to change unless revolutions occur, which is highly unlikely in the more developed nations. In democratic countries, bilateral and multilateral agreements respecting the privacy of citizens for commercial purposes are likely to be developed. It is highly unlikely that nation states will forswear invasion of individual privacy rights for national security purposes.”

Christian Huitema, a distinguished engineer with Microsoft, replied, “I expect many efforts to make the Internet more robust to attacks, including attacks by secret services. But, I do not think that privacy rights can be protected by an ‘infrastructure.’ They can, on the other hand, emerge from competition, i.e., ‘free as spy’ services competing with some ‘pay and trusted’ services. People are going to learn what to share and how to share it. We see that, already, among the young generation. Project a neat, public image, and keep your personal stuff actually private.”

Jim Hendler, an architect of the evolution of the World Wide Web, and professor of computer science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, wrote, “There will be significant progress in this area, although choosing ‘Yes’ was the only way to go—I think that there will still be many privacy issues continuing to evolve. People will be more aware of how their information is being used, who is allowed to collect it, and what redress they have when there are violations; however, the amount of personal information that will be available, and the potential for abuse, will also grow rapidly. Thus, I think there will still be many issues to be resolved. The basic notion of what ‘privacy’ means will have to change in terms of various rights.”

Paul Jones, a professor at the University of North Carolina and founder of ibiblio.org, responded, “While the main part of privacy and security is peace of mind that can only be secured by strong social norms, the continuing efforts to engineer support for privacy and security will receive sustained interest and funding. In short, it will get better because we want it to get better—and we will understand what makes it better for all of us. Some of this perception of betterness may solely be the product of exhaustion and resignation, however. During the previous century of urbanization, we constantly complained of alienation and isolation. No one knew anyone quite as well as we did when we were in small towns. Now, like it or not, we are having to relearn the social behavior of small towns: how to cooperate, tolerate, or just ignore differences. Frankly, we were not so great at all of that when we were in small towns. Now, we get another chance to try to live like a Family of Mankind.”

Bill St. Arnaud, a self-employed green Internet consultant, wrote, “Companies and individuals will build a far more secure, encrypted, end-to-end Internet—i.e., a commercial TOR. There will also be much clearer requirements on opting in on any service that impinges on privacy. Companies like Google and Apple will be at the vanguard of these developments, as opposed to those companies like the telecommunications companies who have implicated in recent NSA scandals.”

Alison Alexander, a professor at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia, wrote, “Privacy infrastructure will be ever evolving and never finished. Hardware and software changes will present new issues on a regular basis. Governments’ need for data will continue to raise questions for the First and Fourth Amendment. Corporations will try new ideas with intended and unintended consequences. Currently, social views on privacy vary dramatically, ranging from, ‘Nothing to hide,’ to, ‘Be careful: it lasts forever,’ to the ‘Right to be forgotten.’ Will our current concerns seem as naive in 2025 as Warren and Brandeis’ invasion of privacy arguments seem to us now? Invasion of privacy will be normed by public acceptance of what was previously considered improper. Privacy will continue to be threatened by new ways to learn more about everyone.”

Jeff Jarvis, director of the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism, wrote, “Just as with the introductions of many technologies before—the telephone, the portable camera, even the Gutenberg press—society renegotiates its norms to catch up with progress, as well as to recognize the benefits innovation can bring, while also protecting against its risks. For example, the invention of the Kodak camera came with much opprobrium in the press over the behavior of ‘Kodakers.’ What also came was the first serious discussion of a legal right to privacy in the United States, sparked by Louis Brandeis and Samuel Warren in 1890. Norms and laws are often syncopated with innovation in technology. Now, with the Internet, we are once again renegotiating our norms around privacy and public-ness. Thanks to Edward Snowden, I hope we will also soon renegotiate our privacy laws and governmental norms. I do believe that the public, business, and government can work to maximize the benefit of the Net, while also minimizing danger. Of course, there is nothing to guarantee they will. Government, threatened by the redistribution of power brought by the Net, could succeed in claiming sovereignty over it, throttling its freedoms. Business could overstep its trust with consumers and bring regulation into place. Media could succeed in breeding moral panic—technopanic—over anything that could go wrong. But, I hope that enlightened self-interest will prevail. Such enlightened self-interest is the basis of Google’s license to employees to challenge the company not to be evil, for if Google violates users’ privacy and trust, it will—not might, but will—lose business. Google gathers signals about its users to bring them greater relevance and value and to recognize greater value itself. That is a transaction of mutual benefit that I believe is a model for how we can balance utility, trust, privacy, public-ness, regulation, and progress. I wish you would pose the question to include public-ness with privacy. They are not in opposition, but instead lie on a continuum, with one depending on the other. The Net is too often portrayed by media as a threat to privacy; but, more than that, the Net has given anyone the opportunity to be public—to speak to the public, find a public, organize a public, and act as a public. That is its real power. The Net enables sharing, and, as Pew has ably found, we are sharing more and more, and so, we must find benefit in it. Vint Cerf, co-inventor of the Net, and evangelist for Google, said recently that privacy might be a historical anomaly. That is the kind of blunt, albeit factual talk that can drive a corporate public relations person to drink. Still, he is right that privacy is, by various accounts, a relatively recent invention, born of hallways (allowing people to close doors on their activities) and cities (letting individuals become lost in the crowd). Yet at base, privacy is what it always has been: that which we keep to ourselves, in our heads, unspoken, except perhaps to intimates we trust (though what we tell them is then public to that extent). That is still the case, and always will be, no matter what medium we use to share. Public-ness, on the other hand, is right now shared by many more, no longer a privilege limited to—in 16th and 17th century terms—public men. I believe the change that is worth tracking—and yes, this is a hint to you at Pew who track us—is our changing norms around public-ness, more than privacy.”

Howard Rheingold, a pioneering Internet sociologist and self-employed writer, consultant, and educator, responded, “When I, and others, wrote about the ways technologies could enable a surveillance-dataveillance state, as early as the 1990s, few Americans really seemed to care. We could foresee that bridge and freeway transponders, credit cards, closed circuit video cameras, linked via the Internet, with millions of bits of individually insignificant personal information compiled into dossiers by powerful computers, could provide the infrastructure for unprecedented surveillance. At the time, the cameras were not connected, and they could not recognize individuals, but it did not take a prophet to foresee those events. After 9/11, massive US government overreach was rubber-stamped by Congress and accepted by citizens. A huge security bureaucracy was set up. When Admiral Poindexter proposed ‘Total Information Awareness’ (the TIA program), public outcry shut down the proposed campaign; yet, decades later, when Edward Snowden’s leaks revealed that the NSA had gone ahead with an even more far-reaching program, there was neither widespread citizen protest, nor significant Congressional resistance. At the same time, the most powerful growing sector in an otherwise war-weakened US economy, online media—from Google, Amazon, and Facebook on-down, to every ad-supported Web enterprise—developed a powerful business model based on the same kind of dossiers. From the state to the private sector, surveillance won. At the time of this writing, Google Glass and other surveillance-capable, Web-connected wearables have not been unleashed. It is impossible to tell how people will react to the presence of multiple strangers in almost every public situation, equipped to capture still images and stream video—and also equipped with facial recognition capabilities. Citizens will join the state and digital businesses in the surveillance game. Privacy is a social construct—for example, until central heating, most people in most houses slept in the same room; in Japan, for centuries, walls were made of paper. Ask any teenager about his or her ‘Facebook stalking’ habits. Privacy has already changed.”

Brian Behlendorf, Internet pioneer and board member of several nonprofits and for-profits, wrote, “This struggle for the boundary of personal digital space—the digital equivalent of the boundary of my own home, in both legal and technical senses, but also the boundary of my own body and brain—i.e., the Fifth Amendment—will be an ongoing debate, unresolved and only more vigorous in 2025. We will likely give up the notion of public physical location as personal data, due to both official location tracking by governments (i.e., toll road payments, police car license plate scanning) and private-sector tools that track phone IDs, faces, and other personally-identifiable bits of data when people walk by or into retail shops or other interesting points. But, in the other direction, we will have even stronger rules and societal expectations against surveillance (government and private) upon the activities within people’s homes or other enclosed spaces. There will be no tolerance for drone peeping toms, sniffing the wireless emissions from tablets, displays, and more. There will continually be new technologies for surveillance—each of which will spawn demand for counter-technologies. This arms race will become more a part of our national conversation about human rights, the concept of the confidential vote, and the rights of private individuals and companies to not be compelled to become agents of the surveillance state. I feel like I am compelled to answer, ‘Yes,’ because the question posits the existence of something we have today and will always have—but it does not ask any qualifying questions, such as the quality of those choices, the cost of different levels of privacy, what ‘easy to use’ means, etc. It also assumes that policy makers and technology innovators would work together on this, when, in reality, they may take diametrically opposed actions, as they often do today.”

John Markoff, senior writer for the Science section of the New York Times, responded, “I have been writing about privacy, security, and computer networks since the late 1970s. The trend is decidedly away from individual privacy, as well as away from online security. We are on our way to the ‘Panopticon.’ Conceivably, a ‘Privacy Chernobyl’ might alter this, but I do not believe the Snowden materials will. I believe that a decade is an infinite period in terms of Internet time. Too many things are possible, and anything we say today would be largely speculative. I am struck by the fact that there is such a gulf between the European and US privacy norms. I believe this is because of World War II. When the Nazis entered Paris, the first thing they did was head for the phone directory.”

Joe Touch, director of the Information Sciences Institute’s Postel Center at the University of Southern California, replied, “Privacy is in direct opposition to the business models of the largest Internet companies. The Internet does not require a login, birthdate, or username, yet these companies continue to create ‘walled gardens’ that do—to create the information that fuels their revenue stream. Their business models are not simply about advertising—they are about tracking. The issue is not about policymakers and corporations, but rather, whether the public will continue to be comfortable exposing that information. Such norms already vary widely, and I continue to be surprised at the extent to which posts within the frame of a personal video screen, and thus to the entire world, exceed what would be posted—by the same person—to their own front door. I think we have not yet seen the backlash of the current norms of personal public exposure; we might when that generation shifts from being ‘kids just posting stuff’ to being in the position of establishing and protecting their company’s reputation as managers.”

Laural Papworth, a social media educator, replied, “Policymakers will not have a role, but technology innovators now have an extremely strong customer sector that speaks back. Products that damage fidelity will be destroyed by mass word-of-mouth media before they get too far. Rights will be managed, not because of any ethical behavior, but because not to will be bad for business. Consider Google Plus making privacy such a critical part of their social network to counterpoint Facebook’s perceived lack of privacy. Privacy was a short-lived, post-industrial experiment. The global village will always win against privacy. Privacy was used to divide and separate individuals from each other to weaken them. As we enter back into the village, privacy naturally disappears against convenience and the human need for connection.”

Glenn Edens, a director of research in networking, security, and distributed systems within the Computer Science Laboratory at PARC, a Xerox Company, wrote, “A major overhaul of the architecture of the Internet is required to meet the goals of privacy and the rampant use of personal information by commercial interests. It is not clear that these issues can be resolved by 2025 at our current pace. Technical innovation is outpacing regulators’ ability to act and react. It is not clear what direction public norms about privacy will emerge. There is evidence of change, as well as a lack of interest or education about the issues. Scott McNealy once said that ‘privacy is dead’—in some respects he might have been right.”

Tiffany Shlain, filmmaker, host of the AOL series The Future Starts Here, and founder of The Webby Awards, responded, “In 2025, everything will be transparent. People will not have the illusion of privacy. This will, of course, have consequences.”

Dan Gordon, of Valhalla Partners, wrote, “Every other business infrastructure in the history of capitalism (and probably before) has started out as a ‘Wild West’ operation and has developed rules, frameworks, norms, balances of power, and (some) refuge or relief for the powerless. It is incomprehensible to me to think that this will not happen with the online business infrastructure. We are moving in the direction of demanding and tolerating less privacy and more shameless ‘living in the limelight.’ Since most of us are hungering to become celebrities with no privacy (in exchange for what—notoriety?), it is hard to see that we will value it more over time than we do today.”

Stewart Baker, a partner at Steptoe & Johnson, a Washington law firm, wrote, “Security is a pain in the butt, a major inconvenience. It also hampers innovation. We will not give up convenience and innovation without living through a disaster. Almost everything we are shocked and worried about—including all the things we are saying the government should never do—will be commonplace by 2025. And, it will not really bother us that much. Privacy is the most malleable of expectations.”

Barry Chudakov, founder and principal of Sertain Research, wrote, “By 2025, we will begin to define an emergent problem: any secure, popularly accepted, and trusted privacy-rights infrastructure must balance transparency with intrusion, and as we develop subtler and more powerful technologies that become ever more intrusive, we will realize how difficult this is. We will continue to monetize watching and tracking; cameras and recognition technologies will create ‘everyware.’ As we do, rights and choices will collide; we will struggle to satisfy forces of personal privacy, secure data, compelling content, and tracking and analytics. This entails ‘thinking fast and slow’—and in a decade, we will still struggle with statistical (probability) thinking versus quick-get thinking. We will be challenged to not fall in love with our invasive tracking, watching, and predictive technologies and their beautiful data displays, marketed in easy-to-use formats. We will slowly realize the inherent conflicts between our data summations and the reality they are summarizing. Privacy will ostensibly be hidden behind this mask of abstract data; it may well be hidden by the seductive insights of simulation. This will create both intense interest and equally intense insecurity about personal information. As monitoring and statistical tools enable us to abstract behaviors to norms, trends, and predictions, it is inevitable, given our inclination to turn information into more information, which we will engage with the abstraction as if it were real—as if it were the concrete thing it is abstracting. This can lead to inaccurate, even wildly distorted, perceptions, as we saw in the credit default swaps of the 2008 Wall Street meltdown. A healthy tension will arise: many of us will separate the thing (whatever it is we are tracking and analyzing) from the data abstraction; but equally, many others will not—either because they cannot (they are not trained or equipped to do so) or because they do not want to. Yes, more average persons will start to understand opt-in data capture and monitoring protocols that enable tracking and analytics. But, when our gestures and bodily identifiers—gait, ear lobes, eye movements, faces, emotional responses, or behaviors and choices—are the content of that tracking and analysis, we ourselves become the abstraction. I do not believe that, in a decade, we will have resolved all the quandaries of this new reality. We will become smarter about it, but we will also be more conflicted. This abstraction of our actions and inclinations is bedeviling because privacy and tracking and analytics should be at odds with each other; they are strange bedfellows, and we are better served by understanding that tension among them is healthy. Further, once our movements and choices and behaviors are captured, digested, and brought to some enhanced understanding, we may know more about certain actions. But, in our delight over data and analytics, will we match that with enhanced empathy for and understanding of each other? The public will slowly come to realize that privacy is what we are left with after our technology enables discovery of what we want to know. Do we want to know your actions, your behaviors, and your pathway through the city or store? Do we want to know your face, your emotions, and your demographic data? Do we want to know if you were in a certain place at a certain time? Such knowledge, and much more detailed knowledge of behavior patterns, trends, and predictions, will define privacy in the broader social context. Like the remainder in a division problem, privacy is the problematic ‘answer’ after we divide our lives by the technology to watch and measure those lives. Knowledge is power (and profit) for some, and it is so-called ‘security’ for others. The struggle with the balance between the far-reaching knowing of technology and keeping our identity intact is the future of privacy in a broader social context. We now think of privacy as the ability to keep our information to ourselves. By 2025, we will expand that to include the ability to keep our identity and natures from being invaded by other techno-forces, as well as to keep our identity in line with our intent and volition. The desire for fame has already put identity up for sale; as our technologies enable us to know virtually anything about others, privacy will become a commodity. It will be sold to the highest bidder; privacy will become the offshore bank account of identity. Regular people will be transparent; those who can pay for opacity will do so via new services and business models. While I think this will eventually be available to more than just the wealthy, we will not have sorted this all out in just a decade, and so, privacy will be available to those with the fattest bank account.”

Doc Searls, director of ProjectVRM at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, wrote an extended viewpoint:

“There will be a privacy rights infrastructure in place long before 2025. I believe it will materialize within the next three to five years. It will not be a top-down system, however — meaning that it will not come from big companies, or from policy makers in the United States, the European Union, or other familiar targets of today’s privacy activism. Instead, it will come from new technological approaches that enable individuals and organizations to operate in full privacy without fear of surveillance. These approaches will be distributed, rather than centralized.

“The spread of these approaches will follow the rules of heterarchy more than those of hierarchy. Adriana Lukas defines heterarchy as ‘a network of elements in which each element shares the same horizontal position of power and authority, each playing a theoretically equal role.’ In fact, this is not new, nor unfamiliar. It is embodied in the Internet’s founding protocols, as well as why the Internet grew so rapidly, wildly, and outside the control of companies and government.

“Key to our emerging privacy-creating system will be the ability of individuals to assert their own terms, policies, and preferences in dealings with others, including companies and governments—and for equal consenting parties to work out norms that do not require intervention or control by large companies or governments. The principles and practices here are also not new. They are at the heart of freedom of contract, which was abandoned by large mass-marketing and mass-manufacturing companies in the Industrial Age, when scale required ‘contracts of adhesion,’ such as those we ‘accept’ without reading. Adhesive contracts brought ease to Industrial Age hierarchical systems but are obsolete in the Internet age, when everybody brings their own unique assets to the market’s vast table, as well as growing power over what can be done with those assets.

“Freedom of contract is also central to a free and open society, as well as to the architecture of the Internet’s founding protocols. It is also anathema to the defaulted approaches of the phone and cable companies, by whose graces we enjoy access to the Internet. Fortunately, the Internet’s system is deeper than theirs and, therefore, will prevail. Oceans outlive boats—even the biggest ones.

“The end state will be one in which individuals will enjoy far more control of their personal data, and privacy in general, than they do today, and that will be good for business.

“We now live in two worlds: One is the physical world that has been around since the Big Bang, and where we have operated civilization for the last few thousand years. The norms around privacy are highly developed, and very deep, in this world. The technologies providing privacy—clothing, doors, windows, curtains, shades, shutters, and so on—are familiar and easy for everybody to understand and to use. In this world, most of us also understand and respect private spaces, even when we can see and hear into them. This is why we at least try to ignore sounds made by people sitting at the next table at a restaurant or in line at a theater. Without these small courtesies, civilization would be much less civilized.

“The other is the virtual world. This world is composed of binary math—ones and zeroes—and is structured around the Internet, which puts every end at a functional distance of zero from every other end, at a cost that veers toward zero as well. This world coexists with the physical one and is very new. We can date it from the appearance of the graphical browser, the ISP, and universal email, which came together in 1995. This world is going on nineteen years old, and no norms within it approach the maturity of those in the physical world. Behavioral norms in the virtual world are provisional, immature, and far from civilized. A store on Main Street, for example, would never plant a tracking beacon in a customer’s pants to report back on what the customer does after they leave the store; yet, this rude behavior is normative today on the commercial Web. By 2025, however, this kind of rudeness will be as gone in the virtual world as living naked in caves is gone in the physical world, simply because we will have invented the digital equivalents of clothing, doors, windows, sealed envelopes, and simple human courtesies.

Raymond Plzak, former CEO of the American Registry for Internet Numbers, and current member of the Board of Directors of ICANN, wrote, “All of the pieces are in place today to do this. What is really lacking is the international cooperation to do so, while, at the same time, not being seen as surrendering sovereignty by, perhaps, having to modify existing practices, polices, and laws to be a part of the global system. If this is done in the right manner, so that individual rights and privacy are protected, compelling content and apps will come on their own accord. Private data, whether it be personal information, pictures, or intent that is being surrendered in the social media world today, will be shared more conservatively in the future until such time as anti-predator and anti-exploitation mechanisms can be put into place, along with rigorous enforcement meted out to violators. This will have to be done on a global cooperative scale.”

David Clark, a senior research scientist at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, noted, “We will have this in a fragmentary way, but it will not have the character of ‘infrastructure.’ Your question, of course, does not specify whether you are asking a US-centric question. The European Union has more of a tendency to address issues like this top-down; the United States seems to work bottom-up. Privacy rights will differ in different contexts—some will be more robust than others. That is why I do not believe that the outcome will seem like ‘infrastructure.’ The drift toward less privacy will only be reversed if there is a perception that privacy concerns are interfering with commerce. Privacy is a residue left over after concerns about security and commerce are satisfied (this thought is not original to me, but I do not remember who said it). There will be a swing back from the total voluntary disclosure we see today on sites like Facebook. What we will see is a more nuanced way for people to deal with their different friends and colleagues, with more expressive ways to control what is shared. But, the pressures for Big Data tracking will continue to erode our expectations of what is known about us without our explicit disclosure.”

Alf Rehn, chair of management and organization at Abo Akademi University in Finland, wrote, “Whilst I would love to think that we will be a more advanced society privacy-wise, I am a cynic when it comes to this. As privacy is becoming increasingly monetized, the incentive to truly protect it is withering away, and with so much of policy run by lobbyists, privacy will be a very expensive commodity come 2025. Sure, some of us will be able to buy it, but most will not. Privacy will be a luxury, not a right—something that the well-to-do can afford, but which most have learnt to live without.”

Jeremy Epstein, a senior computer scientist at SRI International, responded, “Consumers do not care enough about their privacy to create the incentives necessary to protect privacy rights. As a result, I doubt that there will be a method for offering individual choices for protecting personal information. Consumers will continue to complain about privacy, but they will not be willing to do anything about it. We will still give up our information for a ten-cent discount on a cup of coffee or shorter lines at the tollbooth. It will be similar to the (mythical) boiling frog—we will continue to lose privacy one degree at a time, until there is none left at all.”

Isaac Mao, chief architect of Sharism Lab, wrote, “The Snowden case gave people a strong alert that the Internet is far from secure and privacy-proof. And, China’s Internet cyber attack and Great Firewall system taught all of us that the Internet is not stable, it is not personal, and it is not decentralized; however, with such strong senses, Internet users, innovators, and entrepreneurs will strive to make more new technologies to improve on that. New, disruptive architectures or tools will emerge due to the alerts Snowdens and governments give us. Privacy will be less sensitive as more technologies can be helpful to individual users, and at the same time, privacy theft will be more easy to be tracing if abuses happen.”

Francois-Dominique Armingaud, retired computer software engineer from IBM who teaches security courses at major engineering schools, responded, “Multiple-key security can be used in which to get access to something five keys are requested from five distinct organisms; such an exchange to gather them will hardly be able to occur without traces. As a rule, I guess that any information should be defined as either inaccessible except by the author who filled it, or accessible by others, with the author being warned of every consultation (who, time and date, and why). A problem will probably still exist for voting by Internet, since nothing can really guarantee the secrecy of the vote among members of the same residence, for instance. There is no such thing as a poll booth there, or, if there was one, it could easily be faked. For most commonplace things privacy is the problem rather than the solution; when everybody knew everything about everyone else, in small villages, security was somehow better, and one did not spend so much time justifying who she or he was. Of course, the ‘secret garden’ of everyone is quite a different thing and, just as with health information, should be kept in the first of the aforementioned categories.”

Herb Lin, chief scientist for the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board at the National Research Council of the US National Academies of Science, wrote, “The public is strongly conflicted about privacy. In the abstract, people want privacy, but in fact, they want privacy for themselves—but less so for other people. And, they are willing to trade off privacy for economic advantages—often very small advantages—partly because they do not realize the extent of their privacy tradeoffs and partly because they do not care enough about their privacy relative to those advantages. Moreover, they want security—and to the extent that privacy and security must be traded off, they will opt for the latter. As time goes on without a major security incident, concerns about security fade, and privacy becomes more important. But, when another security incident happens, concerns about privacy fade. The public will still be conflicted about privacy in 2025.”

Adrian Schofield, manager of applied research for the Johannesburg Centre for Software Engineering, wrote, “The policy makers will lag behind the technology innovators, but the demand for an acceptable, workable global network will drive the required solutions. Most people will accept that they live ‘open’ lives of little interest to ‘snoopers’ of any sort. There will be ways of securing private data.”

Neil McIntosh, a British journalist working for a major US news organization, wrote, “Even in 2025, there will be a tension, because I would expect development to continue rapidly on both sides of the privacy fence, between businesses keen to acquire and monetize personal data, and a public increasingly wary of handing it over without sufficient reward. An important third party is government: recent revelations about what information it collects may have a profound impact over time on some consumers’ willingness to be tracked ‘in any way’ online. But, despite this ongoing arms race, I would expect the privacy infrastructure to be built by the market because the consequences of failure are huge. We will start to hand back the digital revolution’s gains in knowledge, productivity, and prosperity if this is not sorted out. Maybe privacy becomes something you pay for by 2025; sure, your phone can give you personalised recommendations on nearby restaurants right now, but if it is for free, you need to tell the world where you are and let people market products and services at you—but, if you hand over £5 a month…”

Kate Crawford, a professor and research scientist, responded, “The last 10 years have given us a discouraging surfeit of evidence that companies will preference their ability to extract, sell, and trade data than establish simple, easy-to-use privacy protecting mechanisms. In the next 10 years, I would expect to see the development of more encryption technologies and boutique services for people prepared to pay a premium for greater control over their data. This is the creation of privacy as a luxury good. It also has the unfortunate effect of establishing a new divide: the privacy rich and the privacy poor. Whether genuine control over your information will be extended to the majority of people—and for free—seems very unlikely, without a much stronger policy commitment. Optimistically, people are better informed about how their data can be used to discriminate against them and demand greater security, privacy, and access to due process. Pessimistically, people may want those things, but they have no real power to get them.”

Henning Schulzrinne, an Internet Hall of Famer, technology developer, and professor at Columbia University, observed, “Each country is likely to make very different trade-offs, with continued inaction and stalemate in the United States likely. The influence of policy makers and innovators is limited; most of the privacy issues are beyond the direct influence of either, unless one would call advertising-driven companies ‘innovators.’ Given diminishing returns on traditional advertising and general industry concentration in many areas (from airlines to telecom), there will be increased pressure to gather more data on consumers—i.e., to price-differentiate offerings in near-monopoly settings. There are likely to be limited offerings for privacy protection (i.e., pay email services), but they are likely to be much less convenient or more costly and thus limited to the sophisticated 1% of the Internet population. The question presumes that there is such a public norm today. My perception is that most people do not think deeply about these issues and do not have good ways to understand what exactly is being done. In particular, the notion that PII [personally identifying information] data is and will be available, sometimes by necessity, but that processing and usage of that data are hard to see, make establishing norms difficult.”

Ben Shneiderman, professor of computer science at the University of Maryland, wrote, “There will continue to be pressures for increased security, liberty, and privacy, but there are powerful forces working to enable businesses to track behavior, as well as government to monitor activity. While I am not fearful of dystopian futures, doing things on the Internet will be much more like being in public than being in the protected privacy of your home. Recognition of the Internet as a public, and not private, space will be more widespread. There will still be scams, pornography, stalking, etc., but the worst cases will be stopped, and Internet benefits will outweigh threats. Premium services that offer more privacy will be valued.”

Vint Cerf, Google vice president and chief Internet evangelist, responded, “The public will become more sophisticated about security and safety. Corporations and service providers will feel pressure to implement practices including two-factor authentication and end-to-end cryptography. Users will insist on having the ability to encrypt their email at need. They will demand much more transparency of the private sector and, especially, their governments. Privacy conventions will evolve in online society—violations of personal privacy will become socially unacceptable. Of course, there will be breaches of all these things, but some will be accompanied by serious social and economic downsides and, in some cases, criminal charges. By 2025, people will be much more aware of their own negligent behavior, eroding privacy for others, and not just themselves. The uploading and tagging of photos and videos without permission may become socially unacceptable. As in many other matters, the social punishment may have to be accompanied by legislation—think about seat belts and smoking by way of example. We may be peculiarly more tolerant of lack of privacy, but that is just my guess.”

Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, wrote, “If capable people of good will—on both policy and tech sides—can connect, then this can happen.”

Justin Reich, a fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, said, “The risks of privacy violations are too abstract and distal, the benefits of surrendering privacy too immediate and valued. A very small number of organizations will continue to battle on behalf of the public for stronger privacy protections, probably having some success against the most extreme transgressions, but businesses will lobby against protections under the banner of consumer choice, and harms against consumers will remain too difficult to communicate. This might be different if we have a Hoover-esque government transgression. Broadly, people do not care about Internet privacy. And, as youth who grow up in a culture of exchanging data for service get older, the public will, on average, care even less about their privacy and data security by 2025. If the Snowden revelations do not shift public opinion, what will?”

Bob Frankston, an Internet pioneer and technology innovator, whose work helped allow people to have control of the networking of the Internet within their homes, wrote, “This is a complex problem with no simple solution. The concept of privacy keeps evolving, and I hope that tolerance will improve in the face of more information being public.”

Hal Varian, chief economist for Google, wrote, “We will have some sort of usable infrastructure by 2025, but it will be painful getting there. People will be comfortable sharing personal information with organizations because those organizations will be regulated and audited about their practices. There is no putting the genie back in the bottle. Widespread sensors, databases, and computational power will result in less privacy in today’s sense but will also result in less harm due to the establishment of social norms and regulations about how to deal with privacy issues. By 2025, the current debate about privacy will seem quaint and old-fashioned. The benefits of cloud-based, personal, digital assistants will be so overwhelming that putting restrictions on these services will be out of the question. Of course, there will be people who choose not to use such services, but they will be a small minority. Everyone will expect to be tracked and monitored, since the advantages, in terms of convenience, safety, and services, will be so great. There will, of course, be restrictions on how such information can be used, but continuous monitoring will be the norm.”

Kevin Ryan, a corporate communications and marketing professional, wrote, “A secure, popularly accepted, and trusted privacy-rights infrastructure will not be possible. Business will not tolerate an Internet without analytics. Analytics will be the basis of advertising rates. Analytics is too deeply engrained in marketing. Security departments within the governments of all countries will not give up tracking activities of citizens. So long as business and the government gets the information they need, we will have ‘privacy.’ We will accept the fact that, legally and practically, we have no privacy. For most, it will not be a big deal. Clandestine networks will be created. People will create homegrown methods of avoiding scrutiny. Most people will come up with avatar aliases to do what they do not want associated to themselves.”

Fred Hapgood, a self-employed science and technology writer, responded, “The ability of machines to recognize and make inferences from features of everyday life, online and off, will continue to improve, and access to those abilities will get cheaper. As they do, new privacy issues will come up over and over again. By 2025, I suspect that support for imposing a much greater degree of transparency on governments and other information consumers will be much greater.”

Jerry Michalski, founder of REX, the Relationship Economy eXpedition, wrote, “Data is easily copied anywhere. The idea that some entity is going to relent and not store our data, and that we will have confidence that our data is not replicated for nefarious use somewhere, is naive. I do not think governments and businesses, motivated as they are today to collect as much personal data as they possibly can, store it, and analyze it, will come to a reasonable understanding that works for citizens. At best, there may be a citizen revolt that sets whole new guidelines, but I am not optimistic that it will happen. By 2025, you will be considered a non-person if you do not have embarrassing photos or videos online from your misspent youth. People who were very parsimonious about sharing personal information will be less credible, and will be trusted less, because others will not be able to see any of their indiscretions—the things that make them human and more trustworthy.”

Denise N. Rall, a lecturer at Southern Cross University, in New South Wales, Australia, wrote, “Privacy will not be available to ordinary citizens using the Internet by 2025. Environmental concerns, and ever-increasing catastrophes, such as climate change, world famine, and overpopulation, and potentially further global medical crises similar to avian flu and HIV-AIDS, will take precedence over anything happening with the Internet.”

Pamela Rutledge, PhD, and director of the Media Psychology Research Center, responded, “The privacy horse is out of the barn, in spite of the people arguing whether or not the barn door should be open or closed. A more critical issue is overcoming our anxiety over ‘the way things were’ and evaluating what needs to be protected for individuals, institutions, and governments. Policymakers do not have the expertise, or the incentive structure, to create adaptive regulations in an evolving environment. Technology innovators have the burden of financial accountability and will continue to balance the expansion of technology capabilities and features with the majority of consumer demands. Public perception is understandably narrow; most see privacy as being about Facebook settings or identity theft. We have unleashed a powerful tool on society without bothering to teach people how to use it. Media literacy will increasingly become the key to creating the demand for a reasonable balance of privacy and information control with commercial interests and personal experience. Our perceptions about privacy change as technology creates more things that define us and more ways to share. With technology increasingly reflecting our identity, privacy becomes equated with liberty, heightening our sensitivity to having choice. Social norms about privacy will change because increased technology adoption reduces technophobia, and technology use increases individual agency across all sectors of society. Individuals will increasingly demand to decide for themselves where, and when, the benefits of sharing outweigh the costs.”

Anita Salem, a design research consultant, wrote, “Government and industry will both exert strong pressures to decrease our privacy. Government will continue to strengthen data mining efforts on private citizens and push for encryption keys in the name of ‘security.’ Industry will continue to put profit over ethics and create even more unusable privacy settings and will utilize our data for subtle, and not-so-subtle, purchase and market manipulations. The lack of privacy will be taken for granted. The public will not realize the power of psychometric data mining and analysis, which will be used by the privileged to shape opinion and influence laws. Public opinion will be tailored almost instantaneously based on aggregate data mining of online activity. Behavior will be more homogenized due to the ability to network cameras and computers to observe and identify aberrant behavior. New technologies and social systems will be established that are counter to this anti-privacy culture, and these hackers may exert a disruptive force.”

Jari Arkko, Internet expert for Ericsson, and chair of the Internet Engineering Task Force, wrote, “There are no absolutely private or secure solutions, nor is there absolute lack of privacy. And, there are great challenges in this area. At the same time, I am optimistic that we can and will improve the state of Internet privacy. It is clear that the society’s norms are trending towards accepting more public disclosure of information related to people.”

Mike Liebhold, senior researcher and distinguished fellow at the Institute for the Future, wrote, “There will be many political, technological, and service efforts to improve privacy but, likely, even greater efforts by dotcoms to mine personal data, by black hat intruders to steal whatever they can, and by government’s pervasive surveillance of the entire Internet. There will undoubtedly be some very lurid tragedies as a result of mining, stealing, or surveillance, so the emotional climate around privacy and security will only increase.”

Stowe Boyd, lead researcher for GigaOM Research, said, “The powers-that-be will not come together to support this, and the technological underpinnings of the massively distributed infrastructure of the Web—changing all the time—cannot be easily curtailed. For example, imagine just the issue of Chinese-designed and built mobile operating systems. We have seen the emergence of publicity as the default modality, with privacy declining. In order to ‘exist’ online, you have to publish things to be shared, and that has to be done in open, public spaces if serendipity—or influence on more than existing friends—is desired. People have come to rely on implicit norms that do not take into account big data algorithms or the NSA reading literally everything, or they accept the hypothetical consequences of openness as a byproduct of its direct benefits.”

Bryan Alexander, technology consultant, futurist, and senior fellow at the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education, wrote, “Too many state and business interests prevent this. Governments, from local to national, want to improve their dataveillance for all kinds of purposes: war fighting, crime detection, taxes, and basic intelligence about economics and the environment. Companies badly want data about customers, and some base their business models on that. I do not see this changing much. Citizen action is probably the best option, much as it was for crypto in the 1990s. But, I do not see that winning over governments and big business. Optimistically, I think we will be more relaxed in 2025 and less prone to gotcha journalism and covering our tracks. That is David Brin’s model (in the book Transparent Society), and I can see it happening as more and more people are more broadly exposed. Pessimistically, Vint Cerf might be correct in observing that privacy, as we know it, is—was—a historical anomaly, a creation of unusual circumstances in the mid-20th century. In the United States, both political parties and the clear majority of citizens cheerfully cede privacy.”

Mark Rotenberg, president of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), said, “Within 10 years, there will be much more contentious battles over the control of identity, mobility, communications, and private life. The appropriation of personal facts for commercial value—an issue that began to emerge this year with Google and Facebook’s sponsored stories—are a small glimpse of what lies ahead. The key will simply be the defaults: individuals will either control their personal information, or others will control it. The question, then, becomes whether there will be significant social movements in the United States, as there are in Europe today. This is a poorly framed question—a reflection of outdated thinking, corporate funding, and a lack of understanding of the problems ahead.”

Marjory Blumenthal, a science and technology policy analyst, wrote, “There is a lot of pressure to do something—now. So, one can expect work on an infrastructure that will be relatively secure. Whether it will be popularly accepted—that is harder to say, since skepticism has skyrocketed. People will become more aware of the tradeoffs, which will drive an evolution of norms. They will also have become more sophisticated about choices regarding disclosures they make, exercising finer-grained control—in part because there will be more technical support for doing so—and there will also have been evolution of the legal and regulatory framework.”

Seth Finkelstein, a programmer, consultant, and EFF Pioneer of the Electronic Frontier Award winner, responded, “This is a classic case of bargaining power imbalance and asymmetric information. There is such an enormous disparity between individuals supposedly making these ‘choices’ for their information, and the businesses profiting from the monetization, that it is absurd to believe this is solvable at the technical infrastructure level. Every such proposal I have ever seen has struck me as ‘ending up’ replicating what happened with ‘license agreements’—that is, creating a take-it-or-leave-it system, where a person is essentially powerless to do anything but completely accept the corporation’s terms, which are constrained only by consumer-protection law (which has been very much weakened over the years). In fact, the situation with those license agreements is the best guide to what sort of (im)‘balance’ we will have because they follow similar structural incentives. I suspect the big divide will be between what can be ‘seen’ and what ‘is not seen.’ For example, currently, Google Glass has generated the typical spate of new-technology stories, where people sometimes react negatively to being filmed. But, that is because they can see it. There is comparatively little reaction nowadays to the omnipresent surveillance cameras. I think that is because they are now usually small and unobtrusive. Similarly, when people do not know what is going on behind the scenes with their data trail, there will not be an outcry. But, when something causes a public scandal due to that data, there will be a feeling of betrayal.”

Leah Lievrouw, a professor of information studies at the University of California-Los Angeles, wrote, “Personal data of all kinds have become a core resource and economic commodity; the capture of such data lies at the heart of the business models of the most successful technology firms (and increasingly, in traditional industries like retail, health care, entertainment and media, finance, and insurance) and government assumptions about citizens’ relationship to the state (i.e., Snowden NSA leaks and post 9/11 surveillance pressures, generally). As the United States works to extend this model globally, in the interests of its industry champions, through new trade agreements, the opportunities for secure and trusted privacy rights are fading. Regulators seem reluctant to press the point, even in the face of increasingly dismayed and even cynical public opinion. The most ‘innovative’ approach lately is entirely market-driven, turning the protection of personal data itself into a commercial product or service (so-called ‘online reputation management’). So, to extrapolate from these developments, a way forward for proactive, trusted privacy rights does not seem promising. Especially in the last few years, my sense is that many people, perhaps even heavy Internet users, in particular, have begun to affect an attitude of dismissive cynicism about privacy and surveillance to justify their disengagement with privacy and autonomy issues: ‘They know everything you do anyway,’ where ‘they’ includes anyone or anything from Google to TSA to ISP’s to insurance companies, educational institutions, copyright owners, law enforcement, government, credit agencies, and so forth. I am not sure that those adopting this attitude have a very clear sense of just how extensive the data capture, and data analytics, really are, but it is a habit of mind and public opinion that does not suggest that privacy norms will be stronger in 10 years than they are now.”

Marcel Bullinga, a technology futures speaker, trend watcher, and futurist, wrote, “A trusted infrastructure needs to be created in order to prevent massive fraud and massive public distrust in online transactions, and in online life, in general. We have to reinvent the entire Internet as we know it, shifting power from a few American tech companies to the individual who creates, and therefore owns, the data. We need to create a personal dashboard, a safe haven, for every individual’s dossiers, transactions, money, and profiles. In this dashboard, you could set your privacy and communications settings (from 0 to 100%). All of this will create a big struggle about the question: Who owns (my) data? My 2025 statement: In 2025, we will have a post-Facebook and post-Google world. We will have new business models, in which facilitating data is more lucrative than owning data. Providers who refrain from owning their customer’s data, and stick to facilitating the owner in handling their data in a trusted way, will win. This means Google and Facebook will lose. If we do not make this transition, we face a privacy and fraud nightmare, in which our lives are dominated by a few global tech companies. This transition is comparable to the transition we face from an oil-dominated economy, dominated by a few oil multinationals like Shell, to a circular economy dominated by small businesses. Not possession, but access, is key. Yet, your question is utterly wrong; you ask, ‘When will policy makers and corporations have struck the right balance between personal privacy and secure data?’ Those parties will not. Governments and companies worldwide break every moral law about espionage and privacy intrusion. Only citizens’ movements, plus new business models turning privacy into a profit maker, will make a change. ‘XPRIZE CHALLENGE: what high-tech companies and startups will create this personal global dashboard?’ There are two opposite trends: first, we will adapt to 100% transparency and the utter loss of privacy, accepting that secrets no longer exist. The societal impact of scandals (exposed secrets) will diminish because it is impossible to react with constant indignation when secrets are revealed all the time. Second, we will adapt to 100% privacy. Counter technologies will give us huge amounts of privacy protection, allowing us to pick our own desired level of privacy. Privacy will cost money and will be a paid service.”

Jeff Jaffe, CEO for the World Wide Web Consortium, the standards-setting body for the Web, wrote, “Today’s policy makers have difficulty in making basic policy tradeoffs in existing areas such as spending and taxes. They are not ready to step up to these new complex issues. The generation of teenagers growing to adulthood will have different norms for privacy than today’s adults.”

Nick Arnett, business intelligence expert, and creator of Buzzmetrics, wrote, “Society’s definitions of ‘privacy’ and ‘freedom’ will have changed so much by 2025 that today’s meanings will no longer apply. Disagreements about the evolving definitions will continue. People will assume much more of their public life is ‘on the record’ than it is today. Offline time in private homes will be increasingly important as refuges from monitoring and analysis.”

Francis Heylighen, a Belgian cyberneticist investigating the evolution of intelligent organization, wrote, “A key enabling technology for the future Internet will be a universal, secure standard for unambiguously establishing a person’s identity. Several, albeit uncoordinated, steps have already been made in order to create such a standard, including Web-enabled electronic identification cards in several European countries, the OpenID standard, and ORCID, an attempt to ensure that publications are attributed to the right author. The reasons why standardization is slow to emerge tend to be social, economic, and political, rather than technological, as different corporations, governments and organizations are not inclined to exchange the valuable information they hold. An additional obstacle is people’s legitimate fear for invasion of privacy and abuse; however, without universal regulation, abuse of private information by hackers, corporations, or governments is more, rather than less, likely, as no one knows who has access to which personal information, and as hardly any laws exist that specify what organizations can and cannot do with the information they possess. Technologically, it is perfectly possible (albeit non-trivial) to develop secure schemes that anonymize data so that only the ones that really need information about an individual can get access to the specific data they require, and to nothing else. For example, a doctor who finds you collapsed in the street should be able to consult your medical record and to send a message to your next of kin, but should not have access to your financial record. Your bank, on the other hand, should know the transactions made from your account, but not your state of health. Next to the technological challenge, the larger challenge will be to institute a system of rules and laws that specify exactly who can use which information about a person. This system should be perfectly transparent to the individual so that you can find out exactly what happens with your data and have the right to withhold information that is not crucial to the functioning of an organization. The general principle is that you should be able to act anonymously for any non-crucial transaction, but that the distributed intelligence system should be able to maximally extract the collective (anonymous or non-anonymous) information that will help it to make better decisions, while also being able to securely and transparently address a specific individual with personalized recommendations. Such a regulatory standard for data protection is, at this moment, being developed by the European Union. Once such a computational and legal technology is in place, interactions across the Internet are likely to become much safer and more efficient. People are less likely to worry about the free use of public, anonymized data, such as which kinds of people are most likely to get diabetes or to buy motorcycles, but who are less willing to tolerate that commercial or government organizations would claim property or control over their personal data.”

Joel Halpern, a distinguished engineer at Ericsson, wrote, “While the described target is highly desirable, I consider that the odds are quite high that the result of the political fighting over these issues will be significantly less than a ‘secure, popularly accepted, and trusted privacy-rights infrastructure.’ Unfortunately, I expect that we will have accepted significantly less privacy than we expect now. I hope, and expect, that we will not have given up all notions of privacy.”

Jason Pontin, editor-in-chief and publisher of MIT Technology Review, responded, “The end you describe is highly utopian and combines a large number of goods, each of which would be wickedly hard to achieve. To give one example, a really ‘secure’ Internet does not exist and could not be built on the current infrastructure; we would need another Internet. On the other hand, I do anticipate significant progress on some of these goods. For instance, I think there will be renewed demands for more privacy controls from consumers and citizens, and I believe that companies and policymakers will have to satisfy those demands. On the other hand, I expect the capacities of the surveillance state to always exceed the protections of ordinary people. Perhaps, people will come to think of their private information as an asset, which they will selectively release to organizations and companies in exchange for certain conveniences or services.”

Cathy Davidson, co-director of the PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge at Duke University, and co-founder and principal administrator of the MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Competition, wrote, “I fear the coming of walled Internets, where there is security but also pay walls—and the security is partial. The relationship of privacy, security, and openness is not resolved, and I fear it will not be done in a way that allows for openness in the future.”

Nigel Cameron, president of Center for Policy on Emerging Technologies, based in Washington, DC, wrote, “This will be turbulent. A language of privacy has yet to be properly developed, which is why, so often, people seem unconcerned. No business will prosper without consumer confidence.”

Larry Gell, founder and director of the International Agency for Economic Development (IAED), responded, “By 2025, there will have been enough collection and monitoring of anyone connected to the Internet that there will be no need for privacy. Your total privacy is almost gone at this point already. The only thing needed by 2025, or earlier, is for the US government to give IBM the rights to use their new nuclear storage technology to store the masses of data and information they are collecting. They are almost there. Once you get everyone to throw away their computer and only use their cell phones for everything, you have them and everything about them. If you never knew you had any privacy rights, why would it be a problem? That is the benefit of retirement and hiring all-new, young people.”

Peter and Trudy Johnson-Lenz, founders of the online community Awakening Technology, based in Portland, Oregon, wrote, “Here is a meta-comment: Predictions and forecasts proceed from assumptions about future conditions. Many are simply straightforward extrapolations of current trends. We do not believe that anyone knows what will happen or can forecast accurately at this uniquely uncertain and turbulent time in human history. Business-as-usual forecasts are highly likely to be wrong. As we read your questions, the underlying assumption seems to be that our governing and economic institutions will be essentially the same as they are today. Looking at graphs of trends like increasing carbon emissions, polar ice and permafrost melt, supplies of oil and natural gas, income inequalities around the world, food scarcity and water stresses, and the like, we do not think the next eleven years are going to be much like today, but with better technology. Rather than attempt to forecast what will happen with the Internet in 2025 from within a business-as-usual frame, we have chosen to assume that any viable future will be one in which societies will be smart enough to understand what is happening and take appropriate actions in time. Our civilization does not seem to be that smart. We wonder how humankind will realize a smarter future—one that is prosperous, sustainable, fair, free, and secure. Technological innovation and adoption occurs within the institutions of the global economy and governance. What will those institutions be like? For humankind to live within our biophysical and socio-cognitive limits, we need to reinvent the global economy within a generation so that it works ‘with’ the grain of natural and human systems (no more externalities—fully accounting and taking responsibility for environmental and social impacts). This requires a global mind change from a culture of runaway self-interest to common interest based on encompassing enlightened self-interest. Whether that reinvention actually happens will depend on whether enough people rise up nonviolently, stand together for as long as it takes, and demand such a transformation. The wealthy and powerful few are not going to relinquish control easily or share power on their own. Such a transformation of the global economy would help rebuild public trust in our major institutions, including government. Such trust is essential to creating a secure, popularly accepted, and trusted privacy-rights infrastructure by 2025. Technology innovators will very likely be able to create such an infrastructure, but without necessary changes in the economy and governance to create effective policies to engage the self-interests of the wealthy and powerful few as a creative complement to our common interest, we will not have the security, liberty, and privacy online described in this question. If extreme weather events and other aspects of global climate change occur before 2025, such as mass migrations of climate refugees, loss of life and property, droughts, crop failures, economic recessions or depressions, and so on, and governments respond with tighter control, martial law on occasion, restrictive immigration policies, increased surveillance, and xenophobia, then any commercial and government-supported privacy-rights infrastructure is likely to be perceived as untrustworthy, no matter how technologically sound it may be. Once trust is lost, it is very hard to rebuild. We expect that the hacker/geek/libertarian/individual rights community will continue to develop their own secure networks, encryption, virtual currencies, and the like within the Internet . There are also new DIY networks springing up in communities. For example, see the video ‘Free the Network: Hackers Take Back the Web’ (2012), at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fx93WJPCCGs. At present, most people still assume that information about themselves is considered private unless, and until, they reveal it and make it public, although this is changing among younger people. Privacy is the assumption, just as the justice system assumes innocence until guilt is proven; however, in the digital revolution, anything can be captured, copied, posted, modified, remixed, sliced and diced, transmitted endlessly, and stored forever. Information once considered private is often anything but. Furthermore, corporations track and analyze consumer behavior and build up dossiers on individuals in order to market to them. Widespread CCTV camera surveillance in many cities gets people accustomed to being watched and monitored. Governments claim vast powers to surveil, collect, and analyze massive amounts data in the name of national security. Popular media reinforce these trends, making people more accustomed, and in many cases, more resigned, to giving up their privacy (or having it taken from them). In 2011, the World Economic Forum published a report on personal data as a new asset class. It states: ‘This personal data—digital data created by and about people—is generating a new wave of opportunity or economic and societal value creation. The types, quantity, and value of personal data being collected are vast: our profiles and demographic data from bank accounts to medical records to employment data. Our Web searches and sites visited, including our likes and dislikes and purchase histories. Our tweets, texts, emails, phone calls, photos and videos as well as the coordinates of our real-world locations. The list continues to grow. Firms collect and use this data to support individualised service-delivery business models that can be monetised. Governments employ personal data to provide critical public services more efficiently and effectively. Researchers accelerate the development of new drugs and treatment protocols. End users benefit from free, personalised consumer experiences such as Internet search, social networking or buying recommendations. ‘And that is just the beginning. Increasing the control that individuals have over the manner in which their personal data is collected, managed and shared will spur a host of new services and applications. As some put it, personal data will be the new ‘oil’—a valuable resource of the 21st century. It will emerge as a new asset class touching all aspects of society.’ See: “Personal Data: The Emergence of a New Asset Class,” World Economic Forum and Bain & Company, January 2011, at http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_ITTC_PersonalDataNewAsset_Report_2011.pdf At the same time, various advocacy groups are concerned with protecting personal data so people can control how it’s used themselves as they want. About The Mine! Project: ‘The Mine! Project is about equipping people with tools and functionality to enable them: ‘take charge of their data (content, relationships, transactions, knowledge),’ arrange (analyse, manipulate, combine, mash-up) it according to their needs and preferences and ‘share it on their own terms’ whilst connected and networked on the Web.’ See: The Mine! Project at http://themineproject.org Whether these forms of monitoring, tracking, personal data capture, and widespread surveillance are used for things like Big Brother, Big Corporations, and Health Care Compliance, or whether people have some control over their own information and its use in ‘Little Sister’ applications (technology that gives us feedback about ourselves, for our own use), will strongly influence what public norms are about privacy in 2025. Will sousveillance (inverse surveillance) become prevalent? Will we use these powerful technologies to help guide the ways to a smarter future? See: “Analyzing the Ethics of Persuasive Technology,” Daniel Berdichevsky, B. J. Fogg, Ramit Sethi, and Manu Kumar, Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab, 2005, at http://archive.is/egaj3 Also: “And Lead Us (Not) into Persuasion_Ü_? Persuasive Technology and the Ethics of Communication,” Andreas Spahn, Science and Engineering Ethics, May 2011, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 633-650,

Peter Suber, the director of a US-based project working for open access to research, wrote, “We can be sure that privacy technology, like encryption, will continue to improve in ease and power—but so will privacy-penetrating technology. It is an arms race today, and I do not see that changing any time soon. There will always be smart and motivated people on both sides.”

Stephen Abram, a self-employed consultant with Lighthouse Consulting, Inc., wrote, “We are in for more ‘extreme’ targeting, based on behavioral big data collections and matrices of all of our geo and other tagging systems as a consequence of an evolving digital economy, as well as of using the national security lever to wedge in commercial interests. There will be some ‘sanctuaries’ that protect privacy, but they will be few. There is actually a market opportunity for these places. Libraries will remain a bastion of private spaces, although their online access and digital content may not—vis a vis the Amazon Kindle libraries offering.”

Sam Punnett, of Fad Research, observed, “The public perception of privacy in 2025 will likely be resignation. The complexity of what constitutes a person’s digital ‘fingerprint,’ and the complexity of the systems that monitor them, will remain beyond the grasp of full understanding of most individuals and policy makers. The balance will remain skewed in favour of commercial and government-associated security interests over individuals. There may be ‘secure data,’ but it will be secured within the opaque storage systems and protocols not readily apparent or accessible to the individual citizen. I would rule out any substantive actions by policy makers. I would not completely rule out the inventiveness of technical innovators. It is unlikely that they will craft any absolute solution that puts the individual totally in charge of his or her ‘fingerprints.’ But, there will continue to be an engagement of measure/counter-measure activities by small groups of technologists, versus those organizations collecting data for commercial or surveillance purposes.”

Mark Johnson, CTO and vice president for architecture at MCNC, the nonprofit regional network operator serving North Carolina, wrote, “The IETF will incorporate encryption into default standards, greatly improving security and privacy. There will continue to be a tug-of-war between the desire for various types of ‘analytics’ and privacy concerns, though. Privacy norms have been moving, and they will probably continue to do so. People are more aware of the issues, and I expect the tools available to help individuals take control of their privacy will improve over time.”

Charlie Firestone, executive director of the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program, responded, “Personal identity and privacy will likely be more secure through user-centric identification techniques. Nevertheless, it is, and will continue to be, an electronic arms race between those who will find ways of using personal information to target products and service to customers/users and those who will find ways of protecting and ‘owning’ personal information on behalf of the user. First, there will be greater awareness of the uses to which one’s private information will be put, and second, there will be better tools to own and/or protect that information.”

Fred Baker, Internet pioneer, longtime leader in the IETF, and Cisco Systems Fellow, responded, “There are some problems in security that are essentially unsolvable. Social networks, which operate by building networks of people that trust one another, are probably the state of the art in the security and privacy of person-to-person communications. The recent RSA paper, in which a fictitious woman named Emily Williams was able to compromise a very secure agency, underlines a critical weakness: no security system can protect a person who steps outside of protections, people can and will do that, and motivated adversaries will find ways to exploit that fact. I do expect, however, and long before 2025, that the use of encryption on the Net will expand dramatically. This will include the use of opportunistic encryption in some form, as well as the use of encryption systems based on PGP, RSA, AES, and other cryptographic technologies. The biggest question is the issue of privacy. One can view the recently revealed NSA attack as the implementation of the European Union’s Data Retention Directive by the state without enabling legislation. Data retention and correlation, which is fundamental to the business models of companies like Google and LinkedIn, with traffic analysis, is a very effective tool for intuiting a party’s motivations and actions. In addition, people reveal far more than they realize, and that information can be correlated. For example, the Chinese startup Face++ is creating a technology from which it would be easy to imagine the year 2025, seeing a world similar to what is described in the movie Minority Report, in which every person’s actions are tracked and monetized continuously and pervasively. I am hesitant to make predictions there, beyond that, if we cannot counter it, we must expect it to become reality. Per its website, ‘Face++ uses the cutting-edge technology of computer vision and data mining to provide three core vision services (Detection, Recognition, and Analysis).’ If we must assume continuous and pervasive service-based and crowd-sourced surveillance, and monetization of its results, we must also assume that the information gleaned will be available to anyone that can pay to obtain it. That essentially creates a ‘small town’ dynamic on a global scale—people become more careful about what they reveal, and everybody knows the dirty secrets anyway.”

Tom Standage, digital editor for The Economist, wrote, “As with financial regulation, privacy regulation makes progress as a result of regular crises. Technology firms (and security agencies) will repeatedly over-reach and then be brought into line by consumer pressure/boycotts and new regulations. In this way, we will discover where people would like to draw the line when it comes to paying for Internet services using personal data. I think this trade-off will become more explicit: use this service free by giving us access to your data, or pay for it. For a long time, it has been assumed that Gen Y-ers have a different attitude to privacy and are more inclined to make everything public; the success of Snapchat this year suggests otherwise. As people get older, they worry about this more. It is possible to have mass take-up of publishing tools, while also agreeing that it makes sense to keep some things private.”

JP Rangaswami, chief scientist for Salesforce.com predicted, “I suspect that, in times to come, privacy rights will begin to look like the ‘Four Drivers’ in the Nohria-Lawrence ‘Driven’ model: the right to ‘defend’ private information; the right to ‘bond,’ or share, it; the right to ‘learn,’ or gain insights, from it; and the right to ‘acquire,’ or own, it. As we learn more about the value of personal and collective information, our approach to such information will mirror our natural motivations. We will learn to develop and extend these rights. The most important change will be to do with collective (sometimes, but not always, public) information. We will learn to value it more; we will appreciate the trade-offs between personal and collective information; we will allow those learnings to inform us when it comes to mores, conventions, and legislation.”

Marc Prensky, director of the Global Future Education Foundation and Institute, wrote, “This genie is now out of the bottle: Protection of ‘private’ information will become almost (or, perhaps, completely) impossible because those who want it will always be ahead of those trying to protect it. So, as the last pre-Internet generation cedes control to the new global Internet generations, attitudes toward security, privacy, and intellectual property will be very different than the way we have thought of them in the past. In many, or most, areas, transparency will replace secrecy as the norm. These changes will not happen, though, at Internet speeds but more gradually as the last pre-Internet generation slowly dies off. In the future, there will be no privacy of information as we as we now know it and have known it in the past—any data put online will become transparently available to all, despite any and all efforts to prevent this. ‘Transparency’ will replace ‘privacy’ as the social norm and ideal.”

Joe Kochan, chief operating officer for US Ignite, a company developing gigabit-ready digital experiences and applications, observed, “I do not believe that there is a ‘right balance’ between privacy, security, and compelling content. I think this will need to be a constantly negotiated balance—one that will swing too far in one direction or another with each iteration. When the Internet was new and nascent, the community of users was small and similar-minded. At that point, anonymity was preferable, and the community was largely self-policing. As the network has grown, and as the user base has diversified, anonymity is now more complicated to deal with and is not always preferable. As more transactions move online for the sake of speed and efficiency, consumers have become more comfortable with sharing more data with more companies. But, this comes at the expense of a higher risk of theft, misuse, and a loss of privacy. It is all a compromise, and I cannot think of a way to characterize the perfect balance. Public norms will continue to trend toward the desire for more privacy, while people’s actions will tend toward giving up more and more control over their data.”

Dave Rusin, a digital serial entrepreneur, and former digital global corporate executive, wrote, “It will be a mixture of policy makers (regulators) and the free market. Regulators, or government agencies, are usually slower and cumbersome. Most decisions rendered by government agencies, as they affect the public, are the result of running out of time by debate leaving one choice once time is exhausted. Time allows for a change of direction or tactics if you make a decision early enough in any process. Our politics and government do not see the factor of time as the free market adjusts to alternatives within the market as a function of time. The free market is more innovative and is driven to provide better secure access and privacy of users for service, brand, trust, and retention reasons. Government regulatory bodies typically adopt a one-size fits-all approach, and the Millennial generation that is emerging has started to develop more mistrust toward government, I believe, than any generation before. They are technologically more savvy and will play a key role and influence in the dissection between baseline secure environments by regulations—over creative, more enterprising means, tools, and proprietary methods. I also believe open source will have an ever more increasing role in secure access and privacy protection by ‘user key encryption’ by how innovation and invention is applied—over political debate and over privacy-advocates, which are ideology-based. It will be remarkably different than it is today. Big data and analytics, which are getting a lot of press coverage at the moment, have been around for decades. It is only now that the implications of them are becoming more prevalently known. I foresee, in the future, the general idea that unless you opt -out of ‘X,’ you are automatically opted-in, going away abruptly after some major data breach. We seem to only act reactively, not preventative proactively, to a crisis-driven event. I envision a fundamental change of 180 degrees, whereby a user will have to grant a multi-step permission—and for marketers, your marketing will change to soliciting someone to opt-in by them granting you permission or apps separate and a part from the ‘terms-of-service’ provided today, written in clever legalize allowing personal information to be utilized. Moreover, unless otherwise stated, by 2025, I see individual security access and privacy laws, up there as the equivalent of HIPPA, for all those that elect to drive any commerce, free or transactional, through peering centers located in the United States and other, more advanced economies. Peering centers will serve a gateway for certification and compliance for off-shore Internet access purveyors or governments.”

Robert Cannon, Internet law and policy expert, wrote, “Trust, security, and privacy are fundamental to a successful communications network. Benjamin Franklin, as postmaster of the colonies, realized that the postal service could not be successful unless the people trusted the network; he worked on improving the security and privacy of the network for the benefit of the colonies as a whole. Professor Kevin Werbach, more than 200 years later, delivered to Congress exactly the same message about cloud computing: For it to succeed, people must trust the network. All communications networks have experienced growing pains. All networks have gone through extended periods, where law and policy have struggled to catch up to technological capability. The gap between Brandeis and Katz is four decades—the Electronic Communications Privacy Act came after another two decades. We are in a period of growing pains, but history shows progress. And, we have never been in a period where the medium so empowers democratic discourse and struggle. We are rapidly moving into an era that is unprecedented—but, moving into unprecedented eras is not itself unprecedented. We have been in uncharted territory before. But throughout, we have moved forward with core values of liberty, privacy, and security. I am not sure what will happen. But we can see the maturing of this notion. Digital natives, as they have matured, have become savvier with their sense of privacy. They have become more astute about what they put online, and how. Sure, there remains the one who tweets negatively about her college campus visit and, therefore, gets rejected. But the one does not define the norm. The norm has become kids becoming more aware that they have an online face that is visible. They may cloak their presence when they want to be less visible; they may groom their presence so that, when they are search for, there is something good to find. The fear-based message that if you tweet something bad it will be discovered persists; the real message is that we all have online presences and it is up to youth to craft what is found when it is searched for.”

Mike Roberts, Internet pioneer and longtime leader with ICANN and the Internet Society, responded, “This landscape is littered with ignorance and misinformation. Despite that, there will be great progress in strengthening Internet security because politicians and tech leaders are finally in agreement that it must happen. The extremes of political views on the subject will continue to be unhappy, with lack of perfection of implementation of their views. The perfect is the enemy of the good, etc. There was an interesting blog comment the other day pointing out that 18th and 19th century immigrants seldom had any personal privacy where they came from. The wide-open spaces of America allowed the creation of ‘private’ spaces for individuals, and we continue to value that. But too much of the privacy space has been consumed by silly and prudish mores related to sex. The center point of social views has, and is, moving in a more open direction. Like other social areas, there is a deconstruction/disintermediation process going on that is energized in many ways by Internet social media. The social/political space will continue to display tension between communitarian and libertarian views despite technology evolution.”

D.K. Sachdev, a consultant and adjunct professor in satellite systems, wrote, “The objectives, as stated in the question, are, technically, achievable; however, it conflicts with the business plans of major social networks that, in fact, encourage users to act against their own privacy! I believe that there is scope for two separate networks: one totally secure and the other driven by social media. In a way, that is what Blackberry created, and government users all over the world relied on it. Unfortunately, it is shrinking because of the conflicting objectives of the market place.”

Tim Bray, an active participant in the IETF, and technology industry veteran, wrote, “I am looking primarily to the policy makers, and policies differ from nation to nation. In those nations that have a civilized respect for their citizens’ rights, there will be a policy framework that enables all network communication to be private-by-default; law enforcement access will require a fairly traditional judicial process quite unlike the blanket-blessing the NSA currently seems to operate under. I am certain there will be other nations where pervasive abusive surveillance will be the norm. I am confident that the engineers can connect the technology dots, given a solid policy foundation to work on. I hope we have a keener appreciation that privacy is a basic benefit of modern civilization, much like indoor plumbing and elections.”

Andrew Bridges, a partner and Internet law litigator and policy analyst at Fenwick & West LLP, wrote, “The Internet affords vast new opportunities for searching data of all types, which means that it empowers new modes of surveillance. There are few, and perhaps no, limitations on what technology will be able to facilitate. The restraining force will be both the law and the general climate of the rule of law. Legislatures may pass any number of laws to regulate conduct with the new technologies. I expect that those laws will have significant effects on private parties, with civil and government enforcement available if private parties violate them. But the revelations of numerous whistleblowers, Edward Snowden simply being the most effective because he provided documents to substantiate his statements, show that governments and agencies have ‘gone rogue,’ having no real accountability for their actions because they have, until now, succeeded in cloaking their actions in secrecy. I fear that no amount of political pressure will bring these rogue elements under control, and there will be no trusted privacy-rights infrastructure that is effective against government surveillance. Unless government surveillance of all aspects of society and of all individuals gets under control, all norms about privacy will become hollow, and the expectation of privacy will be nil. We will have to reorder all our actions to reflect the reality that there is no privacy except for the secrecy associated with the ‘Security Class,’ namely those persons who get to know about others without their own actions and knowledge being known.”

Rebecca Lieb, an author, and an industry analyst for the Altimeter Group, responded, “By 2025, two generations of US citizens will be digital natives. Digital data, transactions, innovation, and business will be a norm. Some of these people will be those who influence, recommend, and enact policies around privacy. They will also be influenced by the laws and policies of other democratic societies that have taken swifter, more decisive action around privacy regulation, i.e., the European Union, and they will have had a chance to evaluate what has succeeded and failed elsewhere. In short, my (optimistic) viewpoint is that, with just a bit more time, those who will attempt to balance the interests of personal privacy and business interests will do so from a more informed perspective, legally, culturally, and with a better perspective on disruption. Public norms around privacy are enormously—almost grotesquely—skewed in this country. A customer in a pharmacy will not hesitate, for example, when asked to provide name, address, and date of birth in full earshot of other shoppers in order to pick up a prescription, or, to supply a zip code when using a credit card at a retail location—both practices that are fully personally identifiable and present potential risks. Yet, that same consumer might have free-floating and ungrounded fears that Facebook or Google are in possession of (or worse, share) that same degree of individually identifiable information, when, in fact, what they ‘see’ is a ‘male, 18-35 years old, New York metropolitan area.’ Better education and something akin to privacy literacy are sorely needed and, hopefully, will become a part of consumer education, as well as grade-, middle-, and high school curricula in the coming decade.”

Clark Quinn, director of Quinnovation, wrote, “Such an infrastructure will be required for a successful marriage of business desires with individual rights. The hope is that it will be open standards that drive this, but I believe individual usage will be responsible for adoption. There will be more requirements for transparency in the way data is used. There should also be a single profile for an individual that gets leveraged across platforms.”

Rob Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, responded, “I do not believe that this will happen because much of the free Internet relies on monetization of information, even if it is non-PII. Innovation and monetization, on the one hand, and choice, on the other, are in tension, if not in conflict, with many business models integral to the Internet and e-commerce.”

Ian Peter, pioneer Internet activist and Internet rights advocate, wrote, “Unfortunately, we will have given up on privacy by 2025, or we will have re-interpreted what it means. I think we will continue to use the Internet or its successor, however, but I suspect it will be less of a single entity than it is now.”

Jim Warren, the retired editor and publisher of several microcomputer periodicals, a technology futurist columnist, open-government advocate/activist, and founder and chair of the first Conference on Computers, Freedom, & Privacy, wrote, “It seems clear that there are too many powerful organizations—governmental, corporate, financial, etc.—who want to track and profile every aspect of every person’s lives, activities, browsing interests, purchasing habits, investment efforts, personal associations, etc.—for them to ever‘allow’ individuals anywhere nearly as much control over their own personal information, as many—most?—folks would like to have. Additionally, there is great truth in the cliché that, ‘Desire for privacy is a mile wide…and an inch deep.’ People want their privacy, but they also want to know all sorts of things about otherpeople. In this case, ‘people’ can be as per five Supreme Court ‘Justices,’ and the most recent Republican Presidential candidate’s twisted view—that, ‘Corporations are people.’”

William Schrader, the co-founder and CEO of PSINet Inc., the first commercial ISP, observed, “Edward Snowden provided the world with sufficient evidence that the world’s most powerful country, the United States, is willing, capable, and committed to monitor any and all movement and communications of anyone on Earth it chooses. This was during a time when it was illegal for the US government to do so, even by its own laws. Therefore, how could anyone expect a ‘policy maker’ to change what the past policy makers, and the president himself, have failed to do? Indeed, even when confronted, they denied this until the proof was published. It is not just the United States, but also all governments who act in their own interest. Governments are doomed to always do what the then-current leaders believe to be the ‘right thing.’ Regardless of what changes in the future, politicians will forever remain politicians, and thus, the government(s) of the world will continue to monitor our every movement and communication. It is the destiny of mankind, as I see it. In a broader sense, a small percentage of the world’s population, perhaps a tiny fraction of 1% of mankind, will attempt to go off-grid or in some way disengage from big data. To accomplish this, they must own nothing that is tracked by government, such as real estate or autos, have no utilities in their name, have no bank account, and not earn a living by receiving a check or direct deposit. In short, they would only use cash, not own a phone, not have a tax identification number, etc. It is a challenging existence by today’s normal standards, and it is not one that is easy to maintain without sincere discipline. I expect that these off-grid people will be treated by authorities worldwide as suspect in some way, simply because they choose not to be tracked. That alone, being off-grid, will likely be made a serious crime. The concept of privacy has changed. The Internet converted every individual into a publisher when they write words or post pictures or videos to the Internet. Anonymization, through third parties promising not to provide your contact information, does not work, and everyone reading this can imagine ways the government(s) can extract that data. The original concept of privacy is dead. The new concept of privacy is: ‘Only the government and my friends know.’”

Lee McKnight, a professor of entrepreneurship and innovation at Syracuse University, responded, “By 2025, the pendulum will have swung back between post-9/11 surveillance hysteria and the Snowden leaks—hysterically ridiculous—claims by Congress, and the public, not to know that they passed the Patriot Act blank check 98-2, and that NSA was, you know, a signals intelligence agency. Technology will not reach stasis, but there will be evident progress by 2025 in building in enhanced privacy and security, cloud to edge. The daily news will still include stories of identity theft, surveillance, and business abuse of privacy rights, but those will be against the backdrop of a refined public sensibility and clearer legal frameworks accepted at international level, as well as by many national parliaments. First, by 2025, there will be substantial progress in developing and deploying new overlay trust, privacy, and security architectures and systems needed by business, government, and the mobile device-loving public. These can provide end-to-end privacy and security far beyond the crude patches to the wide-open Internet. As big data requires assessing lots of data dynamically, to judge patterns and make decisions, the public will, by 2025, understand that, if it buys into ‘free’ digital services, it is making a trade, for re-use of—anonymized and encrypted—information about themselves and their digital habits. On the other hand, government agencies—in general—will also understand the limitations on what is accepted and what is not. And then, there is the intelligence community, both in the United States and around the world, which will accept certain levels of constraint, as the cost of doing business 2025. At least publicly. So, the public will be, more or less, cool with the balance struck, which, by 2025, will be majority digital natives and well aware of the choices and trade-offs they must make every day. The public will be somewhat less schizophrenic about wanting to know everything about public figures and demanding transparency from government and business, as well—while thinking they are somehow shielded from their ‘private’ information being aggregated, shared, and reported. The ‘right to forget,’ or otherwise correct, digital history, which has bounced between European courts and—Google—will be a refined and accepted concept in many nations, including the United States; balancing free speech and personal privacy rights will have been refined further for the post-2025 era.”

David Hughes, a retired US Army Colonel who, from 1972, was a pioneer in individual to/from digital telecommunications, responded, “I was an early, 1979, well-known (1993 Electronic Frontier Foundation Pioneer Award) using the earliest personal computers (Radio Shack, in my case), modem, and direct-phone-dial computer bulletin boards, and I graduated through store-and-forward corporate and university ‘news groups’ nationally and internationally, and then into true TCP-IP (Internet) networks, including operating my own, as a business (Old Colorado City Communications), as well as the first (1990+) unlicensed wireless, including Wi-Fi, networks. (The National Science Foundation awarded me $2 million to experiment with wireless Internet for very remote and rural education and field science, even in Mongolia, from 1993 to 1999.) I had, and still retain—as a $100-a-year legacy license, one of the earliest Class C (256 addresses only) Net licenses (oldcolo.com) for an individual. From the beginning, I saw the great promise in person-to-person, organization-to-organization (local to and from global), affordable, relatively secure, person-to-personal connectivity. But, as a combination of the progressive taking over by large telephone and television (cable to satellite) companies trying to monopolize that ‘market’—with corresponding increases in prices, and evermore restrictions—I have become more and more cynical about the original Electronic Freedom for Everyone vision. I also no longer trust governments to permit ‘privacy,’ or security of data, or deter disruption, as networks have become vast arenas for criminal activities, theft, and disruption of services—as well as a means and vehicle for international ‘terrorism’ by a wide variety of actors. There will be no real or sustained privacy. Every human on this planet can be detected, and any communication to or from him or her can, and will, be monitored.”

David Weinberger, a senior researcher at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, observed, “They will because they have to. Unfortunately, the incentives are unequal: There is a strong incentive to enable strong privacy for transactions, but much less for enabling individuals to control their own info. So, of course, I do not actually know how this will shake out. I assume we will accept that humans do stupid things, and we will forgive one another for them. When your walls are paper, that is what you have to do.”

Paul Saffo, managing director at Discern Analytics and consulting associate professor at Stanford University, wrote, “The opposition to privacy erosion is broad and diffuse, while the proponents of privacy-eroding systems are narrow and focused. Further, while Americans claim to care about privacy, they care even more about convenience. Americans have happily sacrificed their privacy over the last several decades, and will continue to do so, even as they complain. Privacy has already shifted from being a right to a good that is purchased. Privacy-as-good will continue to advance and become the 2025 norm.”

Barbara Simons, a highly decorated retired IBM computer scientist, former president of the ACM, and current board chair for Verified Voting, responded, “There is going to be a struggle to limit the monitoring that the NSA can do of Internet-based communications. Unfortunately, I think the most likely scenario is that technically savvy people might be able to communicate privately, but most folks will not have that option. I hope I’m wrong. It is difficult to say. If people start realizing that potentially embarrassing information they have posted on social websites are being used against them as they get older and look for employment, there may be increased appreciation of the need for privacy. It would help if people would stop saying that privacy is dead—get over it. There is no law of physics that says that it is impossible to have privacy. We can have privacy, if that is what we as a society choose.”

Per Ola Kristensson, a lecturer in human-computer interaction at the University of St Andrews, UK, responded, “In 2025, following several high-profile privacy scandals, including politicians’ Web-surfing habits becoming public and anonymous commentators’ positions on controversial Internet issues becoming de-anonymized, there will be intense pressure by the general public to legislate in order to protect people’s privacy on the Internet; however, legislation will not be completed by 2025, as legislators will still be waiting for an industry-driven, privacy-rights infrastructure to be developed. The development of this infrastructure will be delayed because of an inability to agree on several fundamental issues due to competing business interests, such as a fear of standardization damaging profits for leading advertisement networks, and an inability of privacy advocates and advertisement networks and other industries profiting from profiling people to compromise. Politically, there will be serious concerns raised about how the United States risks losing its dominant position in the Internet business by legislating too harshly, as leading advertising networks by Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other US-based IT-companies will be even more dominant and an even bigger industry than it is today. It is likely educated people will be more reluctant to share information on the Internet, as the ability to de-anonymize people on the Internet will be much greater.”

Robert Tuohy, deputy director with an organization that studies and analyzes US Homeland Security, replied, “The monetary rewards of acceptance will incentivize technologists and policymakers to find solutions that protect privacy to reasonable extent. The public will moderate its views on what it accepts with regards to privacy. It is already happening. The combination of better protections and more moderate expectations will make monetization more likely.”

Garland McCoy, president and founder of the Technology Education Institute, said, “In those countries with ‘open gardens,’ the customer rules, and those who wish to offer up their personal information in exchange for better services—more targeted services—will have that opportunity, and for those who wish to travel the Internet in a private, secure way will be offered the ability to do so (with the understanding that the government, should they wish to, can dedicate a mainframe to cracking your key, which would cost them a good bit of time and money per individual, per packet). So, there will be choice—real choice—in the ‘open garden’ countries. In the ‘walled fortresses’ countries, well, there will be no choices. If there is a market for privacy, real privacy, then companies will provide it. You will be able to choose your level of privacy or public engagement. Obviously, as it is in the real world, those who have the money to buy real privacy and security for themselves and their family will have it, and those who do not have the money, or do not want to invest in that level of privacy or security, will have to do with what is generally offered and available.”

Jillian C. York, director for international freedom of expression for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, wrote, “I do not believe existing major corporations or policymakers have proven themselves trustworthy to enact something like this. The best solution is to develop new, open-source technologies that implement end-to-end encryption whilst also providing an easy-to-use user interface that appeals to the general population. Then, and only then, will we be able to regain public trust. It is my hope that the recent revelations about the NSA and other governments’ surveillance will push the public into rethinking what privacy means for the next generation, as well as how surveillance and consumer privacy violations can lead to threatening our right to freedom of speech and association.”

Bruce Bimber, a professor at the University of California-Santa Barbara, wrote, “At this stage, those who benefit from the market for personal information and data are well organized and have a great deal of momentum in the market. By contrast, there is little organization and few resources, comparatively, on the part of those seeking a new regulatory regime that would protect privacy. So, pressures on government at this stage are greatly imbalanced. It is impossible to make an intellectually responsible forecast for 2025, but we can certainly see that there are few prospects for comprehensive reform in the near term.”

Richard Forno, director of the UMBC Graduate Cybersecurity Program, wrote, “I do not necessarily think the government will create a balance—it will always come down on the side of ‘security’ and ‘homeland defense’ priorities. Rather, corporations will be the ones taking a lead on this topic, though not necessarily the large players who are beholden to the government. It will be the small businesses and startup services that develop the technologies/capabilities to allow citizens to better protect their privacy.”

Judith Donath, a fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, responded, “It will vary from country to country, as well as from site to site; the answer also depends on what you think of as privacy. We will have stronger ways of maintaining privacy in social settings—better support for pseudonyms with persistent reputations, for example. Perhaps this would emerge in large-scale health discussion networks—a key area where people have information to share, support to seek, and a strong motivation to keep their identity confidential. But, privacy from government and corporate surveillance will, I think, decrease. As data-mining techniques become more sophisticated, the value of the information that these big entities can extract from individuals’ growing bodies of personal data will increase—and, thus, increase their motivation for obtaining it. Furthermore, much more information will be available to them. To give just one example, a technology such as the self-driving car is a 360-degree, 3D camera; every place where such cars are driving are under constant surveillance—nothing will happen in sight of a public street without being recorded. A big inflection point will be face-recognition. Today, when we meet a new person, we are likely to do a search on their name, often finding out some surprising hobby or other details, perhaps a lengthy blog history, plus the expected professional information. But, the people we see on the street, in the subway, across the restaurant—they remain strangers, enigmatic. Face recognition will change this. We will be able to put a name to a face—and all the data attached to that name. For the citizen of that future world, it will seem strange and unsettling to think that in the past people walked, sat, and ate amidst crowds of unknowable strangers. It will seem dangerous—one of the first apps that will make use of this technology will alert us to registered sex offenders and paroled felons in our midst—and dull. (Today if someone catches your attention, you muse a bit about him or her, and then move on. There is no connection. Tomorrow, you can delve into whatever personal traces they have online.) This will cause a big shift in how we think of privacy and the norms around making information about ourselves public. Today, if someone chooses to have a very low online profile, this has little effect on how we think of him or her face-to-face. But, in this future, that will start to seem anti-social and a little creepy. There will be much more pressure to have such a data presence—and to carefully cultivate it.”

Lyman Chapin, co-founder and principal of Interisle Consulting Group, wrote, “The incentives for governments and businesses to obtain and analyze data about their citizens and customers is much clearer and more quantifiable than the incentives for those citizens and customers to understand, much less demand the protection of, their ‘personal privacy.’ As far back as 1999, a letter to the editor of Harper’s noted that ‘Americans have apparently come to loathe privacy, their own or anybody else’s.’ The concept of ‘privacy’ in 2025 will bear little resemblance to what was obtained before social networking accustomed people to ‘giving away, to a global audience, their names, addresses, birth dates, lists of favorite movies and CDs, and sexual activities.’”

David Vladeck, a law professor at Georgetown University, and former US Federal Trade Commission official, wrote, “The public is only now beginning to fully understand the ecosystem that underlies the Internet. As the public becomes more aware of the massive, unconsented to collection that is taking place, it will demand greater control over person information, including tracking and the information that is entered on websites for a specific purpose. The public will not countenance, in the long-term, unconsented uses of data provided for one purpose (i.e., order fulfillment) for another, wholly unrelated purpose. Change in this area will be slow because the framework for surreptitious collection is deeply embedded in the Internet ecosystem, and because the systems for providing consumers truly informed notice; and, truly informed, and freely given, consent needs to be developed and implemented. And, at some point, Congress, or the states, one by one, will have to enact laws that provide a solid yet adaptable legal framework for privacy protection. I am not sure that public norms about privacy will be different in 2025. My own sense is that the claims about a deep generational divide over the conception of privacy are overstated.”

John Wilbanks, chief commons officer for Sage Bionetworks, wrote, “I do not think 10 years is long enough for policy makers to change the way they make policy to keep up with the rate of technological progress. Law is already 15 to 20 years behind, and it is getting worse. I find it unlikely that the combination of secure, trusted, and popularly accepted will come to pass. But, I figure two of the three will happen—trusted and popularly accepted seem to be achievable, albeit at the expense of security. We do not know. We have never had ubiquitous surveillance before, much less a form of ubiquitous surveillance that emerges primarily from voluntary (if market-obscured) choices. Predicting how it shakes out is just fantasy. World events, from famines to plagues to wars, will drive those norms as much as anything predictable now.”

Dan Farber, editor with CBS Interactive, replied, “In the next decade, the various factions will move toward a more secure, popularly accepted, and trusted privacy rights infrastructure. It is in the interest of companies interacting with customers online to make them feel more secure. It will not be perfect or totally trustworthy. With software, there are too many ways for governments, corporations, and individuals to subvert privacy policies and controls for self-interest. In addition, far more personal data is coming online, which makes the problem even more difficult to manage. Unless human nature changes (which it will not), we will not be able to have full trust in whatever privacy infrastructure is developed. In addition, the majority of people using online services are not overly concerned with the nuances of privacy issues, unless their identities or credit card info is stolen. It has been said that you do not have privacy anymore. That will be more of a generally accepted norm. Certain kinds of information, such a personal health data or DNA, will require more stringent controls, but, as we have seen with the NSA revelation, no data is safe from those who want to access it; however, that does not mean great efforts will not be made to provide more secure privacy. Certainly, Facebook Google, Apple, Amazon, etc., will make every effort to make their customers believe they are trustworthy stewards of privacy.”

Jonathan Grudin, principal researcher at Microsoft Research, responded, “There is an inevitable tension between potential commercial exploitation of personal information by businesses, including those that are well-intentioned, and the desires of some individuals. Businesses will always be motivated to push infrastructure boundaries, whatever they are. In fact, the more work we invest in developing a framework that seems balanced, the more a business can find grey areas, workarounds, and loopholes in good conscience. Young people are more used to a world with cameras everywhere. They spend more time online and identified. The older generation developed behavioral habits that assumed a degree of privacy that young people have not experienced. What oldsters would have to give up, young people will not miss. In 2025, more of the population will have grown up in the new world, so concern about privacy will decrease and perhaps shift in emphasis. Of course, the dwindling ranks of dinosaurs may not see things much differently than they do now.”

Jim Harper, director of information policy studies at the Cato Institute, wrote, “The challenges that exist now will still exist in 2025. Technology and social mores will still be in flux. By 2025, most people will have realized that they are in an information economy. Their behavior will be tailored to the existence of that economy, which means that they will hide some things more carefully, and they will share some things more willingly and with better, if still imperfect, awareness.”

Micha Benolie, CEO and co-founder of Open Garden, wrote, “Mobile Internet will be predominant. Network infrastructures are not only built by carriers, but also by clusters of people and organizations growing their own Internet. Decentralization of the Internet will enable more privacy as well as easier and faster deployment of access to knowledge. Networks will become self-healing and self-organizing together, with organizations becoming less centralized and more horizontal.”

Dean Thrasher, founder of Infovark Inc., wrote, “The slow erosion of privacy online is a classic ‘boiling the frog’ problem. It is hard to imagine a crisis of privacy that would force regulators or lawmakers to take a strong interest in establishing and protecting privacy rights. As for technologists, there are compelling technical and financial reasons for making privacy protections as weak as possible. The technical reason is that privacy is a ‘wicked problem,’ an intersection of social norms, tacit guidelines, and accepted practices that are difficult to codify. Managing complex security and privacy rules regarding data is an expensive and error-prone task, and most companies will avoid it if at all possible. The financial reason for avoiding it is simple: Most websites and applications are funded by advertising and commercial applications that have a strong interest in knowing as much about current and potential customers as possible. In response to the weak online privacy regime, most Web participants will grow used to managing multiple profiles. They will put forward different public views of themselves in different contexts, and others will come to respect the implicit boundary lines between these profiles. We see this happening already, with people maintaining different profiles on Facebook (for friends and family), as they do on LinkedIn (for coworkers and professional contacts), for example. With the exception of public figures, it will come to be considered rude to look up a potential hire’s gaming profile on Xbox, or their browsing history on Reddit, when they apply for a job.”

Bryan Padgett, research systems manager for a major US entertainment company, wrote, “The current two-sided security-versus-privacy pendulum will be replaced by a third option—perhaps independent warehouses of data controlled by independent parties, fed by data providers, and accessed by government only when necessary. With increasing amounts of data being generated for and by all users worldwide, it will continue to be used for good and bad in increasing amounts. It is unreasonable to expect governments to protect their citizens without utilizing new forms of communications, and a ‘blank check’ approach to data access is unacceptable to those same citizens. Off to the side, developers and businesses want to leverage new technology to improve everyday life, as well as their bottom lines. There will be too much pressure from all sides for a solution not to have been formed by 2025. As technologies become more personal and interactive with us and other things we own, accurately assigning identity seems to be an even more important need, ironically. I can see a future where it is accepted that anonymity has fallen by the wayside as the online world and the real world become even more fused; however, along with the loss of anonymity, the ability to remove and prevent others from seeing and/or using your data (or data about you) will emerge to become clearer and easier to manage from a single entity. If that comes to pass, it would only come from a government or international agreement, with academia and the private sector creating the technical solution that allows it to work.”

Fred Zimmerman, of Pagekicker.com wrote, “There are no market drivers to make it happen. Rather, all the market drivers are to make individual behavior as track-able as possible for consumer purposes, which inevitably means that governments can track people, too. The public will be much more accustomed to a default lack of privacy on the one hand and the need for strong cryptography or going off the grid to generate real privacy, but at a cost.”

Chen Jiangong, an Internet business analyst in China, responded, “I think it will be. But there will be new questions. The privacy war between businesses and consumers will go on forever because the new technology will challenge the consumers’ privacy again and again. The public opinion of privacy will change; people will give up a part of secondary privacy—just as, in ancient China, women once viewed their feet as a private thing, to be kept out of public view, but now they do not. Maybe in the future, people will not view something that we think of as private today as private.”

Supten Sarbadhikari, a leader working to implement the National Health Portal of India, wrote, “Actually, the answer is not an unqualified ‘Yes.’ Shades of grey are bound to be present. While it is most likely that secure systems will be in place, and online transactions will become ubiquitous, it is also likely that potential breaches and threats to security will increase. Privacy is a relative concept. When the President of the United States gets admitted for any surgical procedure, other than the attending doctors, no one has access to the details. Whereas, when the Prime Minister of India gets admitted for a surgical procedure, a medical bulletin is broadcast every hour in the public domain. With the world becoming a smaller global village, these socio-cultural contexts may also be blurred partly.”

Maurice Vergeer, an assistant professor at Radboud University Nijmegen, in the Netherlands, wrote, “No, the national and economical stakes are too high to have a completely secure and private infrastructure. Laws and regulations will always follow and not lead technology. As such, technology (creating new encryption and subsequently breaking it again) will always lead (as it has done in the past centuries). Another issue is that people in democratic societies seem not too concerned in general about privacy issues. Unfortunately, the credo of, ‘They can track me because I have nothing to hide,’ is still dominant. I think that the best-case scenario is that it will be much of the same, as right now. The worst-case scenario will be that people will give up privacy even more, for instance for national or economical security reasons. It all depends on possible major events happening that might happen between now and 2025. 9/11 was, of course, a major breaking point, and even in less turbulent times, Obama seems to be more aggressive in this respect than was George W. Bush. So, going back to what it was is less likely to happen.”

Elizabeth Albrycht, a senior lecturer in marketing and communications at the Paris School of Business, replied, “As much as people like to state that the younger generations—Generations Y and Z—do not care about privacy, I have found this is far from the truth. As a university lecturer, I have asked, and my students are extremely concerned about it. They do not like where we are, and they want an organization (generally, a worldwide one) to manage this. I think that the demand will be such that a certain level of privacy will be guaranteed via policy. It will not please everyone. Consumers, corporations, and governments will all have to give something up. There will be tight time frames attached to privacy as well. Privacy will be negotiated and commoditized. We will have some free guarantees (human rights-level) and then pay for various other levels. We will not assume it is like a public good (air), but it will have a measurable (quantitative) value that we have negotiated via privacy markets. None of us will be happy with the situation, but that is good. It means that control will not be in only one player’s hands.”

Laurie Orlov, a futurist, consultant, and industry analyst, responded, “The year 2025 is only a decade away, and even as outcry about privacy invasion gets louder, more technology is being introduced that is designed to help users easily share information (i.e., Instagram) or find each other (i.e., Tinder). People are gravitating towards the sign-in-and-share, Facebook-like style of online interactions. So, as innovators deliver the tools, and as users embrace them, policymakers will continue to be way behind in both understanding tech trends—and/or part of the problem of using shared information (NSA, for example) in ways that are not anticipated. Public norms are headed towards greater acceptance of online sharing—and business innovators are racing to capitalize on that acceptance. Individuals will continue to lack understanding about the implications of participation in online environments—even as they gain understanding about one environment, technology change is always ahead of them. The longer a user agreement for use of data provided, the less likely these are to be read. See smart phone location-based apps for many examples.”

Sean Mead, senior director of strategy and analytics for Interbrand, wrote, “Most people will ignore, or never appreciate, how exposed they are. There will be a branded program to represent best privacy practices, but it will be deliberately ineffective. A separate network will exist for those with a commitment to privacy; the network will lack the full functionality of the Internet and only be compatible with a limited number of sites. Expectations for privacy will be narrowed, but many will still be surprised by pictures and videos among friends going viral, in situations never contemplated at the time of capture.”

Rex Miller, a thought leader, and principal at a consultancy, responded, “The idea of nation-states will undergo major redefinition. The idea is now obsolete. They have been transcended by global commerce and global platforms like Google, Facebook, etc. These will provide secured enclaves as a value-added service. Policymakers move too slow in the current structure and cannot coordinate between different governance structures to be effective. There will be no privacy to speak of. We will have given away all of it, and there will rise groups who protect the different interests of vulnerable groups.”

Kevin Jones, founder of Good Capital, SOCAP (social capital markets conference) and Impact Hub network, replied, “Platforms created in the sharing economy will enable average citizens to aggregate and make felt their collective power. Car sharing, room sharing, tool sharing, etc., and nonprofits that marshal people who believe in this new paradigm, will exert their power. Collective wisdom will prevail. The people will be in more control. Corporate personhood will be reigned in because the corporation will be much less central in a world past peak oil as we transition to a new future. That is the future I am aiming at and designing for.”

Doug Casey, the director of IT for a large educational organization, commented, “I sincerely believe this will be the case. Corporations are getting used to dealing with privacy and the consumerization of IT; this will be an issue that organizations and governments will need to address. I see, in the short term, a backlash of sorts in the next few years, in which individuals will become much more guarded with personal and financial information, leading to much greater control (or marketing of control—real or perceived) of private information.”

David Berkowitz, the chief marketing officer for a large advertising agency responded, “A number of models like this have been tested, and during the next 10 years or so, it is likely that one will catch on with enough support by business, corporate, and consumer interests. Relatively few individuals will actually take part in such a program though. We are already reaching a turning point of wanting to be public and private at the same time. People care more about privacy but share more publicly. Expect these extremes to continue to diverge, with far more robust privacy options and protection in 2025 than what we are used to today, but also far more shared publicly. By 2025, we will also have national and prominent local elected officials, who entered college in the early part of last decade, when social media usage started to become widespread. So, there will be a greater acceptance of people having shared things that they since regret. Granted, some of those regrets will come back to haunt such candidates and officials.”

Vickie Kline, an associate professor at York College responded, “Medical privacy will be the most paradoxical; we will have unprecedented data at our fingertips to make proactive decisions about our health, but the objects around us, and even our clothes, will tattle in real-time about the choices we make. We have to work towards security, liberty, and privacy online, but government and corporate intelligence and hackers will always keep us outside of the comfort zone. I wonder if the expectation of privacy as a right will gradually fade as people experience less actual privacy in their lives.”

Amy Hartman, an information science professional based in Ohio wrote, “It will evolve to continue to make money and be secure for various corporate and academic entities, as well as those individuals who understand how to manipulate code enough to protect themselves. Because of the open nature of the Web, there will always be some level of corruption, fraud, and/or spying, the same way there is in our larger society and other forums. We cannot erase basic human nature, and if there is money to be made, or power to be had by sneaking around and manipulating people and information, someone is going to find a way to do it. Most people, even now, do not really understand most of the larger privacy issues when it comes to the privacy, use, and misuse of personal information. So long as it does not impact most people’s daily lives in a way they can see, I suspect norms will remain the same.”

Brittany Smith, a respondent who did not share a professional background, wrote, “It will be impossible for policymakers to create a popularly accepted privacy-rights infrastructure that is trustworthy without intensive collaboration and cooperation among major corporations and public agencies such as the NSA. This will require a large cultural shift, both within these organizations and amongst the greater public. Very few citizens are aware of what is at stake in this dialogue and are not in a position to organize and advocate for their rights. I believe a trusted organization will need to emerge that can help to educate the public and work across sectors to develop a secure infrastructure. Cyber-security will be the most important issue of the upcoming decades. People will become more aware of things like passwords and their online identities. Clicking ‘Keep me logged in,’ and, ‘Remember me,’ and, ‘Save this password,’ will no longer be an option. I believe that, in the future, smartphones, wallets, and electronic devices will have built-in hardware to make them more secure, and more software solutions to create random, secure passwords that are changed frequently will become available.”

Patrick Stack, manager of the Digital Transformation Acquity Group, part of Accenture Interactive, responded, “Younger Internet users are more concerned with privacy issues than their media reputation would indicate. Invasions of digital privacy always come as a surprise, and as this generation comes into adulthood and desires an effective system of privacy, their native technology skills will provide a wealth of avenues to develop such a system. Citizen protest at government intrusion is also likely to play a role in the creation of digital privacy laws that will affect individuals in both the corporate and public spheres.”

Stuart Chittenden, the founder of the conversation consultancy Squishtalks, wrote, “Americans have already sorted into homogenous groups and indicated a distrust for governmental institutions. While corporate entities are also untrusted, the government is trusted less, and therefore, what the media (carefully self-selected to avoid any cognitive dissonance) and corporate interests promote is what will be believed (or, at least, accepted). In that scenario, people will rely upon corporate statements asserting adequate privacy, while policymakers will institute policies that are expedient but toothless—and the people will care. The outcomes will revolve around the tensions between global cultures (i.e., privacy-inclined Europe, compared to the indifferent and open United States, to controlled and censored China, Russia, etc.); economic systems (i.e., free market capitalism and quasi-socialist economies); and sociopolitical value systems (i.e., US Republican, versus Democratic, policies); as well as a simple lack of awareness and, indeed, apathy, among much of the Western world, especially the United States, when it comes to the balance between corporate messaging and the reality of Internet-based applications and tools. Public norms will be largely indifferent, with isolated groups (i.e., ACLU, consumer advocates, Snowden-esque supporters, etc.) offering cautionary, yet shrill, messages that will be ignored by the vast swathe of the media.”

Frank Feather, a business futurist, CEO, and trend tracker based in Ontario, Canada, wrote, “The Internet cannot be un-invented. It will continue to become more and more pervasive in all facets of life and society. Governments and other organizations have no option but to ensure security and confidentiality of personal information; however, governments have a responsibility to protect society, and thus must have the ability, according to strict guidelines, that allows them to search for and monitor criminal activity that is conducted via information systems of all kinds. I am confident that a proper balance will be struck and that court-enforced legislation will be passed. Privacy comes down to trust. Before the Internet, people developed trust with product and service providers to safeguard their information and privacy. Good examples were banks, and even private shopkeepers. There is no reason why the same levels of trust cannot be established, no matter the technology used to store that information, whether it is an old-fashioned filing cabinet or a database in the Cloud.”

Nick Wreden, a professor of social business at University Technology Malaysia, based in Kuala Lumpur, commented, “This, for better or for worse, is a free-enterprise world, and tracking data enables companies to sell more. Just look at ‘do not call’ lists today, with all their loopholes. The regulation was enacted, but we are all still getting calls at dinner. The elite will have privacy safeguards, while the rest of us will not.”

Karen Riggs, a professor of media arts at Ohio University, wrote, “The camel’s nose is under the tent. In fact, the camel’s hump might be under the tent. As the saying goes, the Internet wants to be free. The public does not necessarily agree with that sentiment because violations of privacy create and expand all manner of vulnerability. Lawmakers (of course, being funded by corporations) might grapple with the problem in various ways, but corporate interests are overwhelmingly powerful. It is also unlikely that government officials and employees will unilaterally back off their affront to personal privacy because of what is deemed ‘in the national interest.’ Further, Internet privacy is a geopolitical issue that reaches far beyond the scope of US capacity for control. Privacy, as a concept, is shifting generationally. Millennials, in the main, have lower expectations for privacy assurances because of their relaxed modes of social media usage. Perhaps because of these lower expectations, they harbor fewer assumptions about risk of information being shared. Many Millennials do their best to cover their tracks through such methods as privacy settings, but many also simply do not think about the consequences of privacy invasion and public display of behavior. A gathering storm is occurring in the realm of employer-employee relations. Among other practices, the bleeding of private Internet and communication technology (ICT usage) into the workplace is transforming the modes and scope of surveillance by employers. In less direct communication, corporate and private hacking (as well as government surveillance) will continue to creep into everyday ICT usage. Privacy protections will be Band-Aid measures. With each correction of technological vulnerability, corrupt influences find a new way to invade the personal sphere.”

Ebenezer Baldwin Bowles, founder and managing editor of CornDancer.com, wrote, “Protection of personal information by the individual citizen, over-matched and out-maneuvered, is the propagandist’s illusion—a hard sell come 2025. No number of outwardly friendly personal security apps will enable the individual to outsmart the profit-driven determination of major corporate players and criminal cyber gangs, or overcome the intrusions into privacy and cynical threats to liberty from a menacing fascist state, bent on total control of a restive and displaced populous. The few who retain awareness will have realized the impossibility of privacy but will learn to strike a counterbalance through the sly creation and manipulation of multiple and diverse online identities. Everyone will be watching everyone, but no one will be certain of the actual corporeal identity of the visages on the other side of screens and holographic projections. For the many, participation in the Net will no longer be optional. The matrix of pop media, mandatory data collection systems, robotic household appliances, and workplace networks, will dominate every aspect of a mundane, commonplace existence. There will be no escape from the chipset, the camera, and the omnipresent PDA. The long-sought passive legion of worker drones will, at last, be fully mustered and brought under systematic control by the stock-holding elite and their handsomely compensated managers, engineers, analysts, planners, and enforcers. A sophisticated menu of online social and cultural diversions, delivered in the guise of entertainment and personal networking, will satiate the wage-earning citizenry, ensuring that the so-called ‘haves’ remain blind to inequity among peoples and oblivious to the rapid diminishment of resources necessary to feed, house, and clothe the human race. Everyone vested in the system will have just enough to satisfy vague ideas of personal progress and opportunity. Utilities, transportation, banking and personal finance, communications, and media will each, and all, become instruments of absolute control over the individual’s activities and movement. At long last, the human spirit of individuality and freedom will be harnessed to the service of the profiteer, the politician, and the rulers of states and transnational corporate behemoths. The prevailing attitude, borne on satiety, shall be: ‘Who cares?’ By 2025, a benumbed, electronically besotted public will have lost the concept of privacy as we understand it today—and already, in 2014, our notions of the concept are debased by propaganda-driven fears of terrorist attacks, online sexual predators, lone gunmen, identity theft, and financial loss. The mantra, ‘What have you got to hide?’ will have become commonplace criticism of anyone who stands against the all-powerful state in matters of privacy versus security. Not knowing our neighbors, and inculcated with deep-seated fear of ‘the other,’ we, as a people, will view privacy as one of those things we had to relinquish to be safe from harm and secure in our hovels.”

Christopher Castaneda, a technology developer/administrator, wrote, “The reality of overall public perception of policymakers and corporations will hold more skepticism of these two groups and will be more openly hostile to significant imbalances in personal privacy, data security, and compelling content and apps. Stories, such as credit card data security breaches and NSA data surveillance, will give reason for public suspicion. Although, personal financial data theft may have more resonance with the public, since it affects them directly, than wide-sweeping and wholesale data gathering by the government. But, as more and more stories of government data monitoring are revealed, the public will more than likely begin to push back, demanding more surveillance restraint. The public will also be more critical of corporations’ use of public data, especially in social media and mobile technologies. In general terms, the public will be accepting of having its data used for various legal purposes, either in a desire for more convenience, better shopping deals, or outright ignorance of what personal data is available; however, the threshold of acceptance will only go so far. In recent years, public pushback against Facebook has shown some distaste for the company’s behavior. In addition, the use of mobile devices, and the data they will produce, will cause some public concern over their devices, as mobile devices are more personal than a desktop or laptop computer.”

Andrew Pritchard, a lawyer, PhD candidate, and instructor in media-and-society issues at North Dakota State University, responded, “I doubt that the public will ever trust any promises, whether from government or private industry, about the protection of privacy rights. There have been too many deliberate violations and accidental breaches for this to be the case. The casual culture many corporations have demonstrated about sustaining their ‘privacy policies’ will be difficult to overcome.”

Karen Sulprizio, a marketing and business consultant commented, “Marketing companies are using data mining at an exponential rate and without the consumer being aware of the condition. While it might help to ‘sell’ more products, consumers are becoming savvier, and privacy-rights are being elevated to the top of Net consciousness. Consumers have no idea that, currently, there are so many companies accessing their information that slip-ups are occurring, which include more information than should be allowed. With the advent of the MHealth explosion, privacy, as not only an overall topic, but as ensuring HIPAA compliance, will probably be combined to address both issues. The easiest method for personal information privacy (for non-medical situations) will be to include a ‘checkbox’ for the consumer to check that will allow their personal data to not be shared, in any way. First, it will be more difficult for companies to access and share the data. Currently, if it is a non-medical situation, partnering companies can simply have an ‘agreement’ in place, and data mining can occur whenever scheduled. This can include POS transactions and, in some cases, private and personal information about the customer. In the future, there will be more requirements for explicit agreements that will also include notifications to the customer of the ‘types’ of data that will be accessed, as well as the methods that the information will be used for.”

Gonzalo Bacigalupe, a professor at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, predicted, “Without a secure Internet, its growth will be slow. There will be less innovation, and the creativity that has sustained will disappear. It is really difficult to say where we are headed. If the promises of technology to help us address thorny issues like environmental disaster, health access, and quality, inequality, and others are fulfilled, then legislation will follow in supporting some of the main, contemporary, and future features of technology.”

Peter Janca, managed services development lead at MCNC, the nonprofit regional network operator serving North Carolina, responded, “As more business transactions take place via the Internet, someone (i.e., policymakers, IETF, financial industry, or the like) will need to establish a popularly-accepted, secure method of completing such transactions. As relates to consumer tracking and analytics, I believe work will have been done by 2025 to address public perceptions on the beneficial nature of such activities. We already see the ‘younger’ generation holding a norm about privacy, which is way more open than that of the over-30 generation. This norm is more open. As this generation matures, I predict it will retain much of this openness, yielding a more open public norm about privacy. This prediction could be modified, should several (more than two or three) serious, negative, public events take place that damage the younger generation’s confidence in being open (i.e., reduced level of concern about privacy).”

Breanne Thomlison, founder and president of BTx2 Communications, a marketing and strategies firm, wrote, “The reality is that this will become an official job title—a position—‘Online Public Safety and Corporate Monetization Director.’ This role currently does not exist, but through unique partnerships by all parties involved (government, corporations, innovators and policy makers), it will evolve into a necessary position, which, among other things, will monitor, create, gain, and maintain trust on a global level, as well as manage expectations from each group. Without this, innovation will not happen. Additionally, the overall perception of this topic will diminish as the topic of ‘big data’ and ‘privacy’ becomes saturated in the media, and as new generations, whom are not affected by privacy since they have grown-up in a world with sharing everything, enter the market. There will be very little discussion of privacy in the future. It will not be an issue as more people accept that they are living in a world where it is the norm to share everything for the better/common well-being. For example, in terms of healthcare, the sharing of data—with friends, family, and HCPs, as well as with e-health records—will transform the healthcare infrastructure, leading to lowered costs and better human well-being on a global level.”

Kelly Baltzell, CEO for Beyond Indigo, wrote, “The definition of privacy is undergoing change. What we considered privacy in the past is gone. In a sense, we are moving to a more open society, where everything can be tracked and shared. This really is a full loop back to the days of the small town, in which everyone knew everyone’s business. The more we rely on devices, the more tracking will become a natural outcome. Data, devices, and information are all tools. How we use these tools is the key. People have gladly given power to those who would choose to abuse it because they get captivated by the device. The devices create pleasure (studies have shown the ‘ping’ of a smart phone text hits a pleasure center), and people shrug and say, ‘Who is searching for me anyway?’ Until people choose to take back control over their thoughts and actions, online privacy will be a non-existence. We literally still have people come to us, horrified that what was posted on a message board was seen by all. People forget that the device on which they are having a one-on-one relationship, in private, is actually just a door to a very public world. The businesses that could educate people about control over their online lives are the same ones that want people to freely give away their information. Privacy will become more specific to certain areas of peoples lives. If people want something to remain private, they will learn to do it offline, have conversations in person, and move to handwritten letters—if they care. Most people do not care. They are completely unaware of how much of their lives are tracked and are stunned when they find out there movements can be tracked. By 2025, this will be the norm, unless people decide to change. I hope they change, but in reality, it is looking bleak that it will happen. It is time for people to learn they have the power to make choices.”

Giuseppe Pennisi, an employee of the Economic and Social Council of the Republic of Italy, responded, “I trust that, in 2025, there will be good balance between personal privacy, secure data, and apps. The key issue is, in my view, different: will Internet achieve a level of externalities and interdependence similar to that of previous innovations (i.e., mechanics, electricity)? It seems that, after a very innovative first ‘phase,’ research now concentrates on personal returns (i.e., enjoyment), rather than on social returns through externalities and interdependence. In Europe, the trend would be towards European regulations and closer coordination among European privacy authorities.”

Frank Thomas, a communications professional, wrote, “The continuing influence of US corporations, the US administration, and the Chinese state with the then-largest digital user base, will inhibit effective protection of user privacy. The situation is just to good for these major players to leave individual privacy rights below the level attained with international telegraphy or postal services in the nineteenth century. Who could have imagined that private corporations demand, and get, the right to read your address book, just under the pretense to send ‘better’ advertisements (as smartphone apps often demand)? There will be a continuing struggle on privacy between countries with a historical experience of dictatorship and foreign occupation, such as the majority of European, African, Asian and Latin American countries, whose populations will demand strong privacy, and the few Anglo-Saxon countries with their Puritan and dictator-free experience, who see no evil in living digitally naked. I have nothing to hide, so the state (or a corporation) can look into my intimacy, if I get a favor for it. As the US administration will not cede the administrative control of the Internet through ICANN, and the technological domination through Internet spying, the control perspective will more or less dominate. This will be largely influenced by the national cultures and international trends (in Europe, the Europe Union). There will be no unique, global public norms. There is a question of privacy concerns due to government action, corporate action, criminal activity, and NGOs activity. Concerning government action: if the United States will experience a major shift of surveillance techniques, from foreign spying to internal intelligence use, and if the United States will live a major scandal due to the use of internal intelligence by some player, and if the political elites feel menaced, then some legal norms about privacy will change. Today, the elites, as well as the mass user, are just naive. In the European Union, legal privacy norms might become stricter if the European Parliament gets more rights (i.e., the governments loose some). The situation in Europe will change if major European corporations will have the tangible proof that the NSA spying is, in fact, economical intelligence—and not anti-terrorist intelligence—gathering directed against their intellectual property and strategic interests, and they will have lost markets due to the cheating. Then, individual privacy concerns will be supported by corporate concerns. Only if both coincide, the feeble political response from European allied governments that are the targets of US surveillance will be overturned. If not, the proper interests of European governments (besides the United Kingdom) getting a small part of US snooping national surveillance. Concerning corporate action: Europeans have a more critical view of companies, and so, demanding complete access to, for instance, your contacts and call patterns [in exchange] for getting (sometimes) free access to an app, is already seen as an obstacle for the non-nerds. If companies continue one-sided changes of usage rules and push them in the currently aggressive communication style, privacy norms will become far more rigid in Europe. This is a sensitive matter for all countries with a history of police surveillance and dictatorship. It seems that US companies either do not understand this, or do not want to understand it. Today, they lack the sensitivity for this question and play the ‘Ugly American.’ Anyway, this provides leeway for attacks against major US companies. And, privacy will be a major attack point. There will also be major privacy breaches due to criminal activities, and this will reinforce the demand for further protection.”

Francis Osborn, a philosopher at the University of Wales-Lampeter, wrote, “Governments and businesses are extremely unlikely to create a secure and trusted privacy-rights infrastructure because, where privacy rights and online marketisation conflict, the buying public are consistently ready to take a convenient option, which compromises the security of their data. There are, and will remain, a minority who wish to ensure the security of their data and privacy, ensuring the continued demand for such a secure and trusted system, but buying and selling personal data is such a large part of marketising otherwise unprofitable online services that a compromise by 2025 seems impossible. There will likely be a divide between those who are, in 2013, very young, but who, by 2025, will be used to the transparency of the Internet in terms of our persona(s), in terms of our privacy, and in terms of the transparency of our Internet footprint, as well as those who are still used to—and more comfortable with—being able to compartmentalise and secure different aspects and areas of their lives.”

Daniel Castro, director of the Center for Data Innovation, wrote, “Privacy is a value that shifts over time based on culture and context. Old privacy fears will subside, and new ones will emerge as technology evolves. Consumers will accept or reject technologies based on their relative levels of privacy and the norms of the time. There is anonymity in a crowd, and as more people participate in different online forums, an individual’s relative privacy will increase.”

Sonigitu Asibong Ekpe, a consultant with the AgeCare Foundation, a nonprofit organization, wrote, “The reality in 2025 is the transfer of what had worked in the real world of business into the virtual world. Globalization has made privacy to be a thing of the mind. The Internet has provided us with tools to create our physical security policy. Everybody involved takes time to read, implement, and keep up with these security standards and is encouraged to ask questions and propose suggestions for improvement.”

John Klensin, a self-employed consultant focusing on Internet policy and technology and longtime IETF leader, wrote, “While making predictions a dozen years out is particularly hard in this area, it is hard to imagine a balanced and generally satisfactory solution, as long as the only satisfactory Internet business models that have been discovered in a number of related areas depend on making the user the product. Unless that changes, it is likely that the best that can be expected is a situation of continual tension between policy makers trying to set boundaries and corporations and other vendors trying to test limits or find loopholes.”

Dave Burstein, editor of Fast Net News, responded, “In making decisions like this, especially around monetization, corporations with the money for lobbying too often dominate. The result is weak protection for individuals. Most of us will continue to prefer our sexual behavior unobserved and will not go naked in public. Short of that, the majority will take a, ‘What the ****,’ attitude toward privacy.”

Takeshi Utsumi, founder and vice president for technology and coordination of the Global University System, responded, “This is the very basic premise for the healthy development of the Internet.”

Mark Nall, a program manager for NASA, responded, “There may be the illusion of personal privacy, but there are two main drivers against true personal privacy. The first driver is corporate need to understand the customer. Business economics will continue to drive this. The second driver is national security. Lone actors are a significant threat now, and advancing technology will make them an even greater threat in 2025. Automated monitoring will be used to help prevent future crimes. There already is little or no expectation of privacy online. This will continue, so I see little change by 2025.”

Fernando Botelho, a social entrepreneur working to enhance the lives of people with disabilities, wrote, “Wishing for something does not make it so. Change requires knowledge and wisdom, and these are fairly scarce luxuries among political leaders today. There is no sign that this is about to change any time soon. Even a few corporations that have looked beyond their most immediate interest in the past, to consider the larger picture, seem to be taking the easy short-term fixes these days.”

Olivier Crepin-Leblond, managing director of Global Information Highway Ltd. in London, United Kingdom, predicted, “Despite a lot of push and pull in the lead-up to 2025, policy makers will eventually get the right balance between personal privacy, secure data, and compelling content and apps that emerge from consumer tracking and analytics. That said, there will be some periods until then, in which personal privacy will appear to have been lost forever. Only through the continuous will of privacy advocates and their supporters will governments step in to protect their citizens and regulate privacy. By 2025, blatant cases of abuse of personal privacy will have been so publicised that the public will be much better informed than it is today. People might still be intent on giving out personal information, but they will want to know why and how it will be used—and have the means to make sure companies use it as they have declared they would.”

Mark Johns, a professor of media studies at a liberal arts college in the United States, said, “Innovation and monetization for commercial purposes will continue. But, the trend toward the sharing and commercialization of personal information will also continue, and it will become increasingly difficult for individuals to conduct their affairs online without corporations mining their personal data. Security breaches and identity theft will continue to be an issue. Individuals will assume a lack of privacy and will conduct themselves accordingly. The concept of personal privacy, pervasive in the West today, will become quaint. That said, there will always be efforts toward the clandestine, especially among those involved in illegal or stigmatized activities.”

Andrew Chen, associate professor of computer science and information systems at Minnesota State University in Moorhead, Minnesota, responded, “Everything will be as described, except individuals will not have ‘choices for protecting their personal information in easy-to-use formats.’ Privacy is a poorly understood concept. Public norms will be focused on the idea that the only ones who need privacy are criminals, and that if you really want privacy, you should obtain it through anonymity.”

Shahab Khan, CEO of PLANWEL, a nonprofit organization aimed at closing the digital divide, wrote, “This issue is too diverse for all countries to agree. Superpowers always have their own interests to look after. The developing world might agree. There would be a clear divide.”

Celia Pearce, an associate professor of digital media at the Georgia Institute of Technology, responded, “My leaning is towards ‘No,’ and here is why: For one thing, policy makers are largely clueless about the Internet. They have poured billions of dollars into cyber security from the perspective of cyber-terrorism and national security, including spying on Americans, but have turned a blind eye to many other aspects of the Internet that need attention. In my opinion, the biggest threat to privacy is corporations. If we do business with them, they take our private information and can do what they will with it, pretty much entirely unregulated. They can sell our information, pass it around to their other divisions, and so on. If we browse their websites, they can cookie us and track everything we do, again, unregulated. In addition, they can spam us without consequence. At this point, corporations are free to exploit their unlimited access to our personal information without any checks or regulation, and, sad to say, I am sure this will continue. At the present time, with all politicians on both sides of the aisle essentially in the pockets of giant multi-national corporations, this situation is only guaranteed to worsen. I should also add that one of my biggest complaints about corporations collecting our data is that they do not use it very well. I once saw an ad displayed on my Facebook page from an online store I frequently shop at for the dress I was wearing. Why, I had to ask myself, do they not know that I already have this dress, and why don’t they try to sell me something different? My biggest concern about the Internet at the moment is cyber-bullying and hate speech, especially misogynistic hate speech towards women. I am a video games scholar, and it is well known that, when women go into networked video games such as Halo or Gears of War speaking with their natural female voice or revealing their gender through a name or other means, they get harassed, told, ‘This game is not for you,’ and/or threatened with rape and so forth. And, anti-gay hate speech is so pervasive that it is commonplace. Women who speak out against sexism in the game industry are regularly threatened and harassed. Look at the case of Anita Sarkeesian’s Video Game Tropes Against Women series. Even before the series started, when it was still a kickstarter, a widespread virtual ‘lynch mob’ formed against her, including threats of physical harm and DOS attacks on her website. They also marked her feminist videos on YouTube as ‘terrorist’ and did a number of other things to undermine her free speech. Furthermore, this lynch mob was highly organized, mostly via the website Reddit, which does nothing whatsoever to moderate its content. There is a limit to free speech. Hate speech, rape, and death threats, and lies about people, are not free speech. Sadly, America continues to condone rape and bullying culture, as well as hate speech of various kinds. This exists at the highest echelons of our society. People on radio and TV are actually paid a salary to be professional bullies/hate speakers. Politicians regularly make comments that are clearly hate speech, such as comparing the president to Hitler, and this goes on unregulated, unfettered, and un-moderated by social mores. It is really unfortunate, and I am sure it is going to get worse, since nobody appears to be doing anything about it.”

Kath Straub, of Usability.org, responded, “By 2025, biometrics will allow unique and secure identification of individuals. Apps and content will continuously tailor themselves to the needs and whims of the individual. We will interact continuously with our technology, but it will take a very different form. We will not need to hold it in our hands, for instance. The way we ‘hold’ and convey our identity will change, but the norms will not be that different.”

Chris Uwaje, president of the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria, wrote, “The stabilizing element of the future of the new, ‘always-on’ (AO) world will be overwhelmingly determined by a ‘peace architecture’ that has stubbornly eluded humanity. Therefore, today, policy makers and technology innovators may not have the ability to create a secured, popularly accepted, and trusted privacy-rights infrastructure by 2025 without first of all understanding that a global peace architecture is fundamental to the stability and survivability of the future world. Today, we assume that ‘peace’ is an integral part of human behavior, which, by extension, negates the philosophy of security, liberty, and privacy. Therefore, the AO world must deal with a ‘peace engineering infrastructure’ as the survivability tool of the future. Indeed, the ‘speed phenomenon’ of the AO culture represents the greatest and fastest gateway to the destruction or safety of the future world! Future privacy may be upgraded if we establish a common social security number for all human beings, instead of their names and surnames, date of birth, etc. This limits the strings and shadows of relational databases and, at the same time, increases the protection of personal privacy.”

Paul M.A. Baker, associate director at the Center for 21st Century Universities (C21U) at the Georgia Institute of Technology, predicted, “There seems to be a variety of dimensions to the idea of trusted privacy-rights infrastructure. Policy makers and technology innovators do not necessarily have the same objectives, and while individuals may desire or expect secure, private information flow and transactions, there are most likely to be trade-offs that are reluctantly accepted. ‘National security’ will continue to be the justification for monitoring of information flows, justified by regulators, and the objective of monetizing or generating resources will drive the erosion of individual data privacy from the private sector side. I see at least two alternative scenarios: first—individuals beginning to abandon expectations of privacy, at least the way that we current expect it, and the development of workarounds such as synthetic constructed identities that will splinter the data envelope attributed to individuals—or, second—technologies that allow alternative networks of transactions (grey nets) that straddle legal and ‘official’ and illegal or unofficial nets.”

David P. Collier-Brown, a system programmer and author, wrote, “I expect the current excesses to be forced back, with slightly more guarantees of privacy, as we now have with physical mail and slightly less than lawyers and doctors have in their privileged communications with patients/clients. I expect at least four levels and three categories (orange-book style). The levels are: Privileged—communications with my doctor, lawyer, Member of Parliament, etc. Private—things I share only with selected correspondents. Business—things I share with particular businesses, with protections against aggregation. Public—things I share with everyone. The categories are orthogonal to these, and are—identified uniquely as me—I sign these with the private key I have registered with Elections Canada—identified for financial purposes—I sign these with a private key that has a credit card. The card issuer knows who I am, while others do not. A pen name and age is published for each of these, but it may not be strongly linked to me. (Right now, I use different middle initials to distinguish self-identifications; to you, I am David P. Collier-Brown; to American Express, I’m David A. Collier-Brown—unique—lots of pen-names, avatars and nicknames, partially trackable. I expect people to be less concerned about some areas, like pictures, but more concerned about others, like vendors doing cross-matching. Pictures of nude sunbathing will be about as embarrassing and threatening as naked baby pictures. Ads will have ‘just for me’ categories, but nasty snooping by advertisers will result in picket lines and class-action suits.”

Avery Holton, an assistant professor of communication at the University of Utah, wrote, “A privacy-rights infrastructure will not be implemented unless there is a major push for improved understandings of what it actually means to be digitally secure—that, as well as keeping pace with governmental surveillance. In 2025, there will be much more attention to surveillance. There will be more people guarding their content more than their physical things.”

Aziz Douai, a professor of new media at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in Canada, responded, “The high economic and political stakes involved in dominating and controlling cyberspace will continue to prevent technology innovators from creating a more secure and ‘trusted privacy-rights infrastructure.’ Users will be more jaded about online privacy because they will expect that it is the (huge) price they have to pay to participate in cyberspace.”

Agustin Rossi, a PhD candidate at the European University Institute (EUI), Florence, Italy, wrote, “There is a low probability that the Internet might become completely balkanized, a place where people will assume that their privacy rights are gone. This scenario, unlikely, but possible, if there is not a comprehensive public debate on data collection and surveillance, would have a huge impact on how we understand the Internet now. For me, it is impossible to rule it out; however, being that it is on the objective material interests of corporations and individuals to keep the Internet’s current political economy, while improving privacy, there are reasons to believe that such privacy-rights infrastructure would be created. It is hard to make such a prediction.”

Jimson Olufuye, chairman at the Africa ICT Alliance, wrote, “The drive for business is the need to provide solutions to global challenges. This is a challenge business has already started to address and could perfect, even before 2025. At this rate, there is little left to privacy; however, that ‘little’ could be a question of life and death and would only be activated by the most concerned.”

Micheal O’Foghlu, CTO of FeedHenry, based in Ireland, wrote, “There are many developments happening. There are pressures from large players, who control much of the infrastructure. There are pressures from governments and civil rights/privacy advocates. A new compromise will be reached that shares more than before ICTs came to dominate, but it will not be as much as the privacy activists fear. In general, younger people have fewer concerns than older people. As they grow older, they will probably become more conservative but still seem more liberal than we are today. Thus, the norm will shift towards more acceptance of sharing of certain types of data, particularly if suitably anonymised.”

Miguel Alcaine, the International Telecommunication Union area representative for Central America, responded, “Innovators and civil rights defenders will play a key role in putting in place tools and procedures, which will allow the evolution of Internet towards a better place in relation to the ever-ongoing balance between security and privacy. I find that people in general are foregoing their privacy up to levels unknown in the past. There is the possibility of having security and privacy dilemmas to be presented to children earlier in their life, as well as during their formation years, until they become professionals, which will allow them, as Internet natives—or broadband natives, or mobile natives, or ever-connected natives—to elaborate better rationales in relation to dilemmas presented by technology, where the ethical and moral dimensions will have a greater role.”

Mike Cushman, an independent researcher, wrote, “While a secure infrastructure will be technically practical, the security and military establishment will subvert it. Edward Snowden has made public what many long suspected that the leading service providers either did not want to, or were unable to, resist pressure from the NSA, GCHQ, and their equivalents elsewhere, to leave back doors unlocked. Too many people will accept the subversion of privacy as inevitable and just a ‘sad fact of life.’”

David Cohn, director of news for Circa, responded, “The incentives are not aligned properly for this to occur. Publicity will be assumed; not just that it is assumed one is in ‘public’—but one will assume that there could be ‘publicity’ around their actions. Privacy will be a privilege, and even in the act of being private, will be known. For example, I know if somebody is using Snapchat, they are having conversations that are private. Because privacy requires action, one cannot inconspicuously be private.”

Christopher Wilkinson, a retired European Union official, board member for EURid.eu, and Internet Society leader, said, “This question contains contradictions which belie the ‘Yes/No’ response. I do not accept that ‘compelling apps’ emerge from consumer tracking and analytics. I think that these techniques have nothing to do with the user experience, but rather are designed to customise advertisers’ opportunities. I would prefer to pay more for an Internet that is free of advertising. In Europe, they will not differ significantly from what they are now. The Internet operators should adapt their offerings to the privacy of individuals and to the law. With respect to apps, etc., ‘privacy by design’ should be the norm.”

Marti Hearst, a professor at the University of California-Berkeley wrote, “It can go either way, given the current situation with disclosures on government spying. Economic concerns and functionality needs—such as for healthcare and voting—should enable a trustworthy system, but fear, driving security concerns, can force it the other way. This is very hard to say, but I think the trend will continue towards less information being private, at least in Western cultures.”

David Ellis, course director for the Department of Communication Studies at York University in Toronto, responded, “Big corporations will always want more confidential data from customers, especially those in the targeted-ad industrial complex, since increasingly intrusive data-mining is the hallmark of success. These motives will apply less to firms whose business is not ad-supported, but instead, based on selling content and apps (and other digital retail goods). Yet, this distinction is by no means hard and fast, since lots of developers have shown they are not above deceiving end-users about their actions. Firms that are exposed may stop for a while, but it seems likely that most developers, in the tradition of the big dogs, like Facebook, will regard sanctions for intrusive behavior as a cost of doing business. Meanwhile, public interest advocacy groups (which are proportionately far more plentiful in the United States than in Canada) will keep fighting for some balance between the perceived needs of business growth and personal privacy. Like so much in online culture, however, privacy has no end game; the ‘right balance’ today will not be seen as workable tomorrow. By 2025, in any case, public perceptions about balance will have become more sophisticated. Perceptions will be sharpened by disclosures, such as those involving the NSA, as well as commercial actors and the heightened awareness of privacy issues that comes with them. Pew found last September that a surprisingly large number of Americans are taking steps to mask their online activities. But in doing so, mainstreamers will be bucking both technical progress and the contrary attitudes of developers, service providers, and advertisers, not to mention spies. First, invoking protection of any kind has always been challenging to lay users, whether because of the difficulties inherent in encryption technologies or simply because strong passwords are way too inconvenient for most people. Second, those who lust after consumer data, and have the resources, will always be one or two steps ahead. Just as mainstreamers have started to manage their cookies, for example, along come alternative technologies—like browser fingerprinting and mobile tracking—that are even more difficult to challenge. Third, even with heightened awareness on privacy issues, it is doubtful that mainstreamers have both an understanding of the motives behind running a business on customer data-mining, and the fortitude to withstand the seductive appeal of great convenience at low or no cost. By 2025, these trends are likely to be exacerbated by the appification of the Web and the growth of the Internet of Things and the far greater degree of intrusiveness they will enable.”

Andrew Rens, chief counsel for the Shuttleworth Foundation, replied, “I answer this as ‘no’ for policymakers and ‘yes’ for technology innovators. Policymakers will likely fail in this task, unless there are changes to democratic institutions that make them more responsive to citizens and less to proxies of multinational corporations. It is not always possible to code around bad laws and policies. Lawyers and activists will likely manage to carve out policy and legal space for innovation. Then, technology innovators will create the technological basis for people to have power over their personal information. In turn, control by people over their own information and other aspects of their communication will enable the trust necessary for businesses, especially smaller businesses, to make money via the Internet. There is no shortcut to monetization; it follows from giving people power over their information. In 2025, public norms will regard privacy as extremely important. Every institution and corporation will be regarded as duty bound, morally and, in most cases, legally, to protect the privacy of people. Those who come of age around 2025 will be aghast at the lack of privacy protection in 2013. They will regard it somewhat as a current generation regards the social acceptance of smoking in the 1950s—bizarre and disgusting.”

Nilofer Merchant, author of The New How: Creating Business Solutions Through Collaborative Strategy, wrote, “Unless something, or someone, disrupts the status quo, there is no reason for either business or government to enable the consumer to have more rights. In Google’s case (as an example), they gain nothing by tilting towards the consumer. America’s creation, and subsequent Constitution, allowed for the establishment of new ‘protocols’ for freedom, as well as for more open governance. Privacy will be reformed by 2025 by new ‘protocol’ leaders who advocate for new freedoms. Freedom in 2025 will be understood as being able to mange your data, your privacy.”

David Solomonoff, president of the New York Chapter of the Internet Society, wrote, “Internet standards groups will integrate strong end-to-end encryption into everything. Social media and Cloud services will become much more decentralized. Business models will shift so that the consumer is in control, rather than the vendor, with vendor relationship management (VRM). They may actually revert to older norms as people gain more control over their online presence. People want to share things with their friends, and there will always be exhibitionists, but the growing popularity of a service like Snapchat shows that young people, often thought to be the ‘post-privacy’ generation, do care about privacy.”

Alexander B. Howard, an expert on digital issues and government, wrote, “Public perceptions will vary by country. While it is impossible to predict the conditions in every polity around the globe, it is extremely likely that people will continue to live within different contexts for rights that are substantially informed by the constitutions (or lack thereof) adopted by the countries that they are born or reside within. For instance, will the world’s largest democracy, India, pass a privacy act similar to that of the United States by 2025? Policy makers in the United States and the European Union are likely to make some adjustments to data collection and usage by both private and public actors, despite industry and law enforcement resistance, but there will be a broad range of approaches and outcomes elsewhere. A much higher percentage of the public will understand that any action taken in view of another human with a connected smartphone or made upon a social media platform online could end up on YouTube or the evening news nearly instantly and potentially irrevocably. The ability of politicians and other public figures to keep the public’s business private will be substantially hindered, although wealthy and powerful people will continue to have the ability to pay to keep their private lives somewhat obfuscated. Social norms will evolve to a point where participants in dates and dinner parties will need to explicitly ask for agreement that conversations or other interactions be kept unrecorded.”

Tom Jennings, a respondent who chose not to share additional identifying details, wrote, “It will never happen. It never did and never will serve the interests of individuals; that brief historic moment existed only until corporations began wrangling it for their own ends (which was ‘inevitable,’ in the sense that all effort was to commercialize it from day one). When Internet use was de-restricted in 1993, it was handed to profit-making businesses, and not some public-serving entity like the US Postal Service (which would have been an ideal choice in many ways). That act speaks loudest. My guess is that the Internet as we know it—open protocols—will be replaced by inter-linked proprietary networks controlled entirely by corporate interests with a modicum of regulation and an extra heaping of government security infrastructure, a la NSA’s data extraction/warehousing. Government now, and probably for another decade or two (if it is not yet already permanent), has far more pressure to serve the needs of ‘business’ (a misnomer: multi-national corporations, i.e., Walmart, et. al, are hardly ‘business’ in any historic sense). ‘Apps,’ as opposed to flexible multi-purpose, adaptable programs running on general purpose computers (laptops, etc.), will further ensure the death of any egalitarian use of the Net; ‘apps’ turn Net services and their human users into ‘read-only’ users consuming information produced by content-providers. The language presages the act. It is already past the point where we have even legal access to the innards of software running on our personally owned machines (i.e., secure computing platforms from Microsoft, Apple, others). Who knows what will happen by 2025—it is not like ‘privacy’ ever had a hard definition; it was always contingent upon the loss of some ‘assumed’ part of culture. Privacy generally meant, ‘I assume no one is looking.’ Corporations are exploiting components of human interaction trivia that went unexamined, i.e., tracking individual incidental purchases, or ‘following you out of the store’ with identity tracking, etc. Whatever happens, there will be less self-control over the consequences of our personal actions, calling that privacy, or not, is another issue.”

John Anderson, director of broadcast journalism at Brooklyn College, wrote, “The trend is not positive, and the momentum toward eschewing privacy rights in favor of convenience and profitability has already overshot something resembling ‘the right balance.’ It will be extremely difficult to put the genie back into the bottle. I just do not see that the political or economic will be there for it, unless there is a massive sea change in the way our political system works. I fear we will be living in a world where biometrics will be a common thing, and privacy will be a premium luxury commodity. This is nearly impossible to imagine, as changes in this regard are happening within generations. By and large, my students see privacy as an esoteric thing that does not really have any bearing on their lives, and that scares me.”

John Mitchell, a self-employed lawyer who focuses on antitrust, copyright, trade associations, and free speech, wrote, “The longer lawmakers delay in creating a privacy rights floor, the greater the profit from data-mining and privacy invasions, and the more likely is lack of privacy to be seen as the norm. The profits, in turn, will allow for greater lobbying influence, in which increasing privacy will be pegged as job-killing and innovation-crushing. Because of the legislative failure to protect privacy (and, indeed, governmental complicity in data mining and invasion of privacy), the demand for privacy-protection technology and services will spur greater innovation in personal privacy protection, as well as greater ease of use of such technologies and services.”

Bill Woodcock, executive director for the Packet Clearing House, responded, “The year 2025 is 11 years away. Over the past 11 years, both public expectations and the reality of privacy online have degraded substantially, and I do not see any net reversal in the direction of that trend. There are certainly bits of progress here and there, but I imagine that in 2025 the same incentive structures will be in place: corporations will still see immense benefits to correlating and de-anonymizing PII, politicians will still either be in the pockets of lobbyists or pursuing their own unrelated agendas, and individuals, en masse, will still be too clueless to protect their own data. A new generation will have come of age at that point—people who have dealt with these issues since childhood. If we look at other generations that have come of age in eras of new technology (the automobile, television, ubiquitous advertising, etc.), we see a greater and more pervasive sophistication in parallel with ever-greater volumes of change. Following that logic, PII will be collected even more than now—literally, at every turn, in every public place, any time one uses most technology products; but, users will have a general awareness that that’s the case, and most users will take some steps to manage or mitigate it.”

Aaron Balick, a psychotherapist and author of The Psychodynamics of Social Networking, responded, “Technology develops in response to feedback from society by way of social shaping. Already, we have seen a great deal of responsive growth from a variety of online interfaces in response to the needs and desires of the populations they serve (and sometimes exploit). Social shaping is not a smooth process, and there are dominant structures that wield power more than others. That being said, I think the infrastructure with regard to security, liberty, and privacy online will continue to develop to concerns of different online cultures—individuals too will become savvier. The result will be far from perfect, but it will be responsive to changing social needs (which, themselves, are changing—i.e., relationships to privacy). There is some evidence to show that the younger generation feels differently about privacy than does the generation that precedes it. That being said, younger people do appear to be making thoughtful choices about their privacy—they may be doing differently from their parents, but it does not mean that they do not care. Public norms will shift with regard to greater tolerance and acceptance of information that may have been ‘over-shared,’ as there will be an entire generation who will be in the same boat on this one. New social networking platforms will continue to develop to enable different levels of privacy, and the general population will grow and learn to manage this better. Still, more information about our daily lives is uploaded into public or semi-public spaces than ever before (Google often does this on our behalf, whether we like it or not), so a certain degree of personal revelation will continue to be more available than it was in the past.”

John Senall, a principal and founder of Mobile First Media, LLC, wrote, “Consumer groups will push for increased regulation of personal privacy information and its use in marketing and data mining—regardless of current opt-in and opt-out options; however, the effectiveness and teeth of the new pilot legislation will be weak for a while, just like ‘Do not call’ lists and requests for no direct mail. There will be ways around it, for Internet companies to find gaps in the legislation to allow them to still profit from data mining. But, it is likely that many consumers will find the technicalities of getting one’s information protected complicated enough not to bother or be frustrated by the new processes. Fingerprint, retina, and other encryption sign-in and access techniques will continue to be widespread by 2025, and they will be the norm.”

Tapio Varis, chair in global e-learning for UNESCO, wrote, “The strengthening of global civic society and new civic competences—media literacy—will force this. People will have the right for data of themselves.”

Gary Kreps, director of the Center for Health and Risk Communication at George Mason University, wrote, “I am optimistic that advances in health information technology and policy will continue to advance the security and utility of these systems for commercial and health promotion activities. I have already seen improvements in online systems that provide consumers with increased security and privacy choices for conducting their personal and professional activities. Consumer demand will help increase the sophistication of information system security in the future. As consumers become more accustomed to using information systems for a variety of commercial, entertainment, education, communication, and health promotion activities, they will become more comfortable with the security of these systems and less concerned about breaches of privacy.”

Niels Ole Finnemann, a professor and director of Netlab, DigHumLab, Denmark, wrote, “Many efforts will be made, but the balance will continue to be contested. It will be difficult to ensure privacy protection, mainly because of the influence of global players and state intelligence institutions. The citizens will divide between those who prefer convenience and those who prefer privacy. Today, this is not least a matter of age, but it is likely that a part of the younger generations will care more about privacy, as social media becomes more trivial and as people become aware of long-term implications. Security, mainly, will be an issue of state control, depending, also, much on the character and level of global conflicts.”

Sakari Taipale, a social policy and new technologies researcher in Finland, wrote, “As far as privacy issues are regulated mainly at a national level, things will develop in different countries at a different pace. In my country, Finland, regulations are likely to develop rather slowly, step by step, as the current multiple party system hampers the implementation of substantial reforms. Recent happenings abroad (i.e., the Edward Snowden case and the NSA case), and in Finland (cyber-espionage at the Finnish Foreign Ministry), are also likely to promote a tightening of privacy and data security policies, which is not warmly welcomed by the profit-making sector. As people in Nordic countries also tend to think that a government provides them a secure living surrounding, I do not consider it very likely that we will have a generally accepted and trusted privacy-rights infrastructure by 2025. It is evident that privacy will be perceived differently in online and offline contexts in 2025. People will share more and more what was previously considered highly private and intimate in semi-public and public online platforms. This will slowly affect the boundary line between the public and the private, and it is likely to change legal interpretations of what is considered the violation of personal privacy.”

Uta Russmann, a professor of strategic communication management and new media, based in Vienna, Austria, wrote, “Corporations’ interests in private data of consumers, as well as consumers’ behaviour online, are too great; and, knowing that, by 2025, even more people—i.e., consumers—will be shopping and doing business online more than today, as it will become more of a daily routine for people, corporations do not have to ‘cooperate’ and act for the people’s best interest. The ‘concept’ of privacy will be broader: People will be more open about their private life, but only as long as they are controlling it themselves and not to others who spread information about their private life.”

Jonathan Sterne, a professor of communication studies at McGill University, responded, “Neither large-scale Internet business nor governments have shown an interest in protecting everyday users’ privacy. Of special concern is the degree to which Internet businesses depend on selling users’ data (‘anonymously’ or not), or to which they utilize advertising based on user data as their main source of income. If you compare today’s undergraduates with those of 2007 (at least mine), they are more conscious of privacy settings, as well as maintaining a public/private split on sites like Facebook. This suggests that the ‘Generation Y does not care about privacy’ talk had more to do with getting used to a new platform than changing social attitudes. Most—older—adults seem concerned about their privacy once they understand how online platforms actually work.”

Richard Osborne, a survey participant who shared no additional identifying details, commented, “Diversity will be the most common experience by 2025. Whilst still a global phenomenon, the Internet will be much more diverse with specific country-based and company-based digital places that have quite different attitudes to privacy, security, etc., within them. Some of these places will mirror geographical states and businesses, but others will be emerging digital only entities—i.e., Amazon and Google—which challenge existing preconceptions about security, liberty, and privacy, and ferment new thinking about right and wrong. In non-digital environments, what we choose to share with others is largely constrained by our own physical location. Where we are dictates who and what we can share, and sharing beyond that space requires conscious effort. In digital spaces, sharing not only becomes easier, but also transcends the physical world and allows us to reach individuals beyond our ‘normal’ reach. This challenges us to decide what it is we are happy sharing, and what it is that we are not happy sharing. I predict that we will, as a society, have a better appreciation of what is important to protect, what is OK to share, in what context, and with whom. Some myths about sharing will evaporate, as we start to realise that some of the risks and threats we have historically been concerned with are irrelevant, whereas new risks and threats will become clearer.”

Homero Gil de Zuniga, director of the Digital Media Research Program at the University of Texas-Austin, responded, “The threshold of what we mean by ‘private’ continues to shift. Digital ICTs have completely changed way we use information today, but they have also changed our perception of what is private. By 2025, many of the issues, behaviors, and information we consider to be private today will not be so. Unfortunately, privacy, as we knew it before social media and other ICTs, has vanished. In 2025, information will be even more pervasive, even more liquid, and portable. The digital private sphere, as well as the digital public sphere, will most likely completely overlap.”

Andre Brock, a survey participant who shared no additional identifying details, wrote, ” There will not be a secure, popularly accepted, and trusted privacy-rights infrastructure by 2025. In 2025, the United States will be an omnipresent surveillance state, even more so than today. Given lawmakers’ unwillingness to consider the privacy violations inherent in government (and corporate!) collecting of ‘metadata,’ coupled with the increasing number of ambient sensors in smartphones, I foresee that the expansion of personal information collection will continue to be exploited for profit and for ‘national security.’ While I am tarring smartphones with a heavy brush, thanks to their proximity to our person and status as genius loci of our social spheres, I am also concerned about the number of ‘quantified-self’ devices (and clothing), along with the incursion of the Internet of Things in our homes (i.e., the Nest thermostat, Internet-connected refrigerators, and smart toilets). And yet, the US Department of Health and Human Services does not apply HIPAA standards to the biometric information generated by quantified-self devices; HIPAA would provide a modicum of protection, portability, and codification for the health and location data generated by these artifacts. With respect to the Internet of Things, privacy concerns are more pressing, as these devices are tied to physical locations that more deeply contextualize the information they transmit. These devices and appliances are not yet infrastructure, but given continuing trends in low-power CPU design, I am convinced that we will continue to populate our domestic spheres with information gathering devices, and I have yet to see a considerate policy protecting our information access rights. There is a significant difference between the prompt for this question and the ‘Yes/No’ question; the latter asks whether policy makers will create a secure privacy-rights infrastructure, and the former asks what the public perception will be about privacy-rights infrastructure.“

Jon Lebkowsky, Web developer at Consumer’s Union, responded, “I have to answer, ‘Yes,’ to this question; the alternative is undesirable, if not unthinkable. Innovative developers have been researching, brainstorming, and experimenting toward the right set of technical solutions since the 1990s, but creating a viable technical infrastructure will not be enough. Business adoption, smart regulation, and some degree of cultural transformation, are all required to support online privacy and security as inherent assumptions of the online agora of the future. And, the concept and urgency of privacy may change, as well. The evolving culture of sharing diminishes the cultural value of absolute privacy. In the future, we may be less guarded about our lives and less protective of at least some elements of privacy. Two important questions include: how safe and secure can we presume to be as we become less private? And, what is the minimum desirable level of privacy?”

Victor Bahl, director and research manager for Microsoft Research, wrote, “The bar for what is considered private, and for what is not, will be different from what it is today. Citizens will continue to stress about the information technology and can infer from what appears to be random and uncorrelated pieces of data. Laws will complicate the usefulness of the technology, so people will be confused about what they are giving up. Different form-factor devices will make it harder for users to understand what they are compromising.”

Nicholas Bowman, a professor at West Virginia University, commented, “I do not believe this will ever be a ‘solved’ problem, given that there is a diametric opposition between ‘monetization’ and ‘personal informative.’ A wise scholar—I believe it was Steve Jones (of the University of Illinois at Chicago)—once said that ‘if you don’t pay for content, you are the content,’ and there is an enduring truth to this; it applied to the penny presses of New York City, and it applies to the ‘free’ Internet today. At least, in 2013, the only monetary value of the Internet seems to be for nano-casted advertising, which is only possible when users tell us who they are. The most secure data is the data one stores in one’s head; it is also the most valuable data in today’s information economy. Unless we find a different economic model to base our information infrastructure on, there will be no solution. Frankly, I am not even sure if we really have a problem. By definition, norms are always subject to the influence of time—in the 1900s, it was inappropriate for one to show their ankles in public at a beach, yet, by the 1940s, the revealing two-piece bikini was sold to the public as a way to conserve water-proof fabrics for the war effort; in just 40 years, one’s skin went from being a private affair to an expositionist one.”

Larry Press, a writer, consultant, blogger, and part-time professor, said, “Security and privacy will evolve, but they will not come to a stable conclusion for several reasons: first, ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ are subjective—one person’s privacy for freedom fighters is another person’s terrorism. Second, people willingly trade privacy for free services like those provided by Google and Facebook; that also gives those companies power to influence legislation. Third, technology—whack-a-mole—will continue to evolve. My guess is that people will be less concerned about privacy by 2025—I teach, and my students are pretty much indifferent.”

Jane Vincent, a fellow at the Digital World Research Centre, responded, “It is already obvious that there are opposing interests in the policymaking and global implementation of proprietary brands. In 2025 public norms will probably be different due to greater use of digital technologies in every aspect of life, placing private data in the cloud globally. Immortality of digital identities will be a major issue, and the globalisation of cloud management and different attitudes to data protection and privacy will not have been resolved.”

Mattia Crespi, president of Qbit Technologies LLC, responded, “I believe it is a must. It is out of question to think we can fail in getting to the right policies and find a balance by those years. Already now, the Internet of Things forces us to re-invent communications and policies, between protocols, devices, humans, and machines. By 2025, we should have reached a decent, balanced set of policies to support our interconnected lives. There will be a clear difference in the type and forms of data and privacy connected to it. For instance, I may not care if a very personal detail of mine is shared, as long it is done anonymously. I believe privacy in the future will be modular, flexible, and adaptable. There will be a strong link to time—on how long things can be kept private. Total recording will generate repositories of any action in our lives, and privacy will be more and more related to time in the sense of past actions, present actions, and future actions.”

Stacey Higginbotham, a Texas-based technology writer, and frequent blogger for GigaOM, commented, “Consumer data is so valuable in aggregate to corporations and for policy (and so cheap, from an individual perspective), that we will get paper tiger regulations that appear to protect individual data, while giving over aggregate data that is not supposed to be personally identifiable; however, that data will be easily tracked back to an individual, though we may have more protections in place that mean governments need a warrant to do so. When it comes to redlining and price gouging based on that information, I expect we will have to see some lawsuits, as opposed to laws. Congress will not go there. In terms of security, we will see some fines that will influence companies to build better security into their products from the get-go, but they will be circumvented. Right now, most companies are not thinking about that at all, so it is low-hanging fruit to start. People will be accustomed to being monitored, and it will take increasing amounts of technical savvy and paranoia to remain untracked. I believe social mores will relax on the job-finding side, so your drunken Facebook pictures or trips to strip clubs will be less harmful from an employment perspective, although possibly still something to be held over someone’s head, if necessary. People will rebel if their personal spaces, such as their homes, are broadcast online, but they will ignore it if that same information is available with a warrant, or whatnot.”

Laurent Francois, executive creative strategist for RE-UP, said, “I cynically think that, in 2025, we will experience big ‘blocks’ of interfaces, probably gathered around political or cultural objectives. As there will be this sort of oligopolistic digital world, I doubt there will be a consensus between nations with very versatile geopolitical and technological strategies. There will probably be more digital worlds: we might see new, ‘off the grid’ systems, which will co-exist and live out of infrastructures initially shaped by governments. In terms of business relationships, consumers will probably value a minimum standard of privacy. But again, as it is already a very complicated mind game (just look at what we already accept when we install a Facebook app!). I am not sure that the general public will shift its attitude if the consumer experience satisfies them. I guess that it is going to become tougher. I hope there will be more consultations of the users when it comes to changing telecommunications providers and ISPs, moreover because these private services have a tremendous impact on the public sphere.”

Ian O’Byrne, an assistant professor at the University of New Haven, wrote, “I have terrible concerns about privacy, identity, and our online presence. I have little faith, or trust, in policy makers, governments, and businesses and their ability to secure freedom, liberty, and privacy in online spaces. I do believe in the power of the Internet, and think that programmers, coders, and those that are able to ‘write’ online will be able to create, protect, and secure these basic freedoms. I am beginning to think that social norms will continue to evolve and become just that—social norms. With cell phones, we initially thought it would be ridiculous to use the cell phone at dinner, out in public. Now, we are quickly getting to a point where people wear phones, cameras, and devices in public. We can use devices on flights and get online. Simply put, we are in the middle of two models. I think we will find a way. I trust human nature, for better or worse.”

David Sarokin, president and researcher at xooxleanswers.com, wrote, “We already have, and will continue to have, a relatively secure system allowing for innovation and monetization. The catch, though, is implementing easy-to-use privacy choices. The rapidly changing environment of business models, tech platforms, and privacy concerns have made this an elusive goal—today and in the future. The public will be forced to accept a loss of privacy, particularly regarding government snooping and the intersection of government/corporate information collection on individuals. I do not think the toothpaste can be put back in the tube, as far as loss of privacy goes. But, it comes at a cost of greatly reduced trust in both government systems and corporations having consumers’ best interests at heart.”

Andrew Nachison, co-founder of We Media, wrote, “I needed a third choice: ‘Yes, but…’ I have no doubt that policy makers around the globe will update privacy laws. But, they will not be uniform, or uniformly applied, and they will trail commercial and non-governmental innovations. Businesses will continue to seek new and better ways to track and persuade consumers to make purchases, as well as to manage risk. Governments in democracies will remain conflicted between the interests of citizens and those of businesses that drive economies and politics; and, governments in dictatorships, so long as they survive—and like those in democracies—will depend on surveillance technologies to track and suppress dissent. I favor stronger protections for privacy. I expect tech innovators to be the primary obstacles and providers—and I do not think policy makers will lead or create the infrastructure. I suspect we will see more inconsistencies and schizophrenia—continuing erosion of expectations of privacy for communication and digital experiences—as we see today with young people who presume their digital lives and ‘vapor trails’ are public, or tracked by someone, but they do not fully appreciate what that means; and, at the same time, older people, who instinctively distrust government, fear for the safety and success of their children and worry about who has access to their data streams, especially their electronic health records.

Rajnesh Singh, director in the Asia-Pacific region for the Internet Society, wrote, “Over the last twenty-something years, the Internet has proven to be highly adaptable, and innovation and creativity have flourished because of its open nature. For its continued future success, we need to ensure we protect and preserve this basic tenet. We are now in the phase where data analytics is seen as the key to continued business success and to maintain a competitive edge, and, in some ways, some of the legal and personal boundaries are being pushed and tested. Out of this will evolve the need to consider how all these issues stack up in a dynamic environment that will be far more connected as we progress to 2025—including the fact that machine-to-machine communications will be a large part of the future. The whole notion of privacy has been evolving over time, and it will continue to do so. What privacy means to me is different from what it meant to my parents or grandparents. Today’s younger generation is far more liberal with sharing (be it offline or online activities) through various online/social media, and future generations are likely to further this trend. This means our treatment and understanding of privacy must also evolve—from both the policymaking and technology perspective.”

Randy Kluver, an associate professor of communication, and global Internet researcher based at Texas A&M University, responded, “Such a framework will indeed be created. I am not sure that it will come about by policy makers, but rather, the market will demand that something be created. I do think that technology innovators will be part of this process, but I am not sure that it will, or should, be involved in some way with the regulatory process and bureaucracy. I think we all, right now, are trying to come to grips with the implications of the Snowden revelations. We will not be able to roll back the current level of surveillance, but we will come up with a new, lower standard for personal privacy and, hopefully, do a better job of policing the surveillance mechanisms.”

Luis Hestres, a doctoral candidate and graduate research assistant at American University’s School of Communication, wrote, “Recent history suggests that two factors will collude to derail, or at least postpone, the creation of such an infrastructure: the economic incentives of technology companies, as well as the general public’s apathy about the issue. Technology companies have a strong economic incentive to erode users’ privacy as much as possible in order to monetize their data. Meanwhile, concerns about privacy remain the province of a small issue public that currently does not have the critical mass to enact policy changes. Short of an unexpected event—a massive breach of data security, for example—there is neither the economic incentive, nor enough public outcry, to change our current course. As more and more people share content online that they later regret sharing, norms may evolve to become more forgiving of such embarrassments. This may be especially true of Millennials, who have grown up used to sharing most of their activities online—many of which could prove embarrassing later in life.”

Ed Lyell, a college professor of business and economics, and early Internet policy consultant dating back to ARPANET, observed, “As much as one tries, it is likely to be impossible to keep ahead of hackers, independent and national state-led. The economic incentives are great, and it is technically very easy to track everything, such as Twitter having more metadata than the actual 140-character messages. My young college students seem unconcerned with maintaining their privacy, so there will be less and less political pressure to control privacy access.”

Salanieta Tamanikaiwaimaro, president of the South Pacific Computer Society, a Fiji-based activist involved in global Internet governance discussions, wrote, “Global trends indicate the compelling need to control and secure data. The continuing, evolving war for space territory, as well as complex political layers, will make striking the balance between innovation and security a mystical thing of the past in 2025. There will be no privacy! Norms are accepted behavior. There will be resistance to fighting for privacy, but the manner in which technology is evolving, coupled with mankind’s insatiable need for ‘more’ (consumerism), will create a tension, causing industrial espionage—this is already happening—that, coupled with states’ incessant desire for cutting edge information—which has been happening for centuries—and suspicion of each other will cause unparalleled invasion of privacy, where every picture taken, every word spoken, and every transaction made will be a public norm.”

Brad Berens, a senior research fellow at the USC Annenberg Center for the Digital Future, wrote, “Citizen/customer/consumer/user privacy in the United States is kind of like soccer: it is the topic of a future that is never going to show up.”

Marina Gorbis, executive director at the Institute for the Future, a nonprofit research organization, responded, “People will realize the value of their personal data and increasingly use it as currency in various online and offline transactions. Creation of privacy around personal data will be driven not so much by policy and regulatory changes, but instead by advances and innovations in technologies for data protection and personal data management.”

Mike Osswald, vice president for experience innovation at Hanson Inc., wrote, “While there are variations on how open or closed people want to be, the technology and laws will catch up and become standardized across sites and platforms—but not consistent around the world. Governmental monitoring will always be an issue; a program like the TSA PreCheck will be put in place so ‘good citizens’ can clear their name in advance and be subject to less scrutiny. It will become more polarized and visible—some people will realize they do not care if they are tracked, and have no concerns, while others will employ all manners of protection, both online and in the physical world. People in countries that have little personal rights will be more secure, and people who are planning for the apocalypse will add privacy protection activities to their plans.”

JD Lasica, social media consultant, online journalist, and blogger, wrote, “There is no national consensus about what the correct balance should be, and the dynamics of our media ecosystem are pushing us further away from any such consensus. Privacy will continue to be controversial, even in 2025, as most people accept the tradeoff of privacy in return for convenience and greater social capital in our commercial transactions and our national security apparatus. A major terrorist event between 2018 and 2025 will further propel us toward greater use of surveillance. Meantime, a smaller subset of the US population will move in the other direction, with people removing themselves from the grid in any way they can.”

Geoff Livingston, author, and president of Tenacity5 Media, wrote, “Technology companies will be forced to develop opportunities to protect personal data. We can see from Snapchat’s success that people do not want every piece of information to be available for mining purposes. As the age of context progresses, the desire to remain private in some aspects of life will increase. Companies will be forced to offer this type of privacy, or they will lose customers and prospects. We will see a much more liberal view of privacy. Things we did not expect to become public will become public, and we will gladly share that information. For example, eating and exercise habits are now becoming increasingly public thanks to wearable technologies from Nike and Fitbit.”

Thomas Haigh, an information technology historian, and associate professor of information studies at the University of Wisconsin, observed, “I suspect that things will not have changed very much from the present situation, at least in the United States. Expectations for privacy will continue to shrink.”

PJ Rey, a PhD candidate in sociology at the University of Maryland, wrote, “First, we need to ask what incentive structures are in place for policy makers and business executives to pursue meaningful privacy protections. Without significant reform to the electoral process and updated regulatory infrastructure, it is hard to imagine that we will see much progress. Hopefully, we will get beyond hyperbolic declarations of the ‘death of privacy’ and understand that privacy and publicity are often mutually reinforcing. This would allow us to have more nuanced discussions about what responsibilities we have to one another and to what standards we should hold institutions.”

Ben Fuller, dean of humanities and sustainable development at the International University of Management in Windhoek, replied, “Yes, but the road there will not be easy. The extent to which our lives, choices, preferences, whereabouts, and opinions will be known and logged on the Internet will expand dramatically. The amount of data on individuals and groups will be a tempting morsel, as marketers, businesses, governments at all levels, law enforcement, security agencies, community groups, personal friends, and personal adversaries may want access to part or all of that data. There will be a long process, somewhat akin to other rights-related campaigns, where basic principles of privacy will be adopted—perhaps initially at an international level—and then operationalised at national and local levels. Policies and laws will be developed, tested in courts, adjusted, and affirmed. In the marketplace, businesses will have to provide options and opportunities to reaffirm and protect the privacy of their clients. A key part of this process will be the general public. Will they demand protection of their privacy by governments, organisations, and businesses? Will people be willing and empowered to take governments, or others, to court in order to protect their privacy? Will they, as consumers, demand privacy protection from businesses? Personally, I do not think we will ever be able to say, ‘We have struck the right balance. Let us all go have a beer and feel good about ourselves.’ Balance has to be interpreted to mean established legal and social structures that protect privacy, as well as an educated populace able and willing to defend and assert privacy. Protection of privacy will be ongoing and take place at many levels within society. The best we can do is ensure that the structures to protect privacy are in place and effective. I do not think our norms about privacy will change much, though our knowledge and awareness of privacy and its impact on our lives will change dramatically. I doubt if I have known anyone in my 63 years who wants to have every detail of their lives put out for all to see. I foresee that privacy will increasingly become an issue of public debate. We could very well end up with Internet privacy becoming a topic discussed in school classes and other public fora. Already people are learning that posting things on Facebook and other social media can get you convicted of crimes. As people become aware of the consequences of living in a connected world, they will demand more information and knowledge about those consequences and how to protect themselves.”

Sivasubramanian Muthusamy, of the Internet Society chapter in Chennai, India, wrote, “2025 is 10 years from now. That is enough time for the policymaking process to mature for the good of the Internet. The governments have been paying attention to Internet governance issues, beginning barely eight to ten years ago—and many governments even later. The evolution of the Internet and its process of loose and distributed ‘governance,’ or coordination largely by the broader Internet community, is disruptive (unprecedented), and so is not easily understood or accepted by policymakers. The same is true of business, which still has not understood how the Internet model works, so there is reluctance on the part of business to concede user’s rights. The thinking would broaden, while voices would grow to be more effective during the next ten years to move government and business policy towards fair policies. By 2025, there would be a right balance between privacy rights and social obligations to provide essential visibility.”

Michael Glassman, an associate professor at Ohio State University, wrote, “The Internet will move away from being monetized and become much more about education than business. There will still be businesses on the Internet, but I think much of the early hype will begin to disappear. I am also not sure it is going to be possible to create a privacy-rights infrastructure. I believe we will need new definitions of social privacy. By 2025, we will be moving toward a much different definition of rights and morality. The Internet cannot help but change our society in ways we have not even thought of yet.”

Michael Maranda, president of the Association for Community Networking, and board member with the Emerging Futures Network, replied, “I do not expect the reality to be much different than the present situation. Yes, 12 years is a very long time in the technology sector, but things do not move very fast in these domains. The bigger question is about security and privacy from who and/or what? By that I mean: Do we include security from government surveillance? It will take a very committed effort to make meaningful change on this front. I am not hopeful. We have a lot to work out in the tension between openness and transparency, privacy, and security.”

Mikey O’Connor, one of two elected representatives to ICANN’s GNSO Council, wrote, “The public will cheerfully trade massive invasion of their personal privacy in exchange for goods and services they would otherwise have to pay for. In so doing, they will also increasingly compromise the privacy of those they interact with, albeit inadvertently. If the current privacy-awareness surge is turned back by the well-organized coalition of private and governmental surveillance lobbyists, it seems quite possible that this will be the tipping point, beyond which there is no return. Thus, by 2025, this battle will be lost—and much of our humanity with it. On the other hand, let us think positively. Global climate change may have reached that tipping point, as well—in which case, we can be spectators in a race to see which exterminates us first—humans or Mother Nature. We are at a tipping point. We are teetering on the capability of truly effective mind control. Once we have actually arrived there, the concern about privacy will simply be scrubbed off the agenda, and privacy will become ever less of a concern as the older, less plugged-in generation dies off.”

Sylvia Caras, an activist, and leader of the People Who organization, wrote, “The more that innovators devise protections, the more there will seem to be challenges to hack and crack—just because the obstacle is there. It is not necessarily for evil. The Web will fray into multiple Nets, which may be more secure. Expectations will be different, with less concern about medical and criminal information and more penalties for using that information as a deprivation.”

Lucas Gonze, a survey participant who chose not to share additional identifying details, wrote, “The biggest bottleneck in the improvement of privacy technology has been lack of consumer demand. With the Snowden revelations, that is no longer lacking. Privacy from government surveillance may become a major political cause. This is not only in the United States, but also across the world, in any country where citizens have an expectation of their government serving them.”

Dave Kissoondoyal, CEO for KMP Global Ltd., and Internet consultant active in Internet governance activities, wrote, “Privacy of personal rights, secure data, and compelling content will be among the hot topics to be discussed in the International fora for the coming years. I am sure that there will be more and more pressure from all stakeholders, including privacy rights activists of the civil society, as well as from governments for restricted access and regulated use of consumer tracking and analytics data. Since the Internet is regulated by itself, technologists will come up with the appropriate solutions. Following the Snowden Case, concerns of privacy have been aroused by individual Internet users, as well as by corporations and governments. In the year 2025, Governments would already have signed conventions for the respect of privacy rights on the Internet, and technology would provide the necessary safeguards for the norms about privacy.”

David Bollier, a long-time scholar and activist focused on the commons, responded, “Policymakers will notcreate a secure, popularly accepted, and trusted privacy-rights infrastructure, nor will the dominant ‘tech innovators,’ because of their prior structural limitations. The existing policymaking process is either dysfunctional (Congress), unduly influenced by major corporate players (Congress and regulatory agencies), or simply incapable, as a centralized political institution, of making flexible, user-responsive policies. Any successful infrastructure in this area will need to treat data as a common pool resource and devise commons-based governance regimes that are facilitated by non-proprietary, open source software platforms. Neither government nor conventional tech innovators are likely to see this reality, nor have the means or motives to actualize it; however, there are feasible alternatives already being developed, such as by ID3 in Boston (www.idcubed.org). Here are two pieces that shine a light on this area—one by Doc Searls (summarizing Fred Wilson)—http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/doc/2013/12/14/fred-wilsons-talk-at-leweb—and the other, my own piece (with John Clippinger) on ‘authority and governance’ as the next big Internet disruption: http://bollier.org/blog/next-great-internet-disruption-authority-and-governance. Everything will depend upon the evolutionary pathway for a new privacy-rights infrastructure and the supporting technology, legal, policy, and participatory ecosystem. The existing structures are highly unlikely to yield the infrastructure that we need—but an alternative system is still possible, if only because the latent network value of doing so is so huge. Assuming the infrastructure development pathway mentioned above comes to pass, privacy norms will be affirmatively structured and managed, mostly by tech systems amenable to meaningful human control, rather than ‘taken for granted’ as a natural social reality. This will require that ordinary individuals be empowered to protect their privacy rather than relying upon government surrogates to do so. We have seen how government is far too beholden to national security and incumbent corporate interests, and too centralized and bureaucratic in a networked age, to be an effective watchdog and implementer of larger collective concerns.”

Kevin Marks, a survey participant who chose not to share additional identifying details, commented, “The advertising-funded user silos that dominate the Web now will be displaced by services that interoperate using standard protocols, but they do not need to track and correlate billions of users to extract advertising revenue, as they charge in a more balanced way for their services. The broad social context of varying publics that we navigate, and the various methods we use to do it, will be the same; what will be different is what is seen as shameful and what is seen as worth publicly proclaiming. Those mores move differently. ‘Spammer’ may be an epithet that needs to be asterisked out in case it shocks people.”

George Lessard, information curator and communications and media specialist at MediaMentor.ca, wrote, “In my opinion, there are too many competing (especially big business and government) interests, who want access to information tied to specific users, to make this happen by 2025 (if it ever happens). The only reason we have as little privacy as we currently do is that the value of this information was not fully understood when the current rules went into effect. One hope is that the public will be even more concerned by 2025—but I think not—and that is because the general public has been trained by marketing, big business, and government to believe that they are trustworthy—but I think not.”

Mike Jackson, a survey participant who did not share additional identifying details, observes, “Privacy security is like counterfeiting. There will always be hacking for legal and illegal reasons. The question is whether society will be shocked and reverse its opinions on privacy. The jury is out.”

LR Shade, a professor specializing in information studies at the University of Toronto, wrote, “To date, there is little government appetite for reigning in the power of social media companies; social media companies themselves are embedded a bit too cozily with non-regulated state entities such as the NSA and the various equivalents in other countries. There needs to be a wider public discussion about the threats to personal privacy, freedom, and autonomy, but there is no political will to do so at this time. I do think, though, that citizens are developing digital policy literacy about the structures of social media tools, apps, etc., and will demand more accountable and transparent governance processes from these companies. There will be more awareness of situational and contextual aspects of how we use social media and other technologies, as well as how best to control our own privacy.”

David Allen, an academic and advocate engaged with the development of global Internet governance, replied, “’The Internet’ is, of course, a global phenomenon. While some nations may likely produce, by 2025, such a trusted infrastructure, it seems clear that other nations most certainly will not. Europe seems likely to continue strongly on the privacy front. On the other hand, totalitarian regimes have too much at stake to follow such a dictate. Will the United States produce such an infrastructure internally? The United States moves incredibly slowly on the things. To predict, for 2025, is a chancy bet. Will some global governance structure arise to produce such a global infrastructure? That seems unlikely, particularly with the tension between the West and pointedly non-democratic states.”

Brian Butler, a professor at the University of Maryland, responded, “Within the United States, we have already largely decided to privilege the corporate use of personal data for ‘utilitarian’ purposes, to the point where is it difficult to see what could happen in the next twelve years to shift this. Surveys report that people are (generally) weary of sharing personal data with the government but are largely oblivious to the amount and range of data they share with businesses. When pointed out, they often provide utilitarian arguments as to why this is ‘OK.’ Given this general state of affair, it seems unlikely that any significant investment will be put into this (in the United States). I suspect that there is a developing privacy ‘divide’—one group (the same group that ‘wins’ in the case of the digital divide) will have the technical and literacy skills to manage privacy—but because of this, they will be cavalier with this (hence the ‘privacy is outdated’ idea). On the other hand, individuals who lack the skills, ability, or time to manage this complex issue will be increasingly subject and resigned to less and less privacy and control. One thing that we have to remember is that it is hard to figure out the institutional and technical aspects of privacy if you are working two or three high-effort jobs and trying to stay awake.”

Kalev Leetaru, Yahoo fellow in residence at Georgetown University, wrote, “While there has been tremendous discussion on this area, and the European Union continues to put forth legislation, I strongly doubt that we will see, in the next 10 years, a single, unified privacy infrastructure that spans all products, platforms, and countries. Part of this is that privacy entails, by its nature, some degree of identification in order to grant control and ownership, which is itself dangerous in many areas of the world with repressive governments; i.e., to give someone control over their privacy settings means knowing who they are (even a virtual ID) and grouping their content together. The even larger issue, though, is that, while people publicly discuss wanting more privacy, they increasingly use media in a way that gives away their privacy voluntarily—for example, broadcasting their location via phone GPS when posting to social platforms, photographing their entire lives, etc. People seem to want to be famous, documenting their lives to the most minute detail, in ways that would have been unheard of to a past generation. Moreover, each time a major social platform reduces privacy even further, there is a roar of public backlash and promises that people will leave en masse, but no one actually leaves the platforms, and in fact, more sign up. Thus, people are not voting with their feet. Companies have no incentive to increase privacy, which reduces revenue possibilities in terms of selling advertising and products based on identity and desires. The fact that social companies are based in one country and used in another makes for a complex realm of laws and applicability. Given that, in the decade since the rise of early social media platforms, we have seen unprecedented exponential growth away from data privacy, I doubt that we will do a U-turn towards a totally unified global platform in the next decade. For my detailed thoughts on this, see the chapter Tony Olcott and I wrote for a volume on changing norms on privacy.

Riel Miller, the head of foresight for UNESCO, based in Paris, responded, “In 1997, the OECD International Futures Programme published a briefing on the future of the Internet. At that point, the necessity of extending existing transaction infrastructure to the cyber-frontier was obvious if one projected the creation of a ‘settled”’ context for interaction and transactions; however, such change does not take place without significant changes in the allocation of power and the emergence of new institutions. This is a dialectical and complex emergent process, where experimentation and destruction, steps forward and backward, weave together a non-predictable path. Again, in the late 1990s, it was quite clear that new rules would be needed; however these are not just extensions of existing rules and improvements to existing systems. One of the key changes is a novel set of developments, changes in the conditions of change, that will enable a move beyond the garbage-in and garbage-out type of data collection that is simply generating bigger samples for herd-type crowdsourcing. Emerging out of the vast range of experiments taking place that seek and make sense of specificity may come new mechanisms and norms for giving substance and detail to the ephemeral, rather than the average, scale, statistics. Such a change would entail a capacity change, an ability and desire to refine observations and continuously negotiate meaning.”

Nishant Shah, a visiting professor at The Centre for Digital Cultures at Leuphana University in Germany, wrote, “I like to think of the future of the digital and the online, through historical trajectories of older forms of technology-mediated publics. What we have right now is a series of experiments to determine the contours, the risks, the acceptable, and the limits of Internet regulation and governance. As technologies mature, and as we learn to understand how they integrate into our everyday practices of quotidian survival to abstract governance, we will have to find a way by which balanced approaches that appease and protect all the different stakeholders are developed. To make technologies sustainable, it will have to look at questions of security, liberty, privacy, etc., seriously, as well as establish contexts so that they can actually be used equally and with equity. One of the ways in which the norms would be different would be to do with the structure of norm transmission itself. We have a model of norm-making that is structured through transmission and broadcast-based models, where state and state-like prototypes are at the centre of defining the limits and regulation of our privacy. But, as we move more into the network paradigm, we are going to start facing an interesting phenomenon, where these prototypes might not be the primary addressee of our concerns around privacy and its functions. They might be one of the addressees, but things might take a peer-to-peer turn, where we become collective safeguards of privacy that is transactional, actionable, negotiated, and contested, rather than an inalienable right that is enshrined through constitutional decrees.”

Matias Perel, a respondent who chose not to share more identifying details, wrote, “Policy makers are right to force companies to follow policies that protect the privacy of their customers, as well as that protect their data. At the same time, companies should continue to use data for business purposes as long as they follow those policies.”

Rex Troumbley, a graduate research assistant at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, wrote, “Based upon my reading of trends over the last few years, policymakers are more likely to regulate security and privacy requirements online; however, it is important to note that the Internet is not terribly old or stable. In 10 years, by 2025, we should not expect the Internet to be around at all, or, if it is, we should expect that the online experience would be radically different from what it is today, just as it was a decade ago. Given recent revelations regarding NSA spying and the technology industry’s complicity with these program, by 2025, we can expect that public norms will have shifted away from an understanding of privacy as antithetical to security, and towards an understanding of privacy as control over information collected by governments and corporations. Privacy will not be going away, contrary to the beliefs of many, but it will be understood as something needing protection in order to ensure national, civic, and private safety.”

Mark Andrejevic, a university professor responded, “The pace of change and innovation is such that the challenge will be to come up with technology-neutral principles and mechanisms for enforcement and accountability. In practice, however, it is extremely hard to come up with such principles because the technological constantly changes the terrain for understanding what privacy is and how it functions. Notions like ‘personally identifiable information’ and ‘informed consent,’ for example, have become de-stabilized beyond recuperation. There is also a structural disconnect between the pace of technology development, that of culture acclimatization, and that of regulatory response. Finally, there is deep disharmony between commercial and public priorities that mitigates toward the exploitation of these structural disconnects. I suspect that privacy may not be best grounding concept for sorting out the various competing tensions around information collection and use. The future of privacy looks vexed—not least because it is deeply implicated in the commercial logics that drive data accumulation (i.e., the ‘privatization’ of troves of personal information by data collectors and aggregators: that is the emergence of personal information as a privately owned and traded commodity). We are embarked, irreversibly, I suspect, upon a trajectory toward a world in which those spaces, times, and spheres of activity free from data collection and monitoring will, for all practical purposes, disappear. We will continue to act as if we have what we once called ‘privacy’—but we will know, on some level, that much of what we do is recorded, captured, and retrievable, and even further, that this information will provide comprehensive clues about aspects of our live that we imagined to be somehow exempt from data collection. We are already doing this—many of us use email as if it is private, in the way that written correspondence or face-to-face conversations were private, even though we know that commercial entities, the state, and, in many contexts, employers, have comprehensive access to it. Increasingly, we will find our ability to preserve this illusion challenged, and I suspect we will adjust to these changes the way we have already adjusted to Gmail, etc. This is not to say that there will not be resistance to increasingly comprehensive monitoring, but I suspect that conceptions of privacy will be replaced by concerns over various forms of injustice and abuse, perhaps even over particular forms of entrenched power.”

Frank Pasquale, a law professor at a state university, wrote, “It will not happen in the United States because of over-expansive First Amendment interpretations and corporate power. It may happen in Europe. Scott Peppet’s unraveling thesis, novelized by Gary Shteyngart’s SSTLS, will come to pass in a variety of areas.”

Reggie Henry, a respondent who chose not to share additional identifying details, replied, “This will happen, but some form of representation from the consumer sector will have evolved by then and will be part of the policy discussions. The future depends on the overall stability of the world by 2025. If public safety and international security become more of an issue, people will be more amenable to government security folks having some level of intrusion at a ‘metadata’ level.”

John Lazzaro, a research specialist and visiting lecturer in computer science at the University of California-Berkeley, wrote, “I think the reality in 2025 will look like my own reality today. As an employee of a California public university, my salary is public information, and websites exist to let you search for my salary. When I officially teach a class, statistical summaries of student reviews are publicly available online, and I do not have the ability to take them down. Google Scholar lists the number of references for every paper I have published over the past 25 years, which is a common proxy for research impact. The IETF has a meticulous record of every document draft and mailing list email about the RFCs I have authored, which gives a microscopic window on how I work on a technology problem. This level of disclosure is a feature for me, not a bug. Anyone who is curious about who I am professionally can invest a few minutes in Google searches and decide for himself or herself. It is a more honest portrait than what you will find on a website like LinkedIn. And so, I think it will become the norm by 2025.”

Yoram Kalman, a research scientist, wrote, “Since this balance has never been reached in the past, I cannot see the forces that will lead to it in the future. There will always be pressures from many sides. Moreover, the number of stakeholders with differing, and oftentimes conflicting, interests and incentives is only increasing, and it is difficult to imagine a status quo between them.”

Mary Joyce, an Internet researcher, and digital activism consultant, replied, “Effective policy requires compromise among differently-interested parties, as well as an effective policy process. Users, businesses, and government have very different interests, and none seem likely to compromise at this point, since—through piracy, market dominance, and extra-legal surveillance—none feel truly constrained by the current system. The lack of an effective federal legislative process in the United States makes good policy even less likely. Privacy will still be a concern because privacy will be greatly reduced. Privacy fears of 2013, such as abusive use of government surveillance data on innocent citizens, will become realities in the future.”

Rui Correia, the founding director of Netday Namibia, a nonprofit supporting information and communications technologies for education and development, replied, “Has there ever been a secure, popularly accepted, and trusted privacy-rights infrastructure? I do not think that another eleven years of technology development (including innovations) will alter our need to walk the thin line of trust with great caution. If one is ‘sensible’ about personal privacy, then one should not necessarily by scared of technological advances resulting from consumer tracking. There will be greater global awareness of sensible, practicable rules of secure, mostly private, engagement with and on the Internet. This does not necessarily mean that the norms will have evolved.”

Liza Potts, an assistant professor and senior researcher for writing in digital environments at Michigan State University, replied, “I am willfully optimistic that we will see privacy as a necessary, basic human need by 2025. Then again, the pessimist in me wanted to click the ‘No’ button here. It is vital that we make others aware of how little privacy we have in our websites, apps, etc., as many people do not realize how well they are tracked and to what ends (be it marketing or otherwise). Again, the optimist hopes that the majority of us will take back our privacy and want to be less public as a reaction to the events in 2013. Certainly, I see these reactions in my students—this need to be more private and to better understand how different social networks and apps are using their data.”

Jesse Stay, founder of Stay N’ Alive Productions, wrote, “Technology will take care of this. Leaders won’t have to. Peer-to-peer technologies and protocols, such as Bitcoin’s blockchain, allow for better ways of letting ‘users’ control their own privacy, taking control out of the hands of corporations and government. We are within five years of beginning to see this happen significantly. The public will have more control over their privacy through technology that empowers the consumer over the brand.”

Steffan Schilke, a PhD, Internet researcher, and teacher employed by the government of a State in Europe replied, “There is a fine line between Orwell and privacy. People believe they already have some privacy nowadays, but technology-wise, they do not have [much], except that they take counter measurements. On the other hand, the police and spies want to know everything because it could become important one day. Only if a fair balance is found to be not Orwell’s 1984. To be honest, a terrorist would probably not be caught by normal monitoring of the Internet. For content creators, a fair way of paying them has to be found—even if these industries (books, film, music) had several decades to adapt to this change (maybe cutting out the middleman will help). ‘Privacy protected’ should be everything that happens between one or more parties with the consent of all participants.”

Serge Marelli, a past member of IEEE and ACM, wrote, “While I believe that a secure and respectful privacy-rights infrastructure is necessary (essential), I have no trust any more that ‘policymakers’ or corporations will do any good in that direction. Corporations have no respect at all for citizens, and the concept of ‘customer’ has been replaced in their mind and behaviour by a concept combining a prisoner-buyer, who is also a product to be sold. If nothing is done to remediate this situation, I believe we will steer into a future, either where democracy and citizenship will have lost any meaning, or where a major clash will have to occur. Measures to enforce respect of people’s privacy will have to be enforced on companies. Companies and corporations will fight this and lobbies will have a field day.”

Vytautas Butrimas, the chief adviser to a major government’s ministry, with 23 years experience in ICT and defense policy, responded, “This is a tough call right now, for we really are at the crossroads on this issue. The summer of 2013 revelations of government electronic surveillance made possible, in some cases by the willing (or forced by law) help of technology innovators and corporations, has given many reason to be pessimistic about the future of the Internet. As one commentator put it, ‘George Orwell may have been an optimist.’ This was said in terms of the surveillance capabilities we have today, compared with those available during Orwell’s time. Norms will be different; that is for sure. Whether the younger generation will care about this issue at all has been put into question. Many of our young people are too used to using social media and may not care about privacy at all. They accept a loss of privacy as a fact of ‘online’ life.”

Emmanuel Edet, an active participant in global Internet governance discussions, wrote, “The police state will be in full play by 2025. Snooping and spying on citizens will be in full play with large corporations able to buy and trade in secrets obtained from the snooping networks. I think privacy would be an important issue because of the police state that would exist in 2025. I think the people would pay more to secure their privacy in order to avoid interference from the government.”

Robert E. McGrath, an Internet pioneer, and software engineer who participated in developing the World Wide Web and advanced interfaces, replied, “This has never been achieved offline, so why, and how, would it be achieved on line? There will be many different global networks, with different rules. But, in all conceivable worlds, the powerful will have power and the rest will get by as best they can.”

David Orban, CEO of Dotsub, wrote, “It is already evident in the emergence and acceptance of ephemeral communication platforms that the public needs, and wants, private communications. People are even ready to embrace solutions that are relatively feature-poor, as compared to more traditional ones that record your messages. The value to the individual that can be derived from a clever analysis of social network data is so high, however, that the pendulum will swing back and forth between the two extremes. Local storage of data is going to add value in a manner that is compartmentalized, and encoded, hashed metadata will be aggregated on servers in a way that is many orders of magnitude harder to attribute to the individual than it is today. The criminalization of non-violent acts, like copyright infringement, will continue the erosion of the public’s perception that laws are absolute. The understanding that legislation itself is dynamic, and changing, will lead to a stronger need for privacy. Because it will be clear that behavior that is legal only tomorrow, per definition, is criminal today, and the change leading from one to the other can only happen if there is no total transparency—if there is privacy within which to grow a new understanding of social norms.”

Ray Pelletier, a respondent who did not share additional identifying details, commented, “Confidence by the public and business in a secure Internet is a multi-trillion dollar necessity that will motivate policy makers and technology companies to continually iterate solutions to efforts to undermine that confidence. The public will depend on technology more to protect their privacy in the future.”

Massimo Micucci, a respondent who chose not to share additional identifying details, wrote, “Individuals will have sufficient consciousness and tools to manage and be aware of their own profile. Norms about privacy will be about effective, easy, open, and reachable guarantees by individuals and accountability from this point of you by of the service producers and providers. A unique access to everything allowed by cloud technologies will guarantee this path.”

Gary Marchionini, professor and dean of the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, replied, “I am an optimist. I believe that people will become more aware of the conscious and unconscious (projected exo-information) traces of their existence as they work online andalso of the reflections of their existence added to cyberspace by other people and machines. This awareness will drive technologists to create a wide variety of digital prophylactics that will be adopted and adapted. The EU movement toward the right to be forgotten, and stronger privacy will interact with the Scott McNealy prediction that ‘you have no privacy—get over it.’ The result will be a 2025 with strongly divergent views, beyond the political party divisions in the United States today; we could have open states (no privacy), as well as safe states (no disclosure).”

Gary McGraw, the CTO for Cigital Inc., known as a father of software security, wrote, “Though all stakeholders will want this to happen, it will not. The government will overreach and underperform in all domains, using private industry to justify and amplify its actions. In general, the populace will remain captivated by functionality and will not care about lack of privacy, surveillance, or the tradeoffs that come as a price for ‘security.’ There will be more awareness, more worry, and about the same action by 2025.”

Catherine Antoine, managing editor at Radio Free Asia Online, replied, “A balance will be found because there is no other choice. Whether it is ‘right’ will be a question that will need to be continuously asked. The public has now accepted a considerable erosion of its ‘privacy’ and will demand more protection in the next year or so. The year 2025 is really too far, in Internet time, to predict what the public mood will be—a lot lower than today, that is for sure. But, we can expect the public to be a lot smarter about how it handles content online.”

Bob Ubell, vice dean for online learning at New York University, wrote, “Given the complexities of data mining and corporate motivations over the use of personal data for marketing, as well as other ways of monetizing data, stakeholders may come to various accommodations along the way, but institutional—government, corporate, and service entities—demand for private data will continue to escalate as the power of technologies becomes more invasive. Citizens and consumers will become far more relaxed about giving to access to their personal data than they are today. Believing that open access to their personal data benefits them as consumers and citizens, they will be more willing to grant government and company access.”

Michael Wollowski, an associate professor at an institute of technology, wrote, “I do not have a lot of trust in our policy makers. What sort of trust can you place into an organization that cannot even agree on a budget? Corporations will give us some options to protect our privacy and secure our data. There are opportunities here for companies that are more interested in selling goods than snooping on their customers. I strongly believe that smaller application developers will give us a lot of excellent options to protect our privacy and secure our data. That is tricky to predict. On the one hand, people are upset about the NSA snooping on their data; on the other hand, people post all sorts of personal data on their Facebook accounts. Based on recent trends, public norms about privacy may be considerably more relaxed in 2025. As a private kind of person, I am hoping for some event that causes a big backlash, making people more sensitive to the issue of protecting their privacy.”

Leigh Estabrook, a dean and professor emerita at the University of Illinois, responded, “I think it unlikely that technology innovators will succeed in creating a secure or trusted privacy rights structure, in part because of the needs and desires of both government and commerce to have access to personal information. That means a variety of people will necessarily have access to personal information and, thus, make that information more vulnerable to misuse. As it stands now, enough people (myself included) are often willing to share that personal information because of convenience, even when knowing that the information may be misused. I regretfully suspect public norms increasing uses of the Web for shopping and social communication will contribute to increasing acceptance of lessened privacy-rights. Counter to that is my suspicion (hope?) that citizens will work together to resist the misuses of their communication and identity by government and commerce. It becomes more difficult, though, than in the past, as precisely these uses of personal communication are used to thwart or undermine social resistance.”

Marsali Hancock, president and CEO of the Internet Keep Safe Coalition, wrote, “I predict that communities will come together on the Web with a set of community expectations that individuals, institutions, organizations, governments, and companies will self-select and protect. These communities will cross cultural and geographical boundaries, as well as provide and enforce a set of privacy expectations. The political process is slow, unable to quickly react to developing technologies, and the laws established are difficult to enforce.”

Cristian Berrio Zapata, a doctoral student in information science at the Universidade Estadual Paulista, in Sao Paolo, Brazil, wrote, “Following the concentration of power that ICT is producing in certain groups and countries, as well as the free or forced association between public and private interests, it is unlikely to thing that a open, safe, and free infrastructure will exist; although, the poor, the excluded, and the opposition will find ways to preserve small oasis within the structure. The population will be even more domesticated with the extraordinary magic of new informatic toys. So, critics, although existing, will be not massive. Many more norms, including those of global extension, coming from conservative groups and stakeholders in advanced countries, to protect private investment and political interest will be created. As with today, the public discourse will be in favor of privacy protection, but hidden action will keep filtering billions of data points more than today, as smart phones will be the biggest source of data.”

Jan Schaffer, executive director of J-Lab, developing innovative digital journalism, replied, “I just finished judging a big accelerator competition (SXSW)—the health and big data categories. It is clear there are aggressive efforts to collect and monetize data—and share what is collected with interested parties such as your health care provider and your employer. People will start feeling gun-shy about openly sharing so much information about themselves as they see it coming back to bite them.”

Vanda Scartezini, a partner in Polo Consultores Associados, based in Brazil, responded, “I do believe the understanding from the user side will facilitate the technical work, and, more and more, interested, new minds will dedicate efforts to make such guarantee. Though they may not be totally successful, there will be enough improvement in this direction to allow a much better sense of security among users and people will feel free to go online. Privacy will be reduced, as the social tissue will be more and more connected. New generations will give less importance to their own privacy and will normally trade it for a better safe interconnection with all others around the world.”

Steve Jones, a distinguished professor of communications at the University of Illinois-Chicago, replied, “It is the ‘while also’ portion of the question that causes me to ‘go negative’ with my answer, followed by the phrase ‘easy-to-use.’ In the event that offering individuals choices for protecting their personal information can be monetized to a greater degree than using their personal information, then maybe that can happen. Otherwise, I do not think so. Frankly, I do not think they will be very different, though if nothing else, we will be still more accustomed to having less privacy (which implicitly means we will continue to have some).”

Thomas Keller, head of product management, domains, at 1&1 Internet wrote, “Privacy has been on the decline over the last couple years, nevertheless, especially the growth of social networks like Facebook and Twitter. And, interestingly, the heavy usage of such networks by the general public has dramatically increased the awareness and value of personal privacy. Because consumer are growing aware, it becomes more and more important for all companies to leverage these values and protect the privacy of customers. At the same time, regulators are forced by public demand, data accidents, and, generally, increased abuse to shift towards more stringent lawmaking across boarders and economic areas—in regard of protecting the privacy of private persons, but also on lawful reveal functionalities. All these factors will give tech innovators incentives to build new, privacy-friendly core infrastructures and services that will help users enjoy the freedom of the online world, as well as increase the trust of it. In 2025, people will use new services that allow them to utilize the Internet with out jeopardizing their privacy but also still remain accountable to law enforcement and due process. Privacy will be a standardized term across the globe.”

Carl Reed, a PhD, replied, “From a US perspective: while technology, standards, and so forth can provide a technology framework to ensure a trusted privacy-rights infrastructure, I fear that our policymakers and elected officials in Washington simply do not have the knowledge, guidance, or ‘balls’ to define and agree to a national policy for a trusted privacy rights infrastructure. The problem is exacerbated by a generation of mobile technology users that simply do not seem to understand that protecting privacy is important and that they, in a sense, are enabling the erosion of essential liberties as defined in our Bill of Rights and Constitution. In part, this agnostic (blasé?) attitude is encouraged by technology providers looking to use personal information to enhance their ability to generate advertising and other related marketing revenues. It is funny that so many are upset about the NSA collecting metadata but think nothing of what Facebook, Twitter, and others collect! See above.”

Karl Fogel, a partner with Open Tech Strategies, and president of QuestionCopyright.org, wrote, “I expect user privacy to be in about the same position in 2025 as it is now, for several reasons. First, businesses that provide online services often have a direct anti-privacy interest; they make their money by selling facts about their users—advertising being the most obvious use, but not the only one. Second, in online services, there is an inherent tradeoff between privacy and usability: the ‘user experience’ provided by an online service is often better the more the service knows about that user’s life. (This is not to say that privacy is an unworthy goal, but rather that people sometimes want contradictory things.) Third, similarly to the above, there is a security/convenience tradeoff inherent in any software application. Software tools exist right now that offer communication free of surveillance, and in some cases, even free of detection. But, most people do not use them most of the time because those tools inevitably make communication harder for the legitimate interlocutors (after all, whenever there is a security feature that ‘does not’ involve any inconvenience, it would already be incorporated as a matter of course, thus establishing the new baseline from which the security/convenience tradeoff begins again). Fourth, governments’ desire for surveillance capabilities will not go away, and neither will their strategy of drafting Internet-based services into the surveillance network. Legal and policy changes may offer some temporary relief, but that usually follows a pendulum swing—things might improve a bit, privacy-wise, for the next five years or so, and then start to swing back. The world’s intelligence agencies and militaries will always be pushing in one direction, constantly; popular outrage, on the other hand, spikes dramatically when there are leaks but is quiescent the rest of the time. The steadier, more patient player tends to win in these situations. Nothing about the passage of time changes any of these dynamics. I do not expect things to be radically different in 2025, privacy-wise, although there may be some more pro-privacy laws, at least formally on the books, as a result of the present-day Snowden leaks and possibly future leaks. I will speculate, very tentatively, that a bit of a ‘sharing backlash’ is forming now, especially with respect to photo sharing. By 2025, we might see laws making it a civil offense to distribute a photograph of someone without their consent, when the photo was not taken in a public context, and corresponding laws requiring search engines to remove from their indexes’ photographs whose subjects did not authorize their distribution. It is very interesting, I think, that this comes up much more often for photographs than for audio recordings. But, there is one area where, by 2025, we might see a change in privacy expectations regarding audio recordings: many people desire the ability to record phone conversations (something their smart phones are now perfectly capable of, except that, at least in the United States, smart phones do not offer that feature, presumably because of restrictive laws about recording phone conversations). People often want to have their own copy of, say, a conversation with a service representative at a company with whom they have a dispute, especially given that the company usually announces at the beginning of the call that it will have its own copy. If the laws on phone recording are liberalized a bit, and most phones start to offer the feature, then people’s expectations of transience in phone conversations may start to change as well.”

Jamais Cascio, a writer and futurist specializing in possible futures scenario outcomes, wrote, “I have little doubt that policy makers and technology innovators will have attempted to create a ‘secure, etc.’ information infrastructure by 2025, but I do not believe that it will yet be simultaneously secure, accepted, and trusted. We will likely see myriad smaller efforts, attempts to provide secure and acceptable service within a narrower framework (i.e., for a particular hardware vendor, within a particular community), but incompatibilities will continue to confound users, and multiple interested parties (including, but not limited to, governments and advertisers) will continue to push for exceptions and special access. I also suspect that, by 2025, we will have experienced at least one massive breach-of-trust incident, where a supposedly secure and trusted system will be broken open in an especially damaging way (i.e., Google’s Gmail archives are cracked open and released). This may not set back the technical efforts, but it will severely undermine any hope for public trust in these systems. The common understanding about privacy is that it is an issue of ‘visibility’—can I, or my information, be seen by others? While that is superficially true, it is not the entirety of the issue. Privacy is about ‘control’—can I decide who gets to see my information, or is that decided for me, without my knowledge or consent? I suspect that, by 2025, the debates about privacy will be more sophisticated than they are today and will focus on this control aspect (versus the crude fear-mongering about teenagers taking selfies, etc.).”

Ray Schroeder, associate vice chancellor for online learning at the University of Illinois-Springfield, wrote, “Innovation in this area is currently limited by the ‘Wild West’ law of the Internet. Privacy is not assured. And, business, as well as individual freedom, is limited. There are a number of initiatives in this area—one must succeed if we are to advance the potential of the Internet. I expect ‘privacy shells’ to be created, in which user identity and communication will be protected. An expectation of privacy will return—such has not been seen in the past 20 years. Now, there is no privacy, and no expectation that there is privacy, in any aspect of the Net. The public will be able to enter ‘privacy shells’ that will protect them and their information while in the shell.”

Aliza Sherman, a new media entrepreneur and author, wrote, “I think this will come from technology innovators. I also think that many people will not realize or understand what options will be available to them. Many will not care—just like now. While there will be more people who will be thinking about or understanding the issues of privacy, the levels of privacy invasion intolerance will change. As the younger generations of today, who are less sensitive to privacy issues, mature, there will be a shift. But, there will still be people who do not understand the issues, those who do (and nothing will be good enough for them), and then the ones who just do not care.”

Frederic Litto, a professor emeritus at the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil, responded, “In truth, no system of security can ever be entirely secure in the foreseeable future; but, having good laws in place at the global, national, state, and municipal levels to back up the general principles that make for a secure and integral environment for communication, domestic, and professional users will be able to seek redress from offenders. The heaviest of penalties will discourage wrongdoing. By 2025, security and privacy issues will be at a minimum around the world, much as the ‘honor system’ of paying for passage in city buses works to benefit the many, as well as punish the occasional wrongdoers. Just as the constitutions of some countries have very few articles, based on a minimum of general principles, which are interpreted anew for each new generation, future laws concerning security and privacy need not be excessively detailed—but they must be followed up by rigorous police and judicial actions.”

Pamela Wright, chief innovation officer for the US National Archives, wrote, “Privacy online has been an arms race. As soon as information has been declared as secure or private, it has been compromised, and new measures are put in place to once again declare security. The paradigm may change to something that is not exactly private but still does not do damage. Privacy, as we understood it before the Internet, is already dead. Look at what the NSA has been doing, as well as the various breaches of mass numbers of credit information—most recently, Target. Will the genie go back in the bottle after all of this? I do not think so. A new way of looking at privacy may be established. The Internet will know you—your family, your doctor, your bank, where you got coffee this morning, everything substantive and seemingly trivial about your life and what you do—and that will erase your privacy, but will also protect you. This is a frightening concept, but it is already well down the road. Norms are already changing due, in part, to the ubiquity of social media use. What my generation considered strictly private is completely shareable for the next generation. In some ways, this brings us closer (my daughter in college is in contact with me almost daily, as opposed to when I went to college, and there was one pay phone for the entire hall. A weekly call home was the maximum communication my parents received). In other ways, this may numb and have an isolating effect on future generations, who see everything and anything online at younger and younger ages. I was recently taken aback when I saw a colleague had sent out a picture on social media less than two hours after she gave birth. By 2025, this will be considered a very private way to handle the news, as everything about the birth will be available online as it is happening—from pictures to all kinds of health data. We may be more forgiving of people as we see everyone’s personal foibles everywhere. For years, parents have been concerned about what their children are posting on the Internet. What will future employers think? In these early years of social media use, some have paid the price for revealing too much information and have suffered the loss of jobs or job opportunities because of it. In the future, I expect that no one will be able to control one’s image online enough to be spotless, and the sting of revealing too much will lessen.”

John Wooten, CEO and founder of ConsultED, replied, “By 2025, public perception will have moved way beyond mere perception to public demand for fully transparent and dual efforts by both government and enterprise towards security, privacy, and compliance. Through data democratization and emerging applications in the hands of the end-user, it will become a public norm for the individual in taking greater and ever-enhancing control over their own data and its related security and privacy.”

Lillie Coney, a legislative director specializing in technology policy for a member of the US House of Representatives, replied, “The introduction of new technology that records, reproduces, collects, or stores personal information creates privacy and civil liberty challenges. Public policy regarding this class of new technology, absent in the terrorism attacks of 9/11, would have curbed and regulated their use in the consumer and citizen’s interest. Because of the attack, and two wars fought over a decade, the deployment and use of these technologies were accelerated for the purpose of domestic security. Business interest in wanting to know more information about consumers creates mutual interest in data collection on consumers. After 10 years of war and the business sector’s evolved view that data collection and sharing with government is impacting their bottom line globally, companies want rules and structure to establish business models that are profitable, not just in the United States. Government finds itself in a situation where there are too many people charged with keeping too many secrets. The law of numbers is the larger problem—once the number of persons with knowledge about a secret exceeds a certain point, it is impossible to keep the secret. We are seeing more of this over the last few years, and if the current policy continues, the number of intentional and unintentional disclosures will increase. The current situation is also impacting geopolitical politics. Allies are questioning US surveillance policy as their citizens become aware of programs that involve data collection on themselves and their leaders. There was already a heightened sensitivity regarding surveillance in Europe, which views privacy as a human right. We will either repair these relationships, or we will increasingly be isolated. The security of the United States is not fully realized by our own means, but rather by good relations with trusted allies and the cooperation of citizens. A breakdown in trust will lead to erosion of security. We have no other option than to develop policies that reinforce due process, privacy, and civil liberties. Saying one thing and having it discovered that we are doing something else threats our standing among nations. Part of the data policy formation will be innovation from the private sector that make it increasingly more difficult to engage in routine data collection, retention, and use. The principle of privacy by design has found proponents in the computing science and engineering communities. Basically, if businesses do not collect and retain data, then there is nothing that can be shared. The future of privacy is interpreted by those who live within a society. In 12 years, high school students will be young adults, and many of the people debating this issue will be nearing retirement, if not already in retirement. The shifts in how people view privacy will be on whether we have control over when, where, how, why, and for what purpose personal information is disclosed. Young people no longer speak over the telephone as often as they did five years ago; instead, they text in a shorthand that changes very quickly. They are creating a new living written language that is likely a bridge between this version of remote communication technology and one that is controlled by the spoken word or sign language or facial expressions. The power of fads to shape society should not be underestimated, nor should be the power of a movement to reorient peoples’ views about themselves and their world. The interesting aspect of the Internet is that it is the first global village experience for the world. The cultural and social norms of other people will impact each nation’s citizens differently. The question is, how close are we to a universal means of translating language seamlessly in a digital communication environment? The most important determinant is that change does happen and that it happens because of conditions and the power of one voice to articulate the vision of a group or to describe a view of the world that attracts the hope of others. The next time this happens, the impact will be global and not local—and it is impossible to say where or when a new voice will emerge. This person is likely to be under 30. I do think that the notion of national borders is going to be challenged. After all, it is a recent addition to how people think of themselves—in terms of family, village, tribe, clan, language, religion, and then nationality.”

Gina Neff, an associate professor of communication at the University of Washington, wrote, “Protecting individuals’ privacy will require political will. Rhetoric about the potential for a data-driven economy unfortunately continues to prioritize commercial interests over individual rights to privacy. Choices being encoded into software today will continue to have ramifications for privacy in 2025. People will be increasingly more accepting of exchanging privacy for services and customization, unless advocacy and education efforts are increased now.”

Peter S. Vogel, Internet law expert at Gardere Wynne Sewell, LLP, replied, “It is essential that policymakers and technology innovators create a secure infrastructure by 2025 so that consumers feel they may safely use Internet businesses without fear that their privacy and financial credit is in jeopardy. When the public began using the Internet in the late 1990s, users had an unrealistic attitude about privacy, and the younger generation of Internet users involved with social media seemed fearless about privacy. With the increased use of mobile devices, Internet-user privacy needs to be protected, and I expect that Internet users will demand that policymakers and technology innovators assure protection of their privacy.”

Marcus Cake, network society content architect and strategist with WisdomNetworks.im, wrote, “The status quo that have derived power and profit from centralised structures, complexity, and wealth transfers, are likely to resist change. The people in influential positions may be unwilling to innovate, unable to recognise the possibilities or unwilling to relinquish positions of influence. I fear that only collapse or crisis is required before change.”

Yalda Tehranian-Uhls, senior research at UCLA’s CDMC@LA, and regional director of Common Sense Media, replied, “As the next generation grows and learns more about what privacy means, and how the lack of privacy affects them, it will become more vocal and demand more solutions to protect their privacy. At the same time, as more technology innovators become parents, they will begin to understand and care about how children are affected by the loss of their privacy, and this will motivate these innovators to develop technology to protect privacy. Finally, the business models will evolve, and alternative forms of monetization to advertising will emerge. This will be a good thing for those who are willing to pay for more privacy (a la cable stations like HBO, versus networks that fund their programming through ad sales), although not necessarily the best thing for an equitable society. In my talks to parents, I speak frequently about the need for families to discuss their values and apply their offline values to their online behavior. And that this kind of thinking will allow people to work together to create social norms about privacy and the Internet, rather than rely on policymakers, who move slowly, and technological innovators, who move quickly, to come to terms about how best to protect individual privacy. This seems to ring true for many people. As such, I believe that the social norms will evolve, and individual citizens will take more personal responsibility for protecting their own privacy.”

Jason Pitoniak, a survey respondent who chose not to share additional identifying details, wrote, “We are going to see a trend away from cloud-based Internetworking.”

Peter Bernstein, a respondent who chose not to share additional identifying details, wrote, “The year 2025 is too far away to make viable predictions. Realities are that, as a result of major externalities, governments will be forced to increase security, but hackers are more than likely to stay ahead of the curve. If, for instance, there is a major successful attack on the national electrical grid, which seems likely, then all bets are off as to how much personal freedom will be sacrificed in order to assure national security. The real question is how the generation who has grown up online and has been under constant surveillance feels based on further intrusions into their privacy. It is likely there will be a backlash, and counter-measures will be a huge industry; however, convenience and pricing will be major factors that still weigh heavily on what people are willing to put up with.”

Annie Pettit, chief research officer at Peanut Labs, wrote, “It is impossible to achieve the right balance, as there will always be strong advocates for and against privacy. We will require at least one more generation to pass before those who truly had anonymity in life no longer contribute to society in a way that matters to policy makers. Besides, privacy breaches and leaks, and new technologies, will always abound, making privacy a never-ending issue. [The year] 2025 is only a decade away. The older people who had and expected privacy will be here, though in fewer numbers, and the younger people who were raised with no idea of privacy will be adults—and about to raise children themselves. Social norms may be more slack than today but there will still be many advocates.”

Mike Caprio, a software engineer for a consulting firm wrote, “We have witnessed firsthand that world governments, including the US government, will go to any lengths to control all online infrastructure and implement a panopticon. The military-industrial complex and other multi-national corporate interests will continue their concerted efforts to collect all information, regardless of whether it is private or public. People will understand that the only way to keep information truly private is to store it in a non-electronic format in a windowless, locked room in a secret location.”

Jason Hong, an associate professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University, observed, “In the United States, privacy will still be skewed towards favoring corporations. It has been this way for a long time, and legislators have shown little or no appetite for having broad legislation governing what is and is not acceptable. There will probably be some more guidelines from organizations like the FTC, and from industry consortia, but these will be voluntary and self-enforced guidelines. The likely scenario is that most developers will have little or no knowledge of these guidelines but will have learned through design patterns from the largest corporations as to what they should and should not be doing in the design and implementation of their systems. There will also be some disaster stories that everyone points to, that help offer basic guidance as to what to do. Lastly, there will also be some more tools to help developers (which will probably be marketed and sold as security tools, rather than privacy tools). There will be a growing awareness of privacy in general among the population, leading to a more savvy set of users, but complexity and simplicity will still be a challenge, given the growing capabilities of new kinds of systems. This complexity will lead to a lot of churn about privacy, as well as a lot of TV shows, news articles, and public debates about what is and isn’t acceptable, and for whom. But for the most part, the debate we are having today will still be ongoing, and made more difficult since the technology is constantly improving. People will generally have become more acclimated to data collection by government and corporations, in part because UX designers have gotten better at designing the experience of smart and connected systems, but also because corporations have made missteps and have learned from each other about what should and shouldn’t be done. There will also be new laws to govern the most egregious violations of privacy (an example today would be asking job applicants for their social network passwords), but there will likely be little other legislation. There will also be new ways of connecting with each other (continuing in the same spirit as email, instant messaging, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and whatever comes next), and these will provide new opportunities for expressing oneself, as well as new opportunities for embarrassing oneself. In other words, I expect that in 2025 we will still be having the same discussions about privacy we are having today, but that the challenges have gotten harder due to advances in technology.”

Adam Nelson, founder of Kili.io, a cloud Infrastructure in Africa, wrote, “Policymakers and corporations have come to realize that privacy can be critical not only to freedom of expression and other high-level rights—but also to the bottom line. The success of the Internet relies very much on privacy, and although many individuals are willing to be flippant about privacy—enough are not that they will actively seek solutions guaranteeing better protections. The quantity of data in 2025 will be such that drilling into aggregated data will allow researchers to ‘accidentally’ find out data about individuals—some of which may be private. People will be more open to certain aspects of privacy to be public in an opt-out scenario (i.e., what books have I read).”

Michel Grossetti, the research director at Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CNRS, the French national research center, wrote, “Firms seek to control information to ensure monopolies. Citizens seek to defend themselves against this control. Governments make policies that result from the balance between different lobbies. The balance is unstable and unpredictable. It will be most likely similar to the current situation, but worse. Public norms will be more sophisticated, more formalized, and more circumvented.”

Matt Belge, a user-experience designer at Vision & Logic, wrote, “The Internet is largely driven by a profit motive. While there are many egalitarian aspects to the Internet, its main driving force is not government, nor the nonprofits. The main driving force is commerce and profit. Given this situation, and a current lack of vision and cooperation in our government in the United States, I see little to make me feel we will reach any sort of utopian aspect to the Internet by 2025. Privacy will become less and less assumed. People will assume others will know about their so-called private business, just as they will know more about others.”

Jim Jansen, an associate professor at Penn State University, replied, “We have to give up on the outdated concept of privacy in the online environment. It is just not going to happen. Our concept of what is ‘private’ will change. The base assumption will be that this is not private, unless explicitly stated.”

Polina Kolozaridi, a faculty member at the Center for New Media and Society, based in Russia, responded, “The idea of what privacy is can change noticeably in 2025. Partly, privacy will be perceived as a part of exchange. It will be more difficult to have self-image without public profile, at least when it is opened to some institutions (starting with educational and healthcare systems). Partly, there will appear new sorts of private information (like thoughts, if neuro-tech will be fast enough). The problem of ‘whom I can trust here’ will probably remain. Perhaps the states will be more and more effective as the owners of databases, but they have to be more transparent themselves. Those who will not be more transparent will be more conservative, and therefore, there will appear national domains of more private and closed information resources, social networks, and so on. It will be like Pacific Ocean of transparency and some big islands (or even continents) of abilities to hide one’s personal data. It will not be easy to use such abilities. It is arguable if other abilities to protect personal information will be easy as well. Public norms will change. Having some profiles with information we consider private will be like owning an ID or a passport. It will be OK to trust some corporation or state to own it, but not OK to share it in some public profiles; social networking, like Facebook or Instagram, will not disclose more than now. But, there will appear chill-out, or media-out, zones when and where one may be out of all digitalization.”

Simon Gottschalk, a professor of sociology at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, commented, “The power to collect information and perform tracking and analytics is too seductive to resist or limit, and that such power will easily overwhelm any concern about providing citizens with the right for privacy and secure data. More interestingly, however, [is that] even if such rights were guaranteed, citizens might always have—at the back of their minds—the suspicion that they are being tracked, and such suspicion will shape what they do online.”

Marc Weiner, a professor at Rutgers University, wrote, “The Internet’s present-day commercial norms and physical infrastructure, particularly ownership of the means of covering ‘the last mile’ (from the local fiber optic switch to the residential household), is path-dependently perpetuating its as-developed form, which assumes a very elastic sense of privacy. Despite some early holdouts for a free and unregulated Internet, it was quickly monetized, and since the only things that actually move around on the Internet are data, it was data that was monetized. And, in order to monetize data, it was necessary to render conventional understandings of privacy elastic; indeed, Facebook’s use of private data is the very best example of this phenomenon. This policy of elastic privacy is now so deeply embedded in the praxis of the Internet that path dependency pushes it to expand in like form—i.e., with a diminished or total lack of privacy in Internet commercial transactions and other online inter-human exchanges. One wonders, though, exactly how this is different from where I show up, in person, in a brick-and-mortar store, and use a credit card to make a purchase. In other words, the genie of privacy is out of the bottle more or less everywhere, and it ain’t going back in.”

Tony Cline, an adjunct professor of sociology and education at Columbia University, wrote, “I am not optimistic that policy makers and technology innovators will come to a compromise among themselves, or with different groups in time, to permit creation of the needed infrastructure by 2025. Their current positions are so disparate that it will take a much longer time to resolve. Most social norms evolve slowly, and it is naive to expect that much change will occur within the next twelve years.”

M.E. Luka, a respondent who shared no additional identifying details, wrote, “If it becomes possible to redirect the conversation about privacy, security, business innovation, and monetization to one which takes as its basis shared social good and responsibility, rather than profit, then it is entirely possible that policy makers and technology innovators could create a robust, private, innovative, and accessible online infrastructure. Otherwise, the short-term impetus of the election process in most democracies, and the way in which the profit-for-the-few economic structure dominates, simply works against the possibility. There likely will be more flexible understandings of privacy and potentially a greater resistance to surveillance in some circles. Real access to technology (including tech literacy) will continue to be extremely important for individuals across nations, and the globe to be empowered to exercise and demonstrate their own level of interest around privacy issues.”

James Wisdom, owner of Wisdom Consulting and General Contracting LLC, wrote, “I expect factors to include using facial recognition and voice, or even making a device to have a unique code that can be purchased and changed that goes along with other forms of easy to use formats. Privacy will be a thing of the past. Voice-recognition and facial technologies can help deter crime, and can help elderly and young alike when palm prints and the like can be used.”

Lisa Dangutis, webmaster for The Sunshine Environment Link, replied, “In reality, by 2025, the future of the Internet will be more hindered, and public freedoms will be less feasible then they are today. Current trends already show that Internet browsers are tracked for personalized adds, and search research is done by data companies which track preferences of users. There is very little privacy on the Internet today, and it is difficult to believe Congress will defend personal privacy laws for safety and security reasons. There will be more commerce, however, from current trends there will be little chance for the consumer to protect information easily without paying some form of currency to do so for 100% privacy coverage. Too many corporations face risk from hackers and others who are interested in tainting the fair use and open value of the Internet. Companies that practice legitimate business, whether for information or money, must track data to protect themselves but cannot over price their products in trying to be 100% secure. I do not believe the public will feel there is balance because there are these constant struggles in security and protection of data. Easy formats are often overpowered by those who want the information for the wrong purposes. Policymakers will have a very difficult time in finding balance just as they do now when it comes to Internet policies due to the nature of ever changing technology. Today, many people do not think super strongly about their privacy on the Internet. People write very liberally on emails and on Facebook and other social media outlets. In the future, generations, after seeing cases of email go to court and forensic evidence collected in cases of security, will be more aware. Those in the public sector will be most aware from past experiences of others, whether its placing personal information or protecting private information such as credit cards. People will be more aware then they are now. While identity theft is a large issue, I believe that, with increasing technologies that collect personal information, people will have to be more aware then ever of their data on the Internet.”

John G. McNutt, a professor at the University of Delaware, wrote, “It is hard to see this today, but in order for things top move forward, it will become essential that privacy is considered differently by different generations. This will continue as situations change.”

Noah Grand, a PhD candidate in digital media issues, commented, “This question asks about public perception about whether policymakers and corporations have struck the right balance, which is a very different question from whether the policy is sound. Public perception will be actively shaped by politicians, activists, and corporate lobbyists, in a ways that is similar to how public opinion is shaped on any other topic. The key question for public opinion regarding personal privacy and data security in 2025 is whether a set of mainstream politicians and activists will elevate the issue’s prominence in national debates. Without groups actively (and successfully) bringing up issues of personal privacy, people may have personal feelings about online privacy if asked, but it will not be an important issue for policymakers. I would expect some level of conflict between people who want to protect their privacy and others who are indifferent, but I have no idea how that conflict plays out.”

Thorlaug Agustsdottir, public relations manager for the Icelandic Pirate Party, replied, “There will be an alternative Web or alternative software that will offer people protection from snooping companies, while the ability to mask IP will probably still be a somewhat ‘advanced knowledge,’ while true anonymity will be, as it is today, just a myth (at least down to the IP level, if not to some kind of a central ‘official’ personal identification level). In 2025, people will be ever more concerned with online privacy.”

Judith Perrolle, a professor at Northeastern University, based in Boston, wrote, “Policy will be driven by corporate interests, expressed through such vehicles as the Global Network Initiative, to protect their own privacy from government surveillance. Protecting the interests of customers will be part of their policy justification, but companies will try hard to retain the rights to monitor their customers. The younger generation will not have the same concept of freedom from surveillance that their elders do. Surveillance of public spaces and corporate controlled property will become the norm. Privacy within homes will be traded by many for contractual arrangements that give them Internet access, as well as entertainment content in return for loss of privacy. Net neutrality will die off but make a comeback to deal with the monopolies that arise.”

Erin Stark, a respondent who shared no additional identifying details, commented, “There are two main problems here—the first being that both ‘privacy’ and ‘rights’ are highly subjective qualities, and the second being that the nature of ‘personal information’ is increasingly tenuous. In the first instance, there will never be a system that makes everyone happy. Of course, the rise of online commerce means that systems must be developed that ensure the rights and privacy of the highest number of individuals possible; the reality of this is that there will be people who feel that their rights and privacy are not protected enough, or that there is not enough freedom allowed. Secondly, ‘personal information’ is ceasing to be a reality at all. We have been sharing so much, with so little concern, for so long; personal information is no longer owned by the individual, but by the Google’s, Amazon’s, and Facebook’s of the world. Our information is already sold to the highest bidder; the year 2025 is simply too late for there to be any hope of personal information being a reality. We have grown up online (even those of us that remember a time without the Internet!). Today’s concern with privacy will be non-existent by 2025; our presidents will have drunk selfies made public, and our Supreme Court justices will have tweeted and blogged their hopes and fears. This is going to result in total openness, or in a future generation that rebels against the mistakes of this generation (and I say that referring to this generation of Internet users, much more than I refer to a particular age group), retreating into secrecy and the non-sharing of personal information (whatever is left of it!).”

Pioty Konieczny, an assistant professor at Hanyang University commented, “I do not have much faith in the traditional policy makers, but technology innovators may give us better tools, bypassing government and corporate spies. And, maybe the International Pirate Party and friends will shake up the old political establishment to actually make it a bit useful. It is going to be much more complex to manage than it was in the past. Overall, we will have much less of it. Most places will be public by default.”

Kevin Reilly, a simulation technologist for Samuel Merritt University Health Sciences Simulation Center and PhD candidate, replied, “ Advocates will succeed in the international arena in the development of a distributed system of control that provides for rigorous encryption techniques for secure data. Despite the public’s growing propensity to disregard one’s own privacy by über-sharing behaviors via social networks, civil libertarians will succeed in persuading the majority to secure legislated rights to personal privacy, especially in regards to health and financial data.”

Arthur Asa Berger, a professor emeritus of communication at San Francisco State University, commented, “I assume that there is enough pressure on all parties involved that they will find a way to look after our privacy rights and enable individuals to protect their personal information. Up until recently, people were unaware of the extent of NSA spying on everyone. Once this became known, pressure started being exerted, and it looks like the NSA will have to modify its practices.”

Carol Wolinsky, a self-employed marketing research consultant, responded, “Implementation of chip technology in credit and debit cards in the United States will be completed before 2025, given the problems that Target and other large card providers have experienced recently. Hand wringing and debate will continue. I am doubtful that the United States will reach internal agreement on much else, given the polarization of the political situation in this country. Some new rules may be established regarding NSA data collection, but they probably will not be too stringent. International agreement on privacy rules is unlikely, as European privacy standards have always been much more stringent than those in the United States. The younger generation is savvier about the use of personal information, but also, apparently, more willing to share this information. By 2025, Millennials, Generation X, and Generation Y will be the majority of working age adults. They will dictate the norms, which will be freer about displaying information regarding personal life, location, and entertainment. Perhaps they will be able to create consensus on some controls regarding the use of financial information and personal identity (i.e., PINs and SSN); however, hackers and identity thieves will continue to be a problem, as they are never more than one step behind the latest update in technology and are frequently ahead of the curve.”

Daren C. Brabham, assistant professor at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, University of Southern California, wrote, “It is unlikely a secure and popularly accepted privacy-rights infrastructure will exist by 2025. Individuals’ personal information is the very product many companies sell, so it is unlikely there will be a sweet spot that both generates profits for these companies and satisfies scrutinizing customers. Also, the law is forever lagging behind new technology, and policy makers and the courts have consistently been reactive rather than proactive with regards to most things technology related. This is unlikely to change much in the coming years. As we are already starting to see with today’s teens, new generations will become savvier (or at least more fearful) about the consequences of not protecting one’s own private information. Social media literacy lessons will be woven into K-12 curricula as part of a larger course on life skills (which would include health, home economics, personal finance, etc.). I think citizens will become wiser about their own privacy issues online.”

David Bernstein, president at The Bernstein Agency, a marketing and research consultancy, responded, “It seems only logical that, as private information becomes more valuable, institutions will eventually have a method for allowing individuals to earn or gain in some way in exchange for releasing portions of their privacy. Today, we assume that our privacy is protected and that privacy is a right and not a privilege. The opposite will evolve as we move toward 2025. Privacy will be seen as a privilege, and maybe, only for those who can afford it.”

Richard Rasansky, founder and CEO of yorn.com, commented, “Perception is always our own reality, whether logical, factually correct or not. If consumers continue to symmetrically share more and more data related to tracking and analytics, the variable in the equation of balance will be the efficacy of security from unintended consequences and outcomes. Without secure data infrastructures that protect vulnerabilities, and exploits that could ultimately harm a consumer physically, socially or financially, public perception of online privacy and security will surely limit the broad growth of compelling consumer applications that can reshape our world. Privacy lives in the eye of the holder, meaning, as we develop more efficient ways of sharing private data about ourselves, we enable deeper, richer, and more powerful opportunities to enhance our lives, ranging from our education to our personal health to our entertainment. The rise of consumerism in big data will drive the public norm to be more open about sharing personal data—so long as such personal data is subject to significant legal and technological protections designed to minimize the risk of compromising the security of an individual’s identity.”

David Wierz, a strategic analytics professional for OCI, wrote, “There will be a pragmatic response given the need to create an environment where the perception is that all participants assure privacy in support of commerce and interchange through the Internet. A broader question remains as to whether reality matches the perception. Regression to the mean: public perception continues to devolve toward an acceptance of what today is ‘intrusive’ and, in the past, stands as potentially illegal.”

Andrew Richardson, a respondent who chose not to share additional identifying details, wrote, “The inability to come to a consensus will hinder the development and adoption of anything like this. There are too many moving pieces. I do not think it will take much for people to pull back on the types and quantity of information they share. Ultimately, privacy of personal information will become almost like currency, and consumers will ask themselves whether the utility provided by an Internet service, app, or site is worth the cost of giving up their data. In some cases, it may not be, and companies built around the whole idea of making money off of your data (Facebook comes to mind) will no longer fly.”

Sunil Gunderia, a mobile strategist at an education start-up, responded, “Unfortunately, privacy become an even bigger issue by 2025, as most individual movement (i.e., all forms of transportation) will be track-able. The mining of this seemingly innocuous data by governments in the name of security and corporations for the purpose of commerce will challenge personal liberties, as an individual’s location will always be known. The debate will continue on how much liberty we are willing to sacrifice in the name of security in the public sector, as well as convenience versus privacy in the commercial sector; however, the inevitable nature of big data is that we will give up on liberties and privacies.”

Manuel Landa, CEO of Urban360, a Mexican start-up, commented, “Private information will become a very valuable currency that users own and that companies want; therefore, it is logical that regulations will arise to define what is acceptable and what is not, like what happens today with the financial system.”

Carla Bates, an educational administrator, wrote, “The balance will not be the ‘right’ one, but rather, a ‘functional’ one. By 2025 or so, the Earth will hold about 8 billion people. I do not know how issues of security, liberty, and privacy will scale, but I do not see that we have any choice other than to create an infrastructure that can handle the complexity of a human society on that level—as education and health care follow business, entertainment, and journalism online, we are as virtual as we are face-to-face in much of what we do. I already turn on location services on my iPhone so that Google Maps works better—I feel secure enough to roam with liberty while knowing that I have less privacy than I did before.”

Munir Mandviwalla, an associate professor and chair of the school of business at Temple University, commented, “Human ingenuity has no limit, and security, liberty, and privacy have always been a goal since the beginning of time; no government, structure, or religion has ever been successful in restricting those goals, and we have always found a way (sometimes incrementally, sometimes magnificently) to achieve those goals. But, the goals will be achieved by innovators not policy makers.”

Bud Levin, a futurist, and professor of psychology at Blue Ridge Community College in Virginia, wrote, “What we see is the virtual equivalent of bazookas versus tanks. In general, the offense has the initiative, and defense has a tough time keeping up. It is hard to imagine how that can change. In addition, ‘balance’ always depends on the values and perceptions of who is looking. Some things will stay the same—i.e., some will still be looking for the silver bullet to solve the problem of identity. The silver bullet will continue to escape us until the paradigm shifts—i.e., until we realize we have been asking the wrong question. Increasingly, and gradually, people will realize that privacy, anonymity, confidentiality, secrecy, and similar constructs of the industrial age, are giving way to ubiquitous transparency. Consider how we might behave when we know that everything we do is or could easily become headline news. Privacy laws will become more obviously incompatible with normal behavior. They will be trying to push back the ocean. That is likely to generate increasing contempt for government.”

Nathan Rodriguez, a PhD student at the University of Kansas, replied, “The operative phrase here is ‘popularly accepted.’ Recent examples, such as Facebook’s continual creep toward allowing more user data to be mined, has demonstrated the relative lack of blowback from such decisions. In short, digital behavior seems to carry an expectation of semi-publicness rather than an expectation of privacy. I have queried my students (primarily freshmen), and from this limited sample, it was abundantly clear that so-called digital natives are much more comfortable with the expectation of semi-publicness with respect to digital behavior. So, although I answer ‘yes’ to the question, it is not because I believe such a system will arise, only that it will be popularly accepted. Digital behavior seems to carry an expectation of semi-publicness, rather than an expectation of privacy. I have queried my students (primarily freshmen) on their opinion of NSA activities in the aftermath of the Edward Snowden affair, and from this limited sample, it was abundantly clear that so-called digital natives are much more comfortable with an expectation of semi-publicness with respect to digital behavior. In their view, such practices by the NSA were an unavoidable consequence of the war on terror, and surprisingly, although the discussion was vibrant, no student expressed any sense of surprise or disagreement with the policy.”

Art Brodsky, a self-employed communications consultant, commented, “Competing interests always produce a less-than-desired result. There will be more ways to invade privacy and more pressures to do so.”

Patrick Larvie, a researcher for a large US-based technology company specializing in the human impacts of technology, wrote, “There will continue to be much dissent over how to regulate uses of the Internet and over control of the underlying infrastructure. From governments that want to snoop on citizens to companies that want to monitor the use of intellectual property, conflicts over privacy will mirror broader conflicts related to intellectual property, the proper role of government, fears about crime, and calls for freedom from electronic surveillance. The average person will be much more aware of what privacy is, what its value is to her or him, and what it means in the context of a functioning democracy. Increasingly, these decisions will become monetized, so that we know what a ‘Like’ is worth, perhaps in dollars and cents.”

Heywood Sloane, a principal and consultant with expertise in financial and business technologies, replied, “We will still be sorting out the benefits and drawbacks, as the rate of technology’s growth, change, and integration into our daily lives and activities will continue to accelerate. Assimilation and adjustment will occur over decades as generations adjust and reach different conclusions about where the right balance lies—it will always be catching up. Public acceptance will be greater, as benefits outweigh drawbacks; however, if violations of currently accepted norms continue to surface (i.e., NSA, Target, Facebook, etc.), there may be a backlash, with more people looking for ways to disconnect enough to guard their privacy. It could be people moving beyond Facebook and the like to take control of their personal networks, or it may be driven by a deep desire (and need) to keep, for example, their electronic health records private—nor would I discount the ability of government abuse (domestic or foreign) to impact the acceptable norms by their actions.”

James W. Chesebro, a retired distinguished professor of telecommunication, observed, “The balance between individual rights (such as privacy) and government-corporate protections has been tilted towards government-corporate protections. At least for the last ten years, the government and corporate interests have received attention and protection. We are now starting to see some concern for individual rights (such as privacy). Within ten or so years, a new balance emphasizing individual rights should take hold, offering expansions of, and protecting, personal information.”

Ian Lamont, founder of i30 Media, a publisher of technology, business, and health guides, wrote, “Awareness of these issues will force companies and governments to pay attention to the demands of the people. Awareness and education will make people far more cautious of the digital trails they leave.”

Jim Leonick, director of new product development for mobile and digital for an interactive services company, said, “There will be better technology that allows for the proper identification of people as they browse online, which can then be used as a means of earning currency with marketers by ‘selling’ your online data. Additional technologies are likely to be atomic level encryption, NFC, and iPhone5s-like fingerprinting. I do believe it will become the norm to sell your data to marketers for a small fee, which gives actual value to the users and true value for the marketers because they have confidence in the data.”

Dennis McCann, a director of computer training and formerly a senior technical consultant at Cisco and IBM, wrote, “I do not know about balance, as that is subjective, but both privacy and more pervasive integration of the Internet with everyday life could be achieved through technological and policy innovations. An open Internet is required for this to be successful. Only the Internet community, not the service providers, have an interest in a workable set of solutions, as regulation alone will not control a private Internet to provide for individual rights. They are already more relaxed and will eventually allow the individual to integrate with a global community. The concept of the individual will change to include this online society in unimaginable ways.”

Clark Sept, co-founder and principal of Business Place Strategies, Inc., replied, “The Internet is contributing to the globalization of many aspects of life, including expectations of individual rights. So-called crowdsourcing will become increasingly prominent and relevant as an ad-hoc Internet democracy. Part of this movement will include the emergence (gradual and, at times, lurching) of demands for secure, private, and free access (both meanings of free) worldwide.“

John Saguto, an executive decision support analyst for geospatial information systems for large-scale disaster response, wrote, “Yes, when it comes to security and privacy, the business of commerce has undergone incremental steps ever since the use of credit cards and ATMs. Yes, the public will (rightfully) be challenged to practice ‘user protection,’ while at the same time, commerce will also evolve to harness the best of convenience combined with security (peace of mind). Consumers will patron suppliers who proactively harness security measures. If you have any doubts, you may want to understand that banks have been doing this for decades! The Millennial generation will be the most active segment of the year 2025, so based on their present love-hate relationship with social media, my estimate is that the norm and folkways of privacy will be relative to their life style and station in life. The now ubiquitous use of smartphones is the persuasive tool to expand on allowing privacy to be ‘relative’ to social acceptance of ‘looser’ privacy—candid photos and videos taken legally have attributed to the fall of governments, rise of pop culture, and mainstream of the new social norms of virtual reality (relationships). Privacy and the Boomers know it is already gone!”

Stuart Osnow, a partner at Prime New York, providing voter-based data for political and government communities, replied, “There will be a substantial push-back against government security as we continue expectations that the freedoms of expression apply to the Internet in the information we share and through the communications we post. Policymakers will need to take a stand that the Constitution protects Americans in matters of the Internet. Corporations will need to get more specific in their contracts with users. People will need guarantees from Google and Facebook that they are safe from commerce. Things could be beyond our ability to change by 2025, though. By 2025, there will be entire industries that gather, protect, and secure your privacy. We cannot expect to be protected by the businesses or the government.”

Cliff Zukin, a professor at Rutgers University, wrote, “One could argue that this is what we now have. Largely, it is secure. It is popularly accepted, and it can be broken by governments and other actors. It should be the same in 2025. The mass public will accept it as safe—but really, no information is completely ‘safe,’ now or then. There is a generational story here, with two full generations now living life mixing online and with direct experiences merging to a single reality. So, they will be less questioning of big data. This has always been a fact of life for them.”

Tuija Aalto, head of strategy at Yle, the Finnish Broadcasting Company, commented, “More data will be gathered, combined, and sold; and, while ‘white hat’ entrepreneurs and coders will have introduced models for elegant privacy solutions, the majority of online businesses have not deployed them. It will be expected that all choices about privacy are conscious. Some people will be hyper-transparent, while some people highly private, and fewer in the middle of the road.”

David Burstein, CEO at Run for America, and author of Fast Future: How the Millennial Generation is Shaping Our World, wrote, “By 2025, we will have advanced significantly. We will be talking about it much less.”

Matthew Henry, a CIO in higher education commented, “In a little over 10 years, basic standards that run our systems of networking and commerce from basic TCP to SMTP will need to be reestablished. Just about all the bases of what we use today were established for research and ‘friendly’ or trusted relationships. As forward thinking as those who established these standards were, they did not see a future full of targeted abuse. Many branches of a future include pressure from policy makers to corporations. Pressure will come first from consumers and those of us who use technology on a day-to-day basis. Many compromises and innovative collaboration between corporations will need to happen. This will lead to an environment of balance of trust and release of privacy between consumer and corporations. Compromises will need to be made by all. It is hard to say where we will be in 2025. Public norms will continue to shift based on compromises of privacy and their perceived effect on life. Most likely, perception will lean towards benefits seen from release of privacy for more productivity and easier walk of life.”

Brenda Freedman, a digital publicist, responded, “Although technology advances have made possible better encryption to protect personal data, there have been instances where data has been compromised; and when there are sizable breeches, people feel more vulnerable, and this, in turn, can create a generalized ‘mistrust’ of submitting data online. Good encryption does exist, and methods to improve the vast data exchanged to keep it secure needs to be implemented. The year 2025 is not too far in the future; in a decade, however, perception of privacy will be different because of the rapid changes in technology taking us to an even greater mobile immersion in the mobile market. Another factor could be that the decade will comprise individuals where mobile communications comprise the majority of their professional and personal lives. Keeping that in mind, coupled with new technology and devices, people will have a more secure outlook of their data being secure.”

Buroshiva Dasgupta, a professor of communication at an international management institute, wrote, “The way things are moving, privacy policy will be a must—the sooner, the better. It will be a sensitive balance between individual freedom and what one cannot and should not do. Through public pressure, policy makers will be forced to clearly lay down a transparent privacy norm.”

Andy Beloff, a respondent who did not share additional identifying details, wrote, “As much as we would like to see a secure platform for sharing, communicating, and conducting commerce online, I do not see how anyone will ever be able to guarantee that any platform is secure. The incident at Target is a perfect example. We can spend tons of money on all types of security, but no one can possibly guarantee total and complete security, no matter how secure they claim their website or channel to be. In 2025, we will have more people who realize that they need to take as many steps possible to protect their info and identity, since nothing is guaranteed.”

Sheryl Hartman, a professor of psychology, commented, “Technology innovators will have all material available in the cloud, accessible by biometric authentication technology. Public norms will have far lower expectations of privacy.”

Peter R. Jacoby, a college professor, replied, “Both business and government have little to gain, and much to lose, if policies (mostly in the sense of laws) are promulgated that would Ensure individual Internet users enjoy privacy and security, especially from massive collections of metadata in the names of return on investment and national security. I have seen nothing over the past few years to indicate that either business or government has any compelling reason to desist from such activities. Individual Internet users are simply too distracted and uninformed to allow any truly consequential form of outrage to last beyond the moment. Public norms about privacy are nearly in tatters now. Given another decade of population growth, the most important driver of individual Internet use—social media—will cause the need for recognition and affirmation to grossly outpace any development of whatever shred of need for personal space and solitude that may survive the next decade.”

Mark Lockwood, a research scientist, wrote, “I am not sure there is enough demand for privacy to drive an initiative such as this. Perhaps the NSA data collection scandal will be a spark to raise consciousness over technology privacy issues as it unfolds, but I would be surprised if that were to happen. I could imagine that, if other technological security issues around monetary issues, such as identity theft, would increase in size and scale, the result could raise the consciousness of the public on the issue of technological security. If the public felt that their finances were threatened, this could result in a more strict privacy-rights infrastructure. It seems that, for now, the public is not bothered by the loss of their privacy. Perhaps someday, the public will feel that corporations are more intrusive than the government and revolt against them. If trends continue as they are the public will be willing to give up more privacy in exchange for convenience. As long as the public perceives that the personal benefits outweigh the costs of revealing their personal information, there will be no need to address the issue; however, if the current infrastructure is threatened by an attack from a rogue group, this could serve as a catalyst for changing the infrastructure. I would suspect any change in the future would be to protect corporations’ interests and not consumers, though consumers may benefit indirectly.”

Jerry P. Miller, a researcher based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, wrote, “Many noteworthy spokespeople have expressed concern regarding personal privacy, etc., that we should have addressed these issues by 2025. The impact of networks on personal private space will create a milieu that will, in turn, create a groundswell requiring definitive efforts toward enhancing personal privacy.”

Annette Liska, a director at a research and design firm, responded, “With time, people will have a greater understanding that personal data is and can be monetized, and individuals will want ownership of that data. Technologists today are beginning to explore apps that allow a user to participate in a social media platform, yet choose what data components are sold to organizations, and then receive remuneration for that data. Our right to privacy is constitutional. While use of services, like Facebook or Gmail, is ‘free’ today in exchange for personal data, many practices are arguably unconstitutional; more importantly, however, they undermine the human expectation for trustworthiness in social contexts. As a professional studying the cognitive and behavioral impacts of technology use, I see the distribution of information and images of our children on social media as a largely overlooked area in the privacy debate. This data is, and will continue to be, used to profile a person—starting from their childhood today—unless there is a demand to protect it and own it. Young adults will have to struggle to ‘earn’ privacy in 2025, or to reshape or eliminate an established digital profile owned by third parties. These profiles unwittingly begin with parents’ choices when curating their children’s early life, profiles that lack the grace and nuance of how we live and relate. Part of human maturity and survival is dependent on our adaptability (Darwin), and technology and behaviors that allow adaptability will be critical to our highest social aims. To connect with each other, life is more poetry and less data.”

Vittorio Veltroni, CEO for Hyppo Corporation, a digital and customer-knowledge consultancy, responded, “The forces are pulling into opposite directions; government will step up surveillance programs, while companies will strive to promise security while exploiting data for their own economic advantage. There is a clear contrast of interest between the government, the companies, and the public when it comes to data security. The public will be far more trusting of the companies, as these economic institutions need usage to survive, while the government will be perceived as a more sinister force. There will be clear distinctions between gathering data and storing data, with an emphasis on security in these fields mostly met (and paid for) by the private sector. There will be a public outcry over access to these data, and there will be legislative issues around this point, especially given the contrast between (mostly) US-owned platforms and non-US citizens/users.”

Walter Riker, a respondent who shared no additional identifying details, commented, “In the near future, there will be a big upheaval within the public arena, which in turn, will bring about policy changes regarding security with respect to privacy and liberty. As radical as it may appear, we are currently seeing America edging toward a military-controlled state, I do not believe that will be allowed to continue. To a large degree, we have already given up what, at one time, was considered to be a private matter. Subjects like adultery, sexual preferences, and personal finances, have all come out of the closet and become part of the statistical data we capture. We, the people, have become more open, and therefore, some of the areas of historical privacy have already disappeared. The future individual will become more concerned about freedom. The original freedoms we were guaranteed based on the US Constitution—being able to talk openly, as well as to express beliefs privately without fear of repercussions.”

Jane Adams, executive director of one of California’s state-based public organizations, wrote, “Over time, consumers will realize that ‘privacy’ is a broader term than the way it is perceived now. By purchasing items, viewing websites, social media, etc., much more will be tracked and known about our personal tastes, actions, and preferences. We may feel more vulnerable, unless securing our data is a high priority.”

Kathryn Campbell, managing partner with Primitive Spark, Inc., an interactive marketing firm based in Los Angeles, commented, “Privacy norms and assumptions have already evolved enormously—and very quickly. I do not think this genie can be put back in the bottle. I expect that, by 2025, very little about an individual will be private by default. A few highly profitable enterprises will exist to offer online security and privacy services to those who want, and can afford, them.”

Cliff Cook, a planning information manager for the City of Cambridge, Massachusetts, wrote, “Given the track record to date on this issue, I do not foresee a broad change in direction on this topic. Too much of the Internet business structure, as it now exists, is based on an implicit bargain: ‘Use our services for free (social media, mapping, content) in return for our collecting data about your usage of our platform, which we can then monetize with little or no restriction.’ While I could foresee a general rethinking of Internet privacy following the past year’s revelations about government data collection, not just by the NSA, I do not see where the incentive will come from in our current political environment that will change the practices of the business community. The issues are complex and nuanced, and we do not manage such issues well now—if we ever did to begin with.”

Todd Cotts, a business professional, wrote, “All of the upheaval by the public over the NSA data collection methods, the increased number of ID thefts, and the recent illegal seizure of credit card information of 40 million Target customers by hackers, has increased the sensitivity of consumers, and the public at large, to the privacy of their personal information. For this reason, the public will continue to put pressure on legislators and companies to improve the security of their private information, as well as their privacy. An example of public pressure is how many consumers returning to Target, following the credit card information hack, used cash instead of credit cards. This certainly puts pressure on banks, which are at risk of significant monetary losses as a result, to figure out better ways to protect consumer privacy and information. As these improvements take place, and as organizations (public and private) demonstrate ability to protect privacy and personal information, consumers and the general public will become less concerned about the privacy of their information, until, of course, something catastrophic happens that threatens that sense of security. The other thing to consider is how members of the current young generation throw their personal information out on the World Wide Web without any concern for privacy. And, as they age in a world that is more and more intertwined with the Internet, their sensitivity to concerns about privacy will continue to diminish—psychologically, they just ‘get used to it as a normal way of life.’ Of course, as stated already, this diminished concern over privacy of personal information will only exist until a catastrophic event involving personal information of innocent people takes place, in which case it is most likely too late to change anything.”

Warren Yoder, executive director of the Public Policy Center of Mississippi, commented, “While it is certainly possible to construct a ‘secure, popularly accepted, and trusted privacy-rights infrastructure,’ those who construct the policy are too fearful, and those who construct the problem are too disconnected from the participants to successfully construct the broad public engagement needed to launch a public negotiation. We are much more likely to drift along to a sloppy accommodation. The Internet privacy field is complex, not complicated. We do not understand the dynamics well enough to predict.”

S. Rodriguez, chief operating officer for MC&S IB and digital consultant, replied, “As society advances, politicians must intervene less on personal information of each individual, limiting interference and establishing simple, effective rules. Large corporations are very likely to use the large amount of cumulative data on their servers, so this relationship is more fluid and personalized. The idea is to seek a balance between the obligation to protect data and not make it public, with the proper use by the holders thereof.”

Al Logiodice, a survey respondent who did not share additional identifying details, wrote, “A privacy infrastructure is essential and inevitable if society is going to continue connecting itself on the Web. If government and/or businesses do not build this infrastructure voluntarily, then individuals are going to build their own individual privacy walls on a random, ad-hoc basis. That will not be efficient for anyone, but it will help the individual protect his interests until business and government deal with privacy issues. Some norms will continue to become looser, such as buying habits. But, as more businesses find out more about my income and my financials, more potential employers find out about my personal life, health issues, political affiliations, etc., insurance companies acquire my genetic information to make decisions about me without my consent, and so forth, those norms will become more privacy-oriented. In other words, the more the public believes that their private information is being used to take advantage of them, the stronger that privacy norms will become.”

Mike Ribble, a survey participant who chose not to share more identifying details, wrote, “Companies and countries will come together and identify that there needs to be a balance between privacy and access. It will be difficult to come up with a solution that meets the needs on a global scale, as there are different schools of thought on what should or should not be shared. I think that we will look at privacy differently; we will have access to more information, but there will be ways to lock away information from everyone. We will have some safeguards in place that will question us when attempting to share more private information.”

Thomas Lenzo, a self-employed consultant for more than 30 years in the areas of training, technology, and security, wrote, “While there may be that infrastructure by 2025, I doubt if it will be completed to the levels of business innovation and monetization while still allowing individual protections. There will always be conflicts between those wanting as much personal data they can obtain and those who want complete privacy. Of course, we will have those who feel that there is nothing they can do about privacy, as everything about them is ‘out there,’ and will not care either way. As the Millennial and future generations grow older, their attitudes about privacy will be much more liberal and open than the current norms. The public attitude will follow theirs as the older generations die off.”

Tracy Clark, a PhD, and a computer science teacher, wrote, “The one thing that policymakers always have to balance is free enterprise and the will of people.”

Richard James, an information science professional, replied, “Government does not have the will or competence to require such an infrastructure, and business has no incentive to produce one. Privacy rights are widely held to be a first-world concern—and a niche first-world concern at that.”

Adam Rust, a research director for a US-based organization advocating for economic justice and opportunity, wrote, “There is going to be political support for privacy initiatives, provided that the right group(s) work on this issue. The ground is fertile. We need someone who can be as effective as MADD was with drunk driving, or as the NRA has been with gun rights. This is a fight against big business, but if the concerns can be elaborated to the public, then it has power. There is a generational shift in how people think about privacy. There is one significant misunderstanding out there. People seem to fear privacy incursions by the government more than they do those by private companies. It makes no sense, but that seems to be the American paradigm.”

James Grant, social media manager at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation in the UK, replied, “The debate about privacy is hysterical and frenzied, with very little legitimate cause for concern. Mass surveillance has been pervading social norms for years, with few perceptible downsides. We will naturally adjust our online behaviour as it becomes accepted as public behaviour.”

Maxene Spolidoro, a communications professional with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, replied, “There is too much at stake not to develop the consumer privacy protections. While the United States may or may not have significant control or influence in what happens in other countries, the United States is a consumer-driven nation with a consumer-driven economy. The risks to our economy are too high not to address privacy and security on the Web. Policy and politics will benefit from an economic-driven security and privacy innovation spillover. After a generation of social use, we will likely see the pendulum swing back towards individuals being more circumspect about their own posts (likes, comments, and shares included) to social sites, realizing the world is looking at them and may judge them differently then they intended.”

Brenda Michelson, a self-employed business-technology consultant, wrote, “The sticking points in this question are ‘popularly accepted’ and ‘trusted.’ Yes, it will be possible to create a secure privacy rights infrastructure by 2025. Popular acceptance will depend on the design. Individuals are willing to trade slices of privacy (actions, location, and information) in exchange for business and social (safety) services and interactions; however, those privacy reveals are only slivers of our total story, and there are expectations (perhaps naive) that those reveal are to a specified, limited audience. Taking the leap from small, quick reveals, to a— potentially—aggregated view, managed by an entity to be determined, is when the majority of individuals will balk. Others will opt-out earlier, pushing for a Bitcoin-like design, where transactions and interactions can be validated, yet the parties retain anonymity. The greater the individual anonymity, the less supportive business and policymakers will be. Businesses want to innovate and profit from the data exhaust, and policymakers (unfortunately) typically begin with an un-trust bias towards the citizenship. This leads to a broader point—who are the policymakers? Is the expectation to have a globally accepted and trusted privacy rights infrastructure, which would require establishing trust (data, technology, and actions) across the geopolitical spectrum? Or, is the more realistic expectation the creation of a loose federation of geopolitically based privacy rights infrastructures? As with many seemingly technical problems, the real challenge is solving the underlying issues—in this situation, how we codify trust.”

Roy Rodriq, a system administrator at Maricopa Community College in Phoenix, Arizona, replied, “Businesses and NGOs will have undue influence on policy and standards due to inadequate participation from the public, allowing government to be inept and a non-player. Information, or big data, is too much. Such objects are unable to be parsed or processed due to limiting thoughts of present generation. Those who speculate are already behind in their interpretation. It will be the youngest users now who will have the opportunity to make cohesive plan to shape the said object. I do not say ‘right’ or ‘choice’ because that is being eroded and displaced by the rich and corporate entities. They will be open, to the point where individuals will have no recourse but to abide by them in the first-world economies. Impoverished or US-resistant areas will develop an antithesis to these free-ranged directions being foisted on them.”

Meghan Krane, a respondent who chose not to share additional identifying details, wrote, “Regulatory policy is often chasing technology and new information formats. I do not think this will change by 2025, and creating policy will continue to lag behind new information formats with regard to personal privacy, secure data, and consumer tracking apps. The context of data will become increasingly important, as well as how it was collected, the original purpose of collecting the data, and the intended audience.”

Beth Bush, the senior vice president for a major healthcare professional association, wrote, “Privacy of information will be irrelevant. Relevance of information will be more important. There will be more acceptance of people knowing more about people they do not know.”

Galen Panger, a PhD candidate at the University of California-Berkeley School of Information, wrote, “Many companies realize that privacy can be a competitive advantage, so I think there is something in it for them. Regulators like the FTC are also starting to recognize that notice and consent are not enough to protect people, so I think they have a reason to convene the diverse interests around this. And, with the ascendance of behavioral economics it is becoming less popular to think in terms of ‘rational agents’ that will make all the right privacy-preserving choices. So, there is reason to be optimistic. I am not sure, however, that the most powerful companies in this space are particularly invested in privacy—not because they do not care at all, but because they do not care enough to make the big effort required for some sort of privacy-rights infrastructure. If change happens, it will be because the FTC makes the right moves or because support for such an infrastructure builds and grows among advocates and smaller companies first.”

Bob Kominski, a demographer and sociologist employed by the US federal government, wrote, “Actually, the strongest desire among the general population seems to be that financial transactions be secure. There appears to be less concern about social information than money. And, since money engages the business community, my guess is that this is the domain where the security issue will be most quickly attacked and addressed. This is a tough one. Social norms are dynamic—that is, they change, and people are not even aware that change is occurring. They are not written down like laws. They are also highly variable across the population. What is acceptable in one subpopulation (i.e., young people sending revealing photos of themselves) is far less acceptable in others (i.e., older folks). Because the medium is soft, dynamic, and easy to use, norms can evolve much more quickly. I do not see the general population becoming more ‘conservative’ about this issue over time; if anything, it is likely to become more accepting.”

Glen Farrelly, a self-employed digital media researcher and consultant, wrote, “Although notions of privacy will continue to change, as has already been happening, privacy, in the form of identity theft and security of confidential information, will be essential to ensure the viability of e-commerce, e-business, and e-government. I believe this impetus will force businesses and governments to work together to achieve such a privacy framework. A social mores in the West will evolve to become more tolerant of individual life choices and lifestyles, so the notion of shame that often motivates the need for privacy will be lessened. Also, as lifestreaming becomes more familiar and ubiquitous, there will not be the same concerns about people’s personal lives tainting their professional lives, as it will not be shocking anymore (after all, people were always doing silly and embarrassing things long before the Internet).”

Lionel Martinez, a self-employed media consultant, artist, and writer, responded, “At the moment, there are many competing views on privacy rights. There has always been those who believe that they have the right to snoop into someone else’s life—for reasons of national security; for reasons of stopping crime; for reasons of some high moral purpose; for reasons of using the gathered information for marketing; for reasons of prejudicial fear of the ‘outsiders.’ And, I am sure I left some group out. This is a situation that will not find a solution in eleven years. I am not sure how they will be different, but I do believe that the privacy rights issue will evolve. The younger generations today view privacy with large acceptance of some intrusion.”

Norman Weekes, a volunteer for a nonprofit commented, “The infrastructure will be highly monetized, and only those who can afford to buy or learn how to protect their privacy will have it. Massive data breeches and theft will swing privacy concerns towards overprotection, regulation, and excessive regulation.”

James Penrod, former CIO at Pepperdine University, the University of Maryland at Baltimore, California State University at Los Angeles, and the University of Memphis, replied, “I believe 16 years will allow such an infrastructure and set of regulations and guidelines to be reasonably well-developed and implemented. I suspect there will be some shift politically away from corporate favor, as well as movement toward the rights of individuals. I am less inclined to think that all issues of such matters will be settled, but public perception may well be overall positive. I think this will be determined based on the success of the next two to three presidencies. If they are seen as reasonably successful, public norms will have improved dramatically; if not, then there may be little change from now (it cannot get too much worse).”

Jamal Cromity, user experience and user interface lead for Infosys Online, wrote, “Security is an ongoing concern, and I suspect the policies will continue to evolve to allow both individual privacy and organizations’ accessibility to their information. While a number people will never come to full terms with the policy that is put in place, compromise will be tolerated until a loophole is discovered and lawsuit takes place. Legal ramifications are the general catalyst to change. As we have seen the speed of communication and news evolve with the explosion of social media, some standards will be in placed to make certain information accessible. Right now, private organizations are already able to buy and sell private information. So, eventually, a general consistent for basic information such as name, address, phone number will be even more tolerated as people who are on the ‘grid’ (meaning general online users) are accessible; technically, this already the norm. So, in 2025, even more private information will be accessible and would likely be controlled by one or more sources for the monetary value.”

Robert Furberg, senior clinical informaticist for RTI International, responded, “Analogous to the evolution of user expectations, when it comes to user experience, design, and usability in the use of websites and mobile applications today, I would expect to see an increase in the sophistication of user expectations in matters of privacy and security over time and that these expectations will help shape the easy-to-use formats, while commercial breeches in security, such as those reported by Target and Neiman Marcus in early 2014, will inform more stringent oversight in policy, regulations, and consumer protections. Sentinel markets are likely to be commerce, followed by more traditionally guarded sectors, such as public health and medicine. The expectation of individual privacy will evolve. Given the increase in passive data collection as a ‘cost’ of engagement with online technologies, privacy (by definition, as we know it today) will become increasingly difficult to assure, driving a widespread acceptance of a new definition of what individual privacy means among those who choose to interact with these systems. The cost of preserving the traditional concept of individual privacy will manifest as a form of socio-technical exclusion.”

Gloria Franco, of the NYU School of Medicine, commented, “I hope that the breaches we have had recently will help people and companies realize that privacy really needs to be maintained. Perhaps I am being naive, but I think that Snowden and the general petraeus scandal, as well as so many other problems that have surfaced, really prove that there has to be a way to maintain privacy. Or perhaps, people have already given everything away. I hope that, as time passes, people will see the benefit to maintaining privacy and reduce the number of everything that is posted on social media. Certainly, Anthony Weiner should be a poster boy for this—oops, [I mean] poster man.”

Karina Besprosvan, research and analytics director for OmnicommediaGroup, replied, “After two years of scandals about spying, taking information, and unsecurity process, people will give not choice to developers about security polices. They will use only platforms and software that assure privacy; others will be forgotten. As platforms and devices will be more personal, and less sharable, (personal mobiles, mini-tablets, watches) people will use more individual codes and passwords to make themselves identified and unique. People will develop their own social rules, more than providers companies in this area—allowing or denying others to follow them, interacting with them, or reading history. History will remain in the past. People will decide if they want their photos, lives, and comments to be erased or to be read, when, and by whom.”

Robert Koreis, a survey participant who shared no additional identifying details, wrote, “Personal privacy is not a priority of government or business. The NSA spying on citizens and the data breach of Target customers are examples of this. There is much public upset, but in the end, nothing changes because there is no penalty for the powers that be. There will be the assumption that nothing is private.”

Rex Cornelius, a retired Information science professional, replied, “Public apathy about privacy issues will undermine attempts to develop popularly accessible privacy protection. Standards of personal privacy will continue to erode.”

Carol Foreman, an information science professional, wrote, “Technology innovators can create an Internet that protects privacy rights, but policymakers will be mired in the political quagmire that slows everything down. There is another aspect to this: how much truck will individuals place in privacy? I am 58 years old, and I see privacy totally differently from my mother, who is 85. She is so concerned about it that she does not want to use the Internet, and she would never think about paying a bill online or consider giving out her credit card information. I could care less. I pay for everything online, I state what my beliefs are, I am on Facebook, I love Pinterest, and I post pictures all of the time; however, with the age of Snowden, I am just starting to consider what privacy means and how willing I have been to give it up without any fight. Long story short, if we continue to have people like Snowden willing to force us to look at what privacy actually means, future generations will become savvier and more critical and alert.”

Tina Glengary, director of strategy at Instrument, wrote, “I do not necessarily think it is a bad thing that we will not agree on one ‘right balance.’ More than anything, people will demand privacy from businesses, which will vary greatly depending on the business. We will all become savvier on which personal privacy boundaries are OK to be crossed. I believe policymakers should not dictate what those boundaries are, but instead, should help protect the choices that individuals make. Per my answer above, I do think people will become savvier on which personal privacy boundaries are OK on a case-by-case basis. There are times when consumer tracking is helpful and ‘smart.’ There are also times when it is creepy. I believe that there will be a greater level of transparency with how the data might be used, which will make people more willing to share their data.”

Scott McLeod, director of innovation for the Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency in Iowa, responded, “Most corporations and government policymakers have little incentive to enhance privacy protections at the expense of their own data collection interests. It will take a major backlash by citizens on this front for significant digital privacy rights protections to occur. Currently, most people seem either apathetic or defeatist when it comes to their digital privacy rights.”

Neil Krasnoff, an instructional system design professional, wrote, “It seems like the commercial interests are against privacy. It is the commercial interests that will drive policies in Washington, so any legal/policy solution will likely be inadequate. Already, the norms are shifting away from privacy. I do not see any reversal from the trend. Modesty and humility are becoming ancient virtues, so it is now normal to promote oneself as a ‘brand.’ Since finding good work in the future will depend heavily on online reputation, people will become experts at publicizing aspects they want public. A lot of online conduct, therefore, will be affectation—not exactly real disclosure. People will learn not to publish anything that may reveal their darker natures, though there will be some things private.”

Jo Devonshire, a respondent who shared no additional identifying details, wrote, “Although I hate to say it, ‘Big Brother-type’ policies will continue to expand. Through information sharing, personal privacy will be harder to control, and government and business will use fear and greater-good ideology to push through their own agendas. People will fall into two categories, I think: those who use social networking and media, and who are not worried about privacy issues, as they have ‘nothing to hide,’ while others will share as little as possible to try to maintain some control over their own information. In a way, it will be quite similar to what we have now.”

Laurie Orton, an information science professional wrote, “The trend right now is moving away from keeping information private. Sure, you can opt out of providing information, but that usually means not being able to use the service offered. This seems to be getting worse, rather than better. Public norms will be that privacy is not an option on the Internet.”

Karen Landis, user-experience team lead for Belk.com (a department store), wrote, “I believe the balance will shift in favor of corporations and political agendas. Content and apps that emerge from consumer tracking and analytics will be content that is dumbed down. Its mantra will be entertain, please, and titillate. It will play to an entire population diagnosed with ADD that cannot focus long enough to problem solve. Society will be manipulated by emotion and gossip to react without understanding what or why. Personal privacy and control of your own data will be extremely difficult. Desiring to do so will be considered wanting to live outside of society—like an outlaw.”

Joan Neslund, an information science professional responded, “Privacy will be built into devices and not in software or online. We will have ways to protect ourselves and not expect companies to do it for us. Privacy will be our own responsibility and an industry unto itself.”

Ralph Tomlinson, an information science professional, commented, “I do not think our politicians have any interest in protecting personal privacy, not only for presumed security reasons, but also because there is money to be made from personal data, consumer tracking, and analytics. Our current political system protects only corporations, and I do not see that changing without a major upheaval. I think there will be less privacy in 2025 than today. Many of us are eroding our privacy by the way we use social media, and this will only continue to grow.”

Susan Keating, a self-employed digital consultant and instructor, responded, “I believe that, by 2025, the general public will expect governmental agencies to have total access to all information they see and do through the Internet. People will no longer expect privacy. Today, people expect they have privacy, unless they are otherwise warned. By 2025, I think they will not expect privacy.”

Carol Ann Pala, an information science professional based in Delaware, commented, “Although I answered, ‘Yes,’ to the first question, that there will never be a real balance between personal privacy and consumer tracking and analytics, I feel the United States, as a country, will strive for the balance, but because the consumer companies are better represented in D.C. than the people in this country, the laws will support their rights to track what we do online. I work with teenagers, and the majority of them do not believe in, nor expect, privacy in 2025, while the adults seem to still cling to the notion of privacy, even though, deep down, I do not think they care enough to fight for it, or even know what it would look like, in 2025.”

Jan Nygaard, a survey participant who shared no additional identifying details, wrote, “Progress moves slowly, and the year 2025 is only 11 years away. Unless some traumatic event, in which everyone outcries, security and privacy online will not be much different than it is today—in light of the controversies of Wiki-leaks and Mr. Snowden’s situation, it is now happening. I believe the word ‘liberty’ is not necessarily in the same category as ‘security and privacy.’ Liberty, to me, means an individual’s responsibility, and the people and lawmakers in the United States are moving away from personal responsibility. I am not sure the public norms about privacy will be much different 11 years from now. Thinking specifically about HIPAA, it depends upon when the pendulum swings back again; it depends upon which area will be focused—the half-full or the half-empty glass.”

Mace Mentch, a PhD, wrote, “By 2025, we will have taken the right path at the crossroad to insure both access to the data we need and the level of security and privacy that we want. As citizens demand more transparency in all aspects of life, including government and business, our technology will enable us to accomplish this; however, I think that the perception of tracking and analytics right now is quite negative, an invasion of our privacy and security, so there will need to be significant changes in our policy to enable us to succeed. Right now, I think, more and more people are becoming aware, probably because of greater information technology literacy as a whole, that we are being spied on, hacked, and tracked. As the awareness grows, so will the demand for transparency, protection of our rights, and harsher penalties for offenders.”

Pietro Ciminelli, director of finance for BOCES, commented, “There is little confidence by the electorate that there will be any protection of privacy rights. People will be more sensitive about privacy, as there is fear that improperly collected information will harm employment opportunities and family rights.”

Bob Harootyan, manager of research for a national nonprofit organization, wrote, “Business will greatly expand the range and complexity of technological opportunities for consumers, but easy-to-use and trustworthy protection of one’s personal information and communication will be neither certain nor assured as a public right. The Congress and federal government will be hard-pressed to develop laws and regulations that provide high levels of security and privacy for American consumers. The regulation and monitoring of the private sector’s ability to track consumer habits, and to protect communication privacy, will be less rigorous than the ideal consumer-protection model. The average citizen’s privacy rights will also be tempered by the federal government’s need for security, counter-intelligence, and monitoring of potential terrorism. The average American who uses a range of communication technologies is unlikely to have absolute, or even high-level, privacy protection. Public norms about privacy are likely to be tempered by consumers’ desire to have access to a wide range of technologies. Their use of business, consumer, social, and other telecommunications will lessen the likelihood that their personal information and communications are fully protected. Most consumers will grudgingly ‘accept’ less than absolute privacy at the cost of being able to use a complex array of telecommunications options.”

Terri F. Reilly, a survey respondent who shared no additional identifying details, wrote, “These innovations will come to pass; however, two caveats exist between striking the right balance between personal privacy and secure data, and unbridled access to content—first, the definition of privacy, and second, hackers.”

David Lee King, an information science professional, wrote, “In twelve years, someone (i.e., governments, major corporations) will have figured out how to balance privacy with openness and shareability. People will be more open to sharing—they will be used to it.”

Karen Miller, an information science professional, responded, “It is a generational difference and/or backlash that will force these changes. Right now, everyone blabs everything on the Internet, in spite of the risks, but I think the trend will swing another way, especially as more and more companies make it too obvious why information about consumers is such a desirable commodity. My son is 16 years old, and he really dislikes all the sharing of information on the Internet and social media. He is surprisingly aware of what is going on politically in these areas. His generation will want to swing the other way toward privacy and security and will have the opportunity to do when they come of age and take part of the corporate world. Younger generations seem to be more politically aware, more willing to take risks, as well as take responsibility. They will move into the positions necessary to start making these changes. I certainly hope they do. Right now, few people care very much about privacy—instead, they want everyone to know everything. There could come a time when people sell information, instead of plasma, to make money, and only the wealthy will have the ability to prevent the invasion of privacy—you see the beginnings of that now, when you play games on your iPad, and you have to pay a few bucks to avoid ads. I equate it to how women used to keep their skin out of the sun as much as possible to demonstrate they did not have to work in a field all day and instead, live a life of leisure, while now, women bronze their skin as much as possible to look as if they do not have to work in an office all day and instead, live a life of leisure. Thus, there will come a time where it will be more attractive to protect your privacy.”

Michael Starks, an information science professional, commented, “Online privacy will continue to disappear. No powerful social force is trying to protect privacy. Corporations and governments are in the early stages of a long-term battle for capturing information about individuals. Business interests will win this battle, unless a monumental terrorist or criminal act occurs—giving governments the upper hand—and/or if corporations’ influence on public policy is substantially reduced through fundamental reform of campaign financing laws. Most individuals will continue to passively allow the erosion of their personal privacy in exchange for new products and services from business or for a greater sense of security from government. Society, generally, will lose sight of why privacy is important. Illicit or inappropriate violations of privacy will continue to occur regularly but without drawing the attention of the news media because they lack the resources or any financial incentive to expose business or government violations of privacy. As a result, privacy will become a quaint, unimportant notion to most people. Within a generation or two, people’s expectations of privacy will be nearly nonexistent, generally.”

Virginia Bird, director of the New River Public Library Cooperative, wrote, “We hear more and more about this issue. I think the public will demand the tech community and legislators come together on this for a comprehensive policy.”

Patty Kishman, a communications manager, wrote, “The public perception will always—and perhaps rightly—be colored with skepticism and even cynicism, but I have confidence that a consensus of public and private efforts will prevail to provide a relatively safe, and also profitable, infrastructure. I have been surprised by how much privacy I personally have been willing to give up in order to be part of the online world. But, I do not envision much further change over the next decade. What else have I got to share?”

M.A. Iverson, a survey participant who shared no additional identifying details, wrote, “My innate suspicions point toward an endless battle between the users’ demands for free and open access, security, and privacy, versus the monetization and policymakers’ desire for profitability over all other concerns. And, whatever their motivation, I suspect that the innovators will be trumped by the moneymakers and policymakers who are in their deep financial pockets. If—and only if—cannibalistic capitalism dies of its own corrupt core by 2025, perhaps there is a chance. But that is only eleven years away, no matter how distant it sounds. There is significant anxiety (and it is well-justified) about ‘government’ access to personal data. But, we overlook the unsettling fact that corporations have had access to all that data all along. It is hard to say which is worse, and it is also hard to imagine being able to develop security systems that are hacker-proof, or imagine policymakers who would be immune from financial incentives. Pragmatically, we are unlikely to give up online access for information sharing, shopping, social, and business transactions. With equal pragmatism, the profit-motive will take monetization well past sustainability and into gouging if at all possible. Equally, the criminal element is unlikely to disappear or convert to social justice advocacy. I don’t see a future technology that can successfully overcome the imbalance of power between users, innovators, profiteers, corrupt regulators, and outright crooks. Then again, when I was a kid, the idea of Dick Tracy’s two-way wrist radio was inconceivable. And now, everyone carries that in their pockets, with TV and the Library of Congress both a click or two away. It is possible that public norms will change to the extent that there is no longer an expectation of privacy for any form of information that is available online—in which case, consumers will constantly weigh the risks of clicking on any link or providing any confidential or sensitive data online. Eastwood’s question will dominate our future decisions with Internet use: ‘Do you feel lucky?’ I will also be curious to see if it becomes as unsettling to know that big business has access to our data as it is to some that our own government has the same access. For an amusing look to futurecasting from the last century, take a look at that wonderfully bizarre and strangely accurate film, The President’s Analyst.”

Barb Eales, a survey participant who shared no additional identifying details, commented, “Right now, we show a great deal of trust when we buy online or share our financial information anywhere (credit cards, automatic bill pay, etc.), and I do not see that trust-ability changing, unless there is a dramatic, persistent, worldwide breach of encryption and ‘secure’ data. Let us hope the great, creative minds behind business, networks, storage, and software figure out how to protect information, at least in opt-in cost centers or, ideally, on or in our local, private network and storage. I hope the right balance gets struck—or is allowed to create itself in the ‘market.’ They will absolutely be different. Attitudes about privacy are fundamentally different, depending on whether one is a digital native or immigrant. And, I believe even the digital natives’ attitudes are changing, as each new generation comes along with the day’s technology (imagine the difference between technology in 1999 and 2009). So, as a digital immigrant—albeit an early, eager adopter, my attitudes about privacy are somewhat archaic. I cannot always ‘see’ the potentials of new technology like a native may, and I could not possibly imagine whether they can ‘feel’ the historical threats we have lived through, in the same way that I cannot really know how it felt after Pearl Harbor and Manzinar. How will future generations be affected by the actions of one man: Edward Snowden? Remember people protesting when companies wanted to take urine samples before hiring? I predict a winding road that the likes of folks like me cannot predict.”

Sam Moreland, a mechanical engineer, replied, “It is very much needed. There may be certain systems created by private companies, such as encrypted email, but I do not think our Congress, or any government agency, has the wherewithal to get any significant, overall infrastructure in place. People will be much more aware of the issue and have expectations of stronger privacy safeguards.”

Meg Houston Maker, a writer, editorial strategist, and private consultant, replied, “What is needed is not policy, per se; it is a mechanism for continual policy review that rests on a codification of privacy rights and how those should be balanced between individuals, businesses, and the government. US policymakers have tended to adopt a piecemeal approach to securing public privacy—for example, regulating patient health information or digital telecommunications, rather than developing an overarching strategy based on ethics that will ensure broad privacy rights. Further, I am confident certain other nations like China (perhaps foremost) will continue to lag in privacy rights. And, a global network is only as strong as its weakest link. There will be no such thing as ‘social media’ because all media will be social; however, we will become more sensitive to what and how much we share of ourselves online, as well as with whom.”

Morihiro Ogasahara, a survey participant who shared no additional identifying details, wrote, “Generally, far more personal data will be used by governments and corporations in 2025. People will have been anxious about the usage, but allergy will decrease over time. Because convenience and safety from it are welcomed to people, people will get used to the circumstance. Some overrun and some backlash will have happened, but eleven years might be too short a time for people to feel it to be well balanced. Privacy could be divided into two factors: personal lifestyle and personal security. The former will be more shared, while the latter would be more protected in 2025.”

Nancy Garmer, an information science professional based in Florida, responded, “Civil rights and privacy activists will continue to press for secure sites; however, I think new users will be less insistent on these safeguards as it becomes more commonplace. Dave Eggers’ The Circle is a fascinating read on a contemporary technology dystopia. People will be significantly less squeamish about their online presence in 2025. Social media and participation will become much more the standard. It will be interesting to see how privacy holds up in the face of this.”

Susan Stonesifer, a survey participant who shared no additional identifying details, wrote, “Over and over again, there have been very clever brains that have been able to crack codes and open up secure areas.”

Lois Blythe, a survey participant who shared no additional identifying details, wrote, “As digital natives become part of the workforce, their ideas about what is or is not private is entirely different than mine as a Baby Boomer. If companies want to stay viable in the digital world, they will need to look at online collaboration as essential to innovation. I mentioned this above in my comments. The concept of privacy for my granddaughter, son, parents, and myself, are different. We have grown up in different eras. We use technologies of today because we have to or because that is all we have ever known.”

Amy Crook, an assistant in the IT department of a large CPA firm, wrote, “Business have no incentive to spend money on privacy-rights options. There is an incentive to have secure data, but this is separate from privacy. The year 2025 will see more public exposure on the Internet—not less. As it is now, many high-profile sites require Facebook-like log-on in order to participate in comment sections. This is the opposite of privacy, and this is trending upward. It is in the best interests of business and corporations to track consumers on the Internet; this will not change by 2025.”

Robin Brenner, a survey participant who shared no additional identifying details, wrote, “While progress will likely be made, the balance between privacy rights and business innovation will continue as it has, weighted toward corporations and government rather than the privacy concerns of individuals. I also feel that there have already been problems with access and formats (in my line of work, in libraries, the standards of privacy are very different between how we, as a library, handle user information and how, say, Amazon, which provides e-books to our patrons through Overdrive, handles user information). And, I do not see that being resolved in the library’s favor any time soon.) In general, I know libraries are far more concerned about privacy than most people in the general public. We think about it a lot more, and we have policies about it, whereas most people simply do not think about what it means when they allow access to their private information. I think this will continue. I think that while, in some ways, public awareness of privacy concerns has gone up, most individuals will notice and care less and less about their privacy, unless they have a direct, negative experience with their own private information going public in an unexpected and unwanted way.”

Maureen Schriner, an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, wrote, “Personal privacy is becoming a ‘non-issue’ because the younger generation is not protective of their privacy; they have been socialized, and mediatized, to share. On the corporate side, US businesses do not want to be limited in their data collection, and may even file lawsuits if such restrictions are put into place. Their argument will be that they have an established relationship with the consumers from whom they are collecting information. I would anticipate developments in technology to drive our decision-making (technological determinism). But, the converse, having our decision-making direct technology developments, will lack weight or impact on our society. Individuals will be willing to share more, including having implanted memory chips and devices to track their attitudes and behaviors. This would be in exchange for monetary payment or traded for goods or services (think free apps to anyone who accepts a memory chip in their hand). This concept is already developing at airports, where individuals can receive ‘safe passenger’ chips to go through express TSA security checks.”

Dan Gillmor, a professor of digital entrepreneurship at Arizona State University, wrote, “This is a classic example of a question that cannot be answered with a simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No.’ Given no alternative, I will answer, ‘Yes, but with all kinds of caveats.’ Moreover, you ask for the reality in 2025 ‘when it comes to the overall public perception,’ as opposed to the actual reality posited in the question itself.”

Tom Hood, CEO of the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants, responded, “By 2025, we will have a balance between transparency, privacy, and security. There will be a common framework around data in our government and in private corporations that will help individuals navigate the open Net. Public norms will migrate to a much more transparent world as the Internet and social technologies transform our world. The Internet of Things, along with the connections of people and devices, will cause the need for people and organizations to be transparent. On the flip side, there will more sensitivity to understanding the context around data, and overreactions will be less common.”

Janet Salmons, a PhD, and independent researcher and writer with Vision2Lead Inc., wrote, “I am being very optimistic in my response. I fear that commercial interests will balk—and I fear that Congress will continue in gridlock and make useful regulation impossible. Still, I am hopeful that it will be accomplished. I expect people will have a difference sense of what is ‘public’ and what is ‘private.’”

Mouhamet Diop, a CEO, and participant in global Internet governance conferences, wrote, “Personal choice—personal privacy—will become the top priority over the access and utility of apps. Global policy on privacy and personal data will emerge and become predominant to local rules and local policies. Global policy will be adopted to avoid a fragmentation of the Internet. And, local rules will comply with global policy to remain in the global trade agenda and arena.”

Katie Derthick, a PhD candidate in human-centered design and engineering at the University of Washington, responded, “In terms of a privacy-rights infrastructure for business and monetization—yes; in terms of being popularly accepted and trusted—my answer ranges from being iffy to no. In terms of offering individuals choices—yes; in terms of easy-to-use formats my answer ranges from iffy to possible. Pure digital natives, growing up with ICTs and all attendant personal and privacy issues, will certainly have different expectations of privacy—of what should be private, of what actually is private, and of what privacy means. ‘What should be’ refers mostly to social phenomena. ‘What actually is’ refers to social and legal (i.e., grades, finances) phenomena. ‘What privacy means’ refers to an idea of privacy as negotiated and as a dynamic, rather than as existent, or non-existent, or for me to say, or for them to say.”

Tony Siesfeld, director of the Monitor Institute wrote, “I do not believe that policy makers can, or will, create such an infrastructure. There will be some legislation passed to do more to punish those who misuse the data of others, but I do not believe there will be an effective effort to enshrine privacy in the Internet. We will hear lots about it but see very little in the way of action. Twenty-somethings are less concerned, and less vigilant, about what is private and what is not in how they share their lives. This may change as they grow older. I do think certain businesses will become fiercer about confidentiality and privacy of their own and client data; this may have some spillover into the social context.”

Seth Lewis, professor of journalism and digital media at the University of Minnesota, wrote, “Because they have an overwhelming financial incentive to do so, corporations are likely to stay several steps ahead of policy makers and even the best-intentioned technology innovators working on behalf of individuals’ privacy rights and data security. The fight will be all the more challenging because the public, by and large, will have moved on. While privacy rights may remain a flashpoint of controversy for several years ahead, the Internet of 2025 will be one where consumers, overall, have become less concerned about how corporations track and analyze their user data because of the benefits in speed, convenience, and personalization that will be possible by simply ‘letting go.’ Privacy will not disappear. People will still care about controlling what and how they disclose information, but it will become more socially acceptable to ‘share by default,’ in kind and in volume: that is, what is deemed ‘TMI’ today will not be in 2025. The result may be a tiered system, where some digital spaces become more finely delineated as part-public, part-private, allowing users to preserve privacy in some instances while, in the main, becoming far less concerned about what is shared, how, when, and to whom. The total volume of sharing, because it will be so great, will make any one item shared less ‘noticeable’ as a result, simply because attention will remain finite. Perhaps, in this way, privacy may no longer be such a pressing issue; rather, the lack of publicity, the lack of awareness by others in the network, may be what bothers people more (as seen already in the way people determine the ‘value’ of their contributions by the number of likes and so forth).”

Liam Pomfret, a PhD student in online consumer privacy at the University of Queensland, Australia, responded, “It is entirely possible that the public perception by 2025 may be that policy makers and corporations have struck a good balance; however, I believe that would be a flawed perception by under-informed consumers who have been presented with a skewed version of the facts by government and corporations, and whose privacy concerns continue to be focused more on issues of social privacy. Given the continuing disregard for privacy by government that is being revealed through the Snowden leaks, and public statements by politicians attempting to downplay the very real concerns of privacy experts and rights activists regarding the collection of metadata, I have no confidence in either our governments or corporations to move towards an infrastructure that supports privacy-rights. It is more likely that we will see an expansion of current information collection regimes, with the use of big data by corporations for marketing and advertising purposes becoming ever more sophisticated. It is not likely that the public norms about privacy will have changed significantly. Right now, consumers appear to be much more focused on issues of social privacy than on institutional privacy issues. While there is growing awareness of some of the issues regarding big data and metadata collection, these issues lack tangibility to the average consumer.”

Thad Hall, an associate professor of political science at the University of Utah, wrote, “I doubt that, unless there is some data event that is incredibly disruptive, this issue will rise on the policy agenda, and an alternative for such a system [would be] adopted. The Congress is too polarized, and people lack the interest in this issue that would make it of importance to policy makers. Moreover, the lobbying on any such proposal would be huge. (Note also that we still use magnetic strips on credit cards—not chips, like in Europe, because of sunk infrastructure costs.) The sunk costs for privacy are huge, too.”

Jerome McDonough, an associate professor at the University of Illinois, responded, “This question contains a hidden assumption, to the effect that there will be a single privacy-rights infrastructure. Clearly, in a global Internet, this is not going to be the case. There will be a multitude of differing national and in some cases transnational arrangements regarding privacy rights, with some achieved through public policy means and some through contractual arrangements, much like today. The level of privacy rights an individual is afforded will differ significantly from country to country. Given the significant financial incentives for corporations to limit consumer privacy, I do not expect to see a major blossoming of new privacy rights within the United States. I honestly do not expect to see a major change in public norms regarding privacy.”

Tim Daniels, a respondent who chose not to share additional identifying details wrote, “Public perception will always lean towards a distrust of either policymaker or corporations, depending on the latest breach. The public, in general, will become less concerned about privacy.”

Jack Hardy, principal at Niche Public Relations, wrote, “Technology innovations will outpace the ability of legislators to create and agree upon universal security standards. The Millennial generation will operate with the commonly accepted belief that most information is publicly available and will not demand greater safeguards. Very few pieces of information will be completely private, and a majority of the population will accept the idea that anonymity is impossible.”

Leda Karabela, a leadership consultant commented, “This is already a reality—state and corporate entities cannot afford not to pay attention to the seriousness of the public angst for privacy and security. Yes, I am hopeful that, by 2025, a solution will be in place. All sides will be more comfortable and accustomed to using the Internet as a means to conduct business, as well as personal affairs. People will be less paranoid about potential losses.”

Meredith Gould, a self-employed digital strategist and communications consultant, wrote, “Long before 2025, we will see a significant change in the privacy-rights infrastructure. I believe this is already in the works, thanks to significant and highly publicized privacy breaches during 2013. The swift ascendance of more private social (messaging) networks (i.e., Snapchat) is also a clue. Because the world of digital has changed how we understand and measure time, I predict there will have already been several significant iterations of such an infrastructure by 2025. Privacy norms have shifted significantly in the past five years. What Baby Boomers, and even older Gen-Xers, consider personal and private is not generally categorized that way by Millennials. What I would like to see happen is this: a more clear distinction between ‘privacy’ and ‘secrecy.’”

Greg Lastowka, a professor of law at Rutgers University, observed, “If you consider the history of the Fourth Amendment and the right to privacy, you quickly realize that there can be no technological solution between the desire of certain parties to obtain information and the desire of other parties to keep information private. You also realize that privacy, including personal satisfaction with existing privacy practices, is a moving target. I doubt everyone will be happy about privacy in 2025, though we can be certain that those unhappy about privacy will be unhappy for different reasons. I think it is inevitable that privacy norms will be weaker in the future. The increased flow of information through decentralized architectures practically guarantees that outcome.”

Samantha Becker, a respondent who chose not to share more identifying details, wrote, “Given the conflicting interests in Internet privacy—corporations wanting unfettered access to personal information, individuals not wanting to be tracked, government wanting both unfettered access to anything flowing through the Internet and security for citizen data they are required to protect from outside theft—and the need for security regulation on the handling of personal data, I find it doubtful that the United States will be able to make significant policy progress on this issue in the next ten years. I am also not confident that, when policies are developed, they will tilt towards protecting individual privacy. Given this, and the likelihood that, in the absence of new regulations, there will be an increasing number of high-profile security and privacy violations, I would predict that the public perception of online vulnerability will continue to grow, and anger at corporate abuse of user data will also escalate, though that will not necessarily translate into policy movement. In the absence of new regulations and protections, and the likely increase in personal vulnerability on the Internet, I do think there will be a slight change in individual willingness to share personal data online, particularly among generations who are currently adults. I do not have a sense of how today’s children, teens, and young adults will feel about privacy, since they seem to be so used to having an Internet presence, but as they get older and start caring about identity theft, government and corporate intrusion, and access to their online identities, that might change, particularly if breeches and abuses continue to escalate; however, I believe the real change will come in the form of third parties that will begin to offer services to mask and secure personal identity. Right now, more sophisticated users have the ability to be anonymous through use of different tools, but for most users, these are too difficult to manage. But, the types of approaches to masking and securing used by advanced users could be the foundation for a more accessible user security experience, such as master password vaults and alternative approaches to user IDs and passwords, portals for browsing anonymously, etc.”

Dara Barlin, founder of A Big Project, responded, “The issue of privacy is less about what types of technology is available and more about how individuals think about privacy. The range of feelings around what should be private is far too large and diverse for one policy, or one virtual platform, to address this. If the debacles around Wikileaks, the NSA surveillance, and a host of other privacy scandals have taught us anything, it is that we do not agree—we do not even come close to agreeing—on where the line should be drawn. Unless the US government comes up with a way to develop a consensus on this emotionally charged issue (thereby finding the most comfortable balance between safety and privacy), or finds a way to make all people more comfortable with personal, business, and governmental transparency, a trusted infrastructure is impossible.”

Tiffani Roltgen, a respondent who chose not to share additional identifying details, commented, “As digital natives grow up, the conversation about privacy will be framed differently. These are the kids whose parents have blogged about them from before birth to elementary school and perhaps beyond. Their sense of privacy is more open-ended, though they will, of course, demand security of financial transactions and other high security information. As they navigate their mostly paperless lives, there will be less of the sense of the fading, dramatic rhetoric of ‘someone finding me and hunting me down via the Internet.’”

Yvette Wohn, a respondent who chose not to share additional identifying details, wrote, “This will not happen because the Internet is global. Government efforts to create a more secure infrastructure will prove to be futile. The role of nonprofit organizations that mediate secure transactions will become more prominent. Behavioral tracking will be an opt-in instead of an opt-out. Companies will give consumers a lower-price option to track their behavior, which will create a divide between low and high SES in terms of personal privacy. In terms of privacy related to user-generated content, people will take a more active role in deleting and editing past content. Sites that are able to securely confine content and disable distribution will become more popular. On the opposite end, people will understand that content that is posted on the Internet are not private at all, and be more aware of what they share. Secure peer-to-peer activity will become more prominent.”

Brian Asner, the senior strategic planner at a mid-sized marketing agency, replied, “The expectation has been set that the user is responsible for their own privacy, and the user should expect that every digital interaction lacks privacy. Those with a vested interest in user’s data, either for relatively benign interests (i.e., corporations using ad retargeting), or more sinister uses (i.e., the NSA spying scandal), have significantly more impact on privacy policy than Web users. I expect they will not be very different. There will just be a more pervasive understanding that every digital communication is ‘not private’ by default, and people may be more secretive about what they are willing to share through any digital medium.”

Sarah Andrews, a respondent who chose not to share any additional identifying details, commented, “It will be hard to get the monetization that companies want, as well as the personalization that consumers want, without access to personal data. And, another problem that we have seen with things like Spotify is that Americans do not want to pay for Web content if at all possible. Privacy will become more important to individuals. People who are currently living without filters will begin to find they want their information more protected. I have a negative view that regulations and government will actually be able to protect our privacy. Loopholes always exist, and companies will find them. The only way to make the process more transparent is to limit the length of user agreements and make the privacy details easily accessible. Google is trying, but the information provided is still difficult to interpret.”

Florencia Nochetto, a respondent who shared no additional identifying details, wrote, “As the Internet collects increasing amounts of private personal data, policymakers will be forced to set limits and laws to protect consumers, or else the Internet will continue to grow in its capacity to collect personal information. At some point, policy makers will be forced to set limits, as consumers will demand more protections, while also expecting the social marketplace to expand. There will be more tolerance for how the Internet collects and uses personal information as compared to now. But, I do not expect that the issue will just be resolved on its own. Policy will influence the broader social context in which we will be living in 2025.”

Joe Hernandez, a self-employed and semi-retired equipping specialist, wrote, “The need for securing communication through finances is such a desire that the industry will need to create those walls of security.”

Mariana Ferrarelli, a respondent who chose not to share additional identifying details, wrote, “It has been proven that social networks and technology are too dangerous for some governments. Therefore, I do not think they will let us, ordinary people, have our privacy without being tracked in any way. Privacy will be even harder to achieve by 2025.”

Megan Ellinger, a respondent who chose not to share additional identifying details, wrote, “My response focuses on the phrase ‘popularly accepted.’ Policymakers and technology will create a popularly accepted and trusted privacy-rights infrastructure by 2025, but it will ultimately fail because there is no such way to truly secure high value information. Information is, and will continue to be, a commodity, and for the right price, security will be breached. While the popular opinion may be that the infrastructure is secure and can be trusted, a failure will occur, which will taint the popular opinion for a period of time. But ultimately, the popular opinion will swing back to the cultural norm, which is that security and privacy no longer exist. There will be a shift towards greater acceptance of the loss of privacy. It will be a cultural norm to provide even more personal information to gain high quality service experiences.”

Susan Caney-Peterson, a self-employed writer and editor wrote, “Today’s children, and even older youth, cannot imagine what privacy consists of, nor do many who used to have it seem to care. They seem to have confused privacy with ‘having nothing to hide,’ liberty with the ‘freedom’ to post anonymous crude or rude content, and security with anything short of something that shuts their devices down. By 2025, we will have seen wave after wave of security and privacy breeches and continued stripping of identity in the name of safety, the limitless war on terror, and, behind the scenes, the increasing ‘need’ for bigger and more personalized data. Policymakers will continue to depend overwhelmingly on corporate support, which demands more and more data to be traded, sold, and acted on in the name of personalization. Those who find the 2013 standard practice approaches creepy and invasive will have died off or gone off grid, which will become next to impossible for all but the very determined. The film Minority Report was produced 11 years ago (2002) and was written in 1956. Whilst the future cognition it portrays remains in the realm of science fiction, so much else about it has either materialized or is only slightly exaggerated. People will have become acculturated to tracking, having little time or interest (or technical aptitude) to opt out. Others will find it convenient, at least at times, and have zero interest in what is happening, unless a personal, negative impact takes place. Stories of identity theft, misidentification, and misuse of data will be something that only happens to others; we live in a world of denial. Will people have eye surgery to take on new retinal identities? I doubt it. But RFID chips in clothing, passports, and cars will be prevalent, and biometric-gated access will be a given. Some will no doubt feel more secure by all of this; most will ignore it most of the time.”

Richard Syal, the CEO of a health-oriented business, responded, “I do not have faith in governments or large corporations, including Google, Facebook, etc., to be able to strike the right balance between personal privacy, secure data, and content by 2025 because of self interest. By 2025, there will be independent software tools available to the consumer to manage his or her own privacy and secure data. Consumers will be able to switch on and off Internet components that infringe on their rights to privacy, secure data, etc. As the teenage population grows older, they will come to realize the importance of privacy and that will impact sites like Facebook and Google.”

Bruce Neustadter, a certified therapist wrote, “Since the policymakers are often driven by the financial motivation of reelection, it is hard to imagine that they would in any way obstruct the ‘industry’s’ ability to access information. Information, as to the details of customers, their purchasing power, and their habits, is critical to the baseline of sales. I know that the online ad business is driven by the ability to register information and track customers to better sell a product. I do not believe that this will shift in any significant way. Most customers do not care and are, in essence, seduced by online ads or other incentives to buy. It is the nature of our current economy.”

Ian Rumbles, a technology developer/administrator, wrote, “Government will attempt to develop safeguards, but hackers will continue to cause sensational breaches that will get wide media coverage and erode public trust. Bureaucracy will also make any attempts very complex and not ‘easy-to-use.’ In 10 years, a huge portion of the public will be seniors and will have not grown up in an open-Internet world. These people will continue to be uncomfortable and distrustful of the Internet and privacy. The younger generation, those born after 1990, have grown up in a computerized, social media, Internet world and have developed their own norms on privacy and public information. They realize that anything electronic is leak-able and learned to live with that.”

Christoph Trappe, vice president for communications and innovation for the United Way of East Central Iowa, wrote, “Society, as a whole, will figure out a system that is accepted across platforms and is honored and enforced. People will have the right to have privacy but can also opt to be very public. Additionally, advertisers and content producers will find less intrusive ways to offer customized content.”

Ousmane Musatesa, an academic and self-described “citizen of the world,” wrote, “Security, liberty, and privacy are the more important requirements for any person to accept to take part to any physical, social, or economic process, above all, when it occurs remotely. The better way to make these norms acceptable and workable for all the stakeholders (i.e., states, citizens, corporations, and IT) rely on trusting each other, keeping in mind that no part has an deliberate aim to fool others.”

Indrek Ibrus, a researcher at Tallinn University in Estonia, wrote, “There are 12 years to go until 2025, and this is a long time. Security, liberty, and privacy are, however, already current issues that form one of the urgent agendas for the national authorities, as well as for the leading online services companies. Internet economy is secured and further advanced when the related insecurities are advanced, and when new solutions are standardised and conventionalised. It is my understanding that, in 12 years, the governments and businesses will be able to arrive at solutions that form at least a minimum of this needed framework. I presume that the central concept here is transparency—some of us may be more relaxed about their online privacies, but the new consensus and expectation is full transparency in terms of the levels of privacy exercised at any moment, and that these levels are mostly controlled by the consumers and citizens themselves.”

Victoriano Giralt, the chair of a technical task force in Spain, wrote, “My ‘yes’ is really more a wish than a certainty. It is an expression of hope that the work of many bright individuals whom are working hard at present to achieve the goals posed on the question. If I were not somehow convinced that we could succeed, I would not be putting so much personal effort into reaching those goals. On the dark side, I tend to despair from time to time, as it seems that legislators pay more attention to lobbies, being re-elected or maintaining the status quo, than to their voters, or to the real progress of society. My hope is that, somehow, we will manage to educate those digital natives that will become educators in the near future so that they can educate future legislators in order to become a bit more technology savvy, instead of mere consumers of it, as they seem to be today. Also, for this to happen, we need to go back to a decentralised Internet, instead of the present tendency for huge service providers wanting to be all to every body. Concentration eases tracking and identification.”

John Levine, a survey participant who shared no additional identifying details, wrote, “The United States has never given more than lip service to personal privacy, except in a few special contexts like health care and stock brokerages (not coincidentally, areas the rich care about.) People have a remarkably naive concept of privacy (starting with the absurd, ‘I have nothing to hide,’ / ‘OK, can I look through your wallet?’), and I expect that corporate collection of personal data will continue unimpeded, other than the occasional burp for unusually grotesque invasive situation. I live in a small town, where I have, by urban standards, little privacy when I am out of my house. Everyone knows who I am, when I visit a store or the library or post office, and more likely than not, people will greet me by name. This is tolerable because we have what one might call a balance of terror. Nobody looks through my windows because they know I could just as easily look through theirs. Unfortunately, this balance does not apply in larger scale. So, I expect that we will end up with what would seem to use like a weird mix, with some stuff considered totally private (‘You’ll pry my genome out of my cold dead spit’), some totally public (‘I see your husband left you twenty minutes ago. Want to go to Vegas with me?’).”

Jake Barton, a media designer in NYC, stated, “There will have to be a much bigger outcry from the general public, which would likely be prompted by corporations doing something very clearly bad with our data to make us rise up from our quietude. If the NSA debacle, with the government actively spying on its citizens, did not drive people to a popular dissent, it will take something else really crazy.”

Dan Coates, of Ypulse, responded, “Technology will always outpace policy; however, NGOs and foundations will increasingly focus on privacy literacy initiatives that educate consumers on the advantages and disadvantages of sharing their personal information. Meanwhile, opportunities for start ups to create permission-based value exchanges will develop, transforming consumers from ‘targets’ to ‘agents,’ who decide and monetize what they share, and when. Research conducted among the youngest members of the Millennial generation has us convinced that youth are growing more cautious about their online behavior. Meanwhile, parents are much more wary of privacy, as the issue has come to their attention. At the same time, the rapid rise of mobile, as well as the impending emergence of the ‘Internet of Things,’ are exponentially increasing the number of ‘privacy moments’ that we face daily. Large, trusted brands will seek to develop experiences and environments where data and information privacy is assumed and protected. By 2025, companies like Macy’s will spend less money on real estate and more money on safe and comfortable online experiences.”

Tom Folkes, an Internet professional, replied, “Security continues to get worse. The white hats get further behind. They will come to accept that they have none.”

Michael Slavitch, principal architect at Diablo Technologies, wrote, “The pendulum will swing as legislation finally catches up to technology. Personal information will include our health history and, possibly, our DNA. This will not come easily and will not emerge from the United States. It will come from Germany or other countries enforcing privacy rights. People will have a clearer understanding of public versus private after some ugly disasters with data force the issue.”

S. Craig Watkins, a professor and author based at the University of Texas-Austin, replied, “In the future, Internet-based companies and services will have no choice but to achieve some success on the security and privacy front. As we all become more connected, more engaged with online practices via mobile devices, the cloud, and, likely, tools we cannot imagine today, there will be a growing cry for better security protocols. Because the public will demand and expect it, the companies and services that succeed will benefit financially and socially. The public, including younger users, will simply be more informed, better educated, and as a result, more demanding of better privacy norms, measures, and infrastructures.”

John Hopkins, a freelance media artist, and university educator in informatics, art, and social activism, responded, “I rather doubt that regimes who want to retain control over any social system will relinquish their access to information on their citizens that they already have. And, I think that, as information (network/Cloud-based) gains more and more influence on how individuals live their lives, those in power (largely corporate players and governments) will make sure they have access to whatever is necessary to retain control. The wealthy will be able to purchase privacy, and the rest of the population will simply go along with whatever privacy norms are dictated by the corporations who give them the electronic toys and entertainment they so desire.”

Susan Hildreth, director of a US institute of museum and library services wrote, “We will be on the way to the described state, but I am not sure we will be all the way there by 2025, which is only 11 years away.”

Josh Calder, a university professor responded, “There will be such privacy infrastructures, but they will be unevenly distributed due to economic forces, policy constraints, and varying levels of consumer interest.”

Bernard Glassman, a survey participant who shared no additional identifying details, wrote, “It is difficult to imagine that the polarization of society will meaningfully reverse itself, so issues of privacy will become more, rather than less, embedded in politics. For that matter, politics may well be more about privacy than it is about such issues as entitlements, foreign military engagement, and all the familiar controversies that divide us today. This is an impossible question. Take a look at Facebook, and make any comprehensive and comprehensible statement about what constitutes ‘the way public norms are now.’ It cannot be done. Will the segment that cannot wait to let us into the deepest recesses of their personal lives miraculously conclude that they have gone too far? Some will. Others will go further. At the moment, the only readily detectable trend is the mad quest to reveal more about oneself and about others than has ever been revealed before. If there is not yet a social media venue for electronic medical records, there will be. If people are not yet recording and posting their therapy sessions, or doing them live and online for the benefit of subscribers, they will. But, at the same time, other people are certain to reverse course. Denied jobs because of what they have shared, they will be desperate to un-share it, and there will be a significant jump in the re-privacy industry. Perhaps that will be yet another source of social division, and it may transcend all the traditional distinctions. Anyone who has sat in a Fundamentalist church service and listened to the pastor or a lay leader read off the physical and economic afflictions of the congregants (i.e., ‘Pray for Mary Smith’s gall bladder…’), will know that the right and left, and attitudes toward privacy, are either orthogonal or even less related/relatable.”

Jon Marshall, a survey participant who shared no additional identifying details, wrote, “Basically since the NSA events and the use of corporate bodies to store their data, we are in a position in which it is hard to trust any privacy rights infrastructure that emerges. It will have the potential to be undermined. We also know that business will regard our information as its own in order to sell things; it will sell that information if there is money in it, and there is no way to kick business off the Internet any more than the NSA or some private contractors. We will have to get used to this. It is impossible to predict, but we will be used to many things that would probably be considered violations of privacy now.”

Nicole Stenger, an Internet moviemaker, wrote, “The Internet ’s ‘Age of Innocence’ ends in 2013 with the Snowden Affair. Illusions being things of the past, informed users will accept a status quo or will look for alternative solutions. In 2013, the legitimate fear in countries with a tradition of freedom, like the United States, is that the massive trespassing of people’s privacy will lead to a Nazi- or Stasi-like era, where citizens are sent to concentration camps and slaughtered. Once this fear is proved unfounded, which of course remains to be seen, why would people bother in 2025, having recording devices integrated in their bedrooms and bathrooms, if they already know about it? Many will say this is a major progress in the history of humanity because it tracks all violence happening behind closed doors, and had it been implemented earlier, it would have saved centuries of misery.”

Dmitry Strakovsky, a survey participant who shared no additional identifying details, wrote, “The amount of legalese, unclear language that surrounds data collection right now, and general lack of relevant knowledge on the part of policy makers, currently prevents a robust dialogue on the subject. I believe that this situation will continue in 2025. The very notion of privacy will be quite different. It will be more striated, perhaps. There will be specific levels of access for specific groups. For example, we already have a very interesting division among teenagers, in terms of who they send information to via Snapchat, versus Twitter, versus Facebook. As our social media environment will diversify our platforms for sharing, information will probably become less cohesive. Big data will probably try to aggregate the data, as they do now, and consumers will most likely consider this the biggest invasion of their privacy.”

Linda Rogers, the founder of Music Island in Second Life, and grant writer for Arts for Children and Youth in Toronto, wrote, “There is too much money and political power behind spyware for both marketing and political goals. Court challenges to spying will begin to set the limits of employer, marketing, and political spying.”

Linda Neuhauser, clinical professor at the School of Public Health at the University of California-Berkeley, responded, “It is uncertain what will happen by 2025. It is always a push-pull between innovative ways to communicate and do business, and the privacy of individuals; however, I think that, over time, with further ‘democratization’ of communication, consumers—people—will demand, and get, more choices to protect their information. People and organizations will be more transparent, and there will be more options.”

Estee Beck, a doctoral candidate at Bowling Green State University, wrote, “As the Electronic Frontier Foundation continues to work on security, liberty, and privacy—along with nonprofits like the ACLU and other grassroots organizations—the pressing need, in light of the NSA scandal involving Edward Snowden, has given greater visibility to the American public about privacy rights connected with virtual spaces. While corporations like Google, Facebook, Yahoo, and even Amazon, continue to provide Web customization that infringes upon a customer’s right to privacy, I believe there is mounting public pressure for policy makers and businesses to make privacy protection and security practices more transparent for the public in order for private citizens to make more informed decisions about ways of navigating online in safe, ethical ways. Considering that 2025 is not too far away—a little over 10 years—I believe there will be some progress toward public norms about privacy restrictions, though not in sweeping terms.”

Elena Kvochko, manager for IT Industry at an international organization based in New York, noted, “Policy makers and corporations are facing increasing demand for privacy and data accountability from the side of citizens and consumers. Awareness about both risks and rewards that the use of personal data can bring is growing globally. More and more users are encouraged to set their privacy settings to reflect the level of their private data sharing that is comfortable for them. At the same time, it is recognized that citizens and users are now unable to control how their information is used or sold. This creates increasing pressure on public and private actors, who will be bound to create the trusted privacy frameworks.”

Devin Gaffney, Internet researcher and programmer, wrote, “I imagine (or at least hope for) a not-so-distant future where the case of the Creative Commons movement is applied to online privacy concerns. On the surface, it is a much more complicated legal question (from my understanding), but I do hope for a future where the most salient dimensions of control over online privacy are identified, and a set of protocols are established with human readable shortened versions of the protocol. I doubt that online privacy awareness will be complete or near complete. I expect that we will see a clear shift towards understanding the basic dynamics of online privacy from an early age.”

Arto Lanamaki, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oulu, Finland, responded, “I am pretty skeptical on this, but this kind of infrastructure would be seriously needed. If it happens, it needs to be a government-led project, and that government will not be the United States. Maybe the European Union, or some European countries, could do this.”

Carlos Castillo, a scientist working at a national research lab in the Middle East, responded, “There is a fast chance that a big data spill from a spying agency or a for-profit corporation may turn the public sharply in favor of more privacy rights, particularly if said data spill involves members of a government or of Congress/Parliament.”

Jay Cross, chief scientist at Internet Time Group, responded, “Privacy comes down to knowing who is who. Retina scans and implants will provide positive identification. This assumes we can put the NSA out of the business of creating backdoors in security software. Openness will be the default for social information, but people will be able to communicate securely when they wish.”

Darel Preble, executive director and founder of the Space Solar Power Institute, wrote, “The challenge of protecting personal information is technical, cultural, ethical, and political. The conflict between these goals, in reality, works to defeat the goal as you state it. On the other hand, the actual security used in certain better-implemented sectors of the Internet is and will continue to be ‘financially adequate’ to support continued growth of electronic commerce. The growing global economic threat is the slowly escalating conflict between rising costs of energy and linked commodities, as well as environmental impacts and the declining ability of increasing economic countries/groups to keep up with this. Governments are working to remedy this, but the fundamentals are working against them. Our energy economist, Gail Tverberg, who blogs at ourfiniteworld.com, has been working to track this issue in better detail. Fundamentally, we must have much cleaner, lower-cost, and more dispatch-able energy globally. Space solar power is the only long-term answer now on the technical horizon able to provide such increasingly massive quantities of such energy. Japan is the only nation financially committed to this path today.”

Valerie V. Peterson, a college professor, responded, “Surveillance will be popularly accepted because young people no longer hold privacy as dear as their predecessors. They have not experienced the problems that result from a lack of it and simply think, ‘As long as I am not doing anything wrong, what harm can there be in it?’ There are currently multitude ways in which information about people is being collected. Even if protections are put in place, computer-savvy individuals and groups will be able to find ways around them for various reasons. Despite the deluge of data, more and more sophisticated data searching techniques will ensure that nobody ever ‘disappears into the crowd.’ All persons will be targeted by appeals that they will find compelling based on their metrics. When sex and reproduction are finally divorced from the body of the mother of the child, even ‘private parts’ will no longer be private. Sex organs will be policed and medicated so that they are no more problematic than one’s appendix or kidney. Privacy will be re-figured as a mental state or a physical place—a luxury only enjoyed by a handful of hyper-wealthy individuals and the people they protect.”

Dawn M. Armfield, an assistant professor at a US university, responded, “By 2025, there will need to be worldwide policies that not only protect the citizens of the world against piracy, identity theft, and other related activities, but also safeguard businesses for ongoing commerce and monetization. By securing online activities, it is not only private citizens that are protected, but also corporations who are now undergoing continuous onslaught by those who wish to breach their data. If commerce wants to continue in online spaces, the safety of the public’s information is essential. This is a tougher question: we are already dealing with concepts of privacy that we have never dealt with before, from private conversations being captured in video and posted online, to addresses of alleged criminals being outed in social media. As a professor who speaks to online presences, I often discuss privacy with my students. Their ideas of privacy are vastly different than those of the generation before them—they do not necessarily see phone numbers, addresses, or even photos and text messages as private, but rather, as something that can be shared without consequences. It is only when we begin discussing digital citizenship and its benefits and ramifications do they begin to think about it differently. But this is a small group I am reaching each semester, and it makes a very small dent in the critical analysis of what is posted online or not.”

David Gans, musician, songwriter, and host of the Grateful Dead Hour, responded, “I hope they will! We need to speak up and make sure it is clear that our privacy is important to us. We are dealing with the tradeoff of privacy versus safety here in Oakland. We have a crime problem, and one of the solutions we are looking at is utilizing surveillance cameras. That puts privacy in jeopardy.”

Fred Park, a respondent who chose not to share any additional identifying details, wrote, “Policy makers will do what they have always done: try to create policies that satisfy their beliefs. Innovators will do what they have always done: push all the above envelopes betwixt the two. The battle between policy makers and innovators will, through competition, create workable solutions. People are fundamentally the same everywhere except for belief systems, and they are predictable, even the destructive types—i.e., military/war-like thinkers. By 2025, many VPNs will be executed by untraceable holograms, so our perceived contact will be even more intimate and tactile, yet the people involved will have no fear of being persecuted for normal human stuff like secret sex desires. And, the video games will be so immersive that, like sports, they could very well become adequate substitutions for real wars. Once crypto-currencies become widespread, theft will only happen through cons, and honesty will be the most common feature of human trade. By default, nowadays, we call it cash register honesty, and basically, that is what will happen. I suspect that most mature people will care only insofar as they have the choice to enjoy privacy. In the same way as people prefer intuitive choice over everything, even in cultures where privacy is unknown, there is no word for it. In the same way that no one can know what I am thinking, unless I tell them, people enjoy privacy, even if they do not necessarily grasp it. If we choose to merge our public and private selves—walk like we talk, so to speak—great; if not, great. When I sit on the private beach and take in the beauty, peace, and quiet, what I feel can never be perfectly expressed, due to the limitations of words in any case. In other words, we all experience a kind of privacy, whether we know it or not.”

Lyndsay Grant, a researcher at the University of Bristol, wrote, “The choice will be whether or not to participate in what are essentially commercial services. There will not be many opportunities for individuals to change their privacy settings individually at a granular level—where these options do exist, they will be difficult to find and control. As far as governments are concerned, they will continue to seek to access as much data as possible in the name of security from whichever sources are available to them, either overtly or covertly. People will be less surprised that their content is not ‘completely private’ and will actually like it when this seems to make things work seamlessly. They will continue to be wrong-footed when their data shows up in new forms in unexpected places—particularly where the original context has changed a great deal—i.e., from entertainment to government, or from social to work.”

Daniel Miller, a professor at University College in London, responded, “My answer is wrong, since both ‘yes’ and ‘no’ are wrong. As today, there will be some areas where this is accomplished. But, we can predict that new technologies will have developed by then, and with each new technology, these same issues will arise, so that even if they are resolved with our current technologies, they probably will not be with the new ones. They will certainly change, but they will remain just as diverse. For example, English people have confidentiality issues I do not see in Trinidad, and vice-versa. Cultural differences in what people regard as privacy will remain.”

Duane Steward, a self-employed consultant and solution architect wrote, “We already have ‘a secure, popularly accepted, and trusted privacy-rights infrastructure,’ albeit imperfect. The offerings, violations, and remedies will all evolve to something that makes us laugh at what it was like ten years ago, but the driving forces will persist this as part of life and human condition.”

David Lowe, a respondent who did not share any additional identifying details, wrote, “Without protecting the personal privacy and rights of individuals, the sacred and assumed trust of the Internet will be in jeopardy. Once trust is broken, it will be nearly impossible to restore it. Maintaining this balance will be critical for the success of businesses hoping for continued business relationships with their clients.”

Brian Newby, an election commissioner in Kansas, responded, “The question suggests these two groups, or one of them, can do this: policymakers and technology innovators create a secure, popularly accepted, and trusted privacy-rights infrastructure. I do not see that ever happening. They are turning now; Facebook could be old news tomorrow. As quickly as society moved to be very public, I think it could turn quickly. ‘Norms’ or users will define this, not policymakers or technology innovators.”

Janet Kornblum, a self-employed media trainer and journalist, observed, “Every time there is a privacy scandal, it makes it easier for companies and governments to violate the privacy of individuals. It sounds counterintuitive, but I think that every time there is an uproar (i.e., information revealed by sniping that the government is actually collecting way more information than most people thought), people grow more accustomed to the idea that they have no privacy. Some have accepted the implicit deal: information for stuff (i.e., content). In fact, anyone who is online now accepted that deal a long time ago when it came to television. Yes, the Internet makes everything more personal and more intrusive. But, I think we now have at least one generation of people have no expectations of privacy. I do hope to be proven wrong about this, but I have seen it happen over and over again. Just look at Facebook. Every time they have made a move that violates people’s privacy, there is some outrage, and then the outrage goes away until the next time. Each successive privacy violation grows more intrusive. I am sure the companies will have changed when there is some cataclysmic event; I do not imagine that companies and the government will have incentives to create a new infrastructure. I hope to be proven wrong. We now have people who have grown up on the Internet. As a whole, they do not expect privacy. In fact, the next generations will have completely grown up with this completely different idea of what privacy is. They will have grown-up with this idea that they do not have privacy and that is not a problem. If something cataclysmic happens (i.e., war, etc.) that makes it apparent that giving out personal information is harmful, then things will change.”

Sarah Houghton, director of the San Rafael, California, Public Library, wrote, “I do not believe we will achieve political, critical mass to make something like this possible. There is more corporate power in favor of this not happening, than in making this happen. As more invasive technological devices (i.e., Google Glass) begin to emerge in the public sphere, people will begin to demand (although not necessarily receive) some kind of public signal that they are being recorded. Whether that is through more obvious signal lights on the devices or some kind of mandatory disclosure on the part of the recorder, I do not know. But, enough people care about their privacy that I think we will see a new set of visual signaling required.”

Richard Rothenberg, a professor at the School of Public Health at Georgia State University wrote, “If they do not address privacy issues the Web will simply deteriorate into an advertising venue. It depends on the extent to which privacy is violated over the next 11 years.”

David Golumbia, an assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, wrote, “‘Business innovation and monetization’ and ‘individuals’ choices for protecting their personal information in easy-to-use formats’ are conflicting goals. One or the other is going to have to give, to a greater degree than this formula suggests. I hope privacy will be restored to a much greater value than it currently is today. I suspect the only way to achieve that is to scale back radically the capability of many of our communications tools, and I fear that the only way for that to happen is for some kind of significant negative event to occur, and I cannot even conceive of what such an event would be. I worry that even the shreds of privacy we have left will be eradicated by 2025.”

Irina Shklovski, a survey participant who chose not to share additional identifying details, commented, “As with any commodity, opting out of tracking and managing your own data will likely be offered but priced at competitive rates, making the ability to control the collection and use of personal information by third parties a privileged expense. The public perception is unlikely to shift from its current sense of powerlessness where ignorance is best, as there is nothing one can do about personal data control anyway. There will likely be much discussion about the difference between ‘knowing’ and ‘being able to utilize’ information, as I do expect some effort on the part of policy makers to limit the monetization and utilization of personal data governments and corporations amass. There is something quite unique in the western world, where privacy is seen as a kind of ‘right’—where people expect that their actions are not continuously watched, recorded, and cataloged. This sense is fading as much of our actions and behaviors is continuously watched, recorded, and cataloged, regardless of our own desires. This fairly unique state of expectation of ‘being left alone’ is a gift of urbanization—it is not available in small towns or villages where ‘everyone knows your name.’ Despite the pastoral imaginary of lost paradise of a small village, it was, and remains, a straightjacket of social control, and our technological developments, in their drive toward the pastoral ideal (and the reality of the value of information), are rapidly making the urban environment a small village once again. In a small village, privacy is not a given—it is something that must be jealously guarded and maintained with effort. In the future, our own norms of trust and disclosure are likely to shift toward similar sentiments.”

Patti Shank, a survey respondent who chose not to share additional identifying details, commented, “Many informed people are seeing the erosion of privacy in all walks of American life, and online privacy is one aspect of this. But, online life is such a huge part of our lives that the implications for lack of privacy have special concerns. If this does not occur, more knowledgeable and informed members of society will stop using the public networks to communicate, collaborate, and work. The implications for this state of affairs are simply enormous, and because of this, I cannot see any way forward except for there to be more security, liberty, and privacy online. We will come to be much more prudent about privacy after a period of being more lax about it.”

Collette Sosnowy, a social science researcher and professor studying social media, responded, “Unless there are greater restrictions placed on personal data collection and clearer information for consumers, I see increasing distrust by Internet users that their information will be protected. I think no one is under the illusion that our information is protected, particularly with the public exposure of over-reaching violations of civil rights by the NSA. Who tracks, collects, owns, and sells our data is hazy and ever changing. While technology innovators may be interested in building strong protections, policymakers are too influenced by corporations who make massive amounts of money off of our information. I find it unsettling how generally apathetic we, as a culture, seem to be about privacy and rights online. I attribute this to feeling overwhelmed by commercial interests controlling the flow of data. It is the price we feel we have no choice but to pay for being online. I foresee a push-pull relationship between the public and corporate interests that will continue past 2025.”

Adam Gismondi, a PhD candidate in higher education at Boston College commented, “Although I would like to be optimistic with regards to the future of privacy online, current trends indicate to me that trusted privacy-rights tools will be developed through smaller scale efforts and be implemented by a fraction of the population. Larger numbers of users online will operate with the knowledge that there are little to no ‘private’ online environments.”

Haim Hirsch, a customer experience strategist for the Kaiser Foundation replied, “While policy makers and tech innovators will have a lot to say about such an infrastructure, it will be the latter (innovators) who will actually create such an infrastructure. Popular use and critical mass, rather than legislative or policy requirements, will drive the infrastructure or infrastructures. New norms, mores, and taboos will develop around privacy. What is considered to be private will be radically different—there will be less resistance to sharing most personal information, as it will be easily obtainable by anyone. Some form of privacy will remain, perhaps in the form of a paid service or location that charges for places of privacy.”

Charles Hendricksen, a retired mechanical and software engineer and entrepreneur, replied, “Yes, science is driven by challenges, usually of the unknown, but, unfortunately, also by attack. Public perception will, as always, be informed by acceptance by others. Collectors and holders of personal data will be required to offer opt-in and opt-out, not only at initial contact, but also by required periodic polling.”

Gail Hite, a researcher and graphic designer, replied, “There is an app for that.’ Right now, many of the Internet/World Wide Web users have witnessed the ‘birth’ of the Net and, for the most part, accept that to be able to access it, we have to take it as it develops—the good, the bad. By 2015, the Internet will be a ready-made invention in the lives of the users and will have options—similar to those in the 1920s, if they wanted the newly invented horseless carriage, there were little choices in makes and models. Options changed dramatically by the 1950s, when it was apparent by then that an automobile was a mainstay, and consumers had many choices and could choose which supplier’s goods would meet their needs. Suppliers will be creating a competitive product to entice the consumer public. Internet usage might be just a private and personal as getting mail from the US postal services. Those in 2025 will come of age in an era where privacy has a different definition than what we know it as today. Whereas security breaches are everyday occurrences now, they are of a new type: businesses getting hacked and bank information stolen in mass amounts, and email and social media accounts being hacked into, cause people to scramble to find a solution because they are so new and because people did not know how to counter yet a new venue of the attacks. It is becoming the ‘norm’ to be videoed while one is driving down the road, at a tollbooth, at an intersection providing identifying information of the vehicle, or when walking into a department or grocery store in the advent of facial recognition software. Our ‘portable’ phones and other devices now gather information to disclose the location of an individual and a piece of property. If technology trends forward, the expectation of privacy in a person’s life will be diminished. It is worth noting that a good deal of previously private aspects of lifestyles are being disclosed by the individuals themselves such as seen in statuses on social media with announcing and tagging themselves as being at a particular destination—local or afar—what they are making for dinner and who in their family is currently hospitalized, to provide a small example.”

Jon Perry, a respondent who shared no additional identifying details, commented, “A struggle will continue on who controls the Internet. Without people like Edward Snowden and the outreach of EFF and the ACLU to keep privacy issues in the foreground, the public ‘will not know what it does not know.’ The US government and its allies will work more transparently together in gathering global data. While the value in the data is questionable, no one wants to be left holding the bag if there is another massive terrorist attack saying, ‘Well, we were not tracking that.’ In the large private sector, large organizations like Google will work to build trust with the public. On the consumer side, open source technology like TOR and encryption will continue to push the envelope to defeat tracking mechanisms from either the government or private industry. The issue remains: do citizens really care? Unlike LGBT rights, marijuana referendums, or civil rights, privacy issues are not tangible. EFF, ACLU, and other like organizations cannot do this on their own. The media must scrutinize how governments are collecting data and using it. Snowden shed a light into darkness. If the government cannot scrutinize itself, then who will do it for these top-secret, highly guarded projects?”

Marc Brenman, a faculty member at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, wrote, “There is no privacy. Commercial and governmental use of technology will continue to outstrip any personal desire for privacy. Many people will continue to willingly give up what little privacy they have. The norm will be that there will be even less privacy.”

Paula Mayhew, a respondent who shared no additional identifying details, wrote, “When we use commercial sites, we acknowledge the ways in which we may or may not have compromised our rights to privacy, thereby establishing public norms for commercial usage. The collection of data as a function of federal policy in detecting political ideologies is an entirely different matter, since we, as users, do not even tacitly give permission for tracking personal communications. I see no reason to believe that here will be substantive change in federal policy in the future.”

Jeanne Brittingham, an opinion research consultant working with environmental management systems, replied, “There will be neither the will nor the way to secure personal data. Government agencies and corporations are competitive between and within their scopes of action, so there is no will to deny outcomes. Regarding the ability of technology to achieve secure paths, it seems physics is wide, wide open to our discoveries of quantum information use. Should neither the will nor the way obtain, public norms will most likely conform to the extent of the public’s knowledge of technology use.”

Janie Pickett, a teacher and information science professional, wrote, “I believe some measure of privacy for the purposes described in the question will be developed, but at a significant loss of ‘privacy’ in an increasingly networked and network-dependent world. The trend over the past decade has been an astounding opening of privacy and personal data. I believe society will continue to select connectedness over personal privacy, depending on the social observers who occasionally raise outcries to be the guardian of those personal privacies.”

Mary Rodgers, an executive with a kitchen equipment manufacturer and distributor, wrote, “The Internet is meant to serve consumers, and without being able to deliver appropriate information per customer, business needs access to consumer information if they are willing to share it. The purpose is meant to make business more efficient and consumer experience just as efficient.”

Dale Richart, a marketing and advertising client liaison, wrote, “While I am sure absolute security and privacy will remain an illusive goal, relative security and privacy will improve to the point where they are popularly accepted. Public norms regarding privacy expectations will continue to ebb and flow. Periodic abuse of security will be followed by technology improvements that provide short-term improvements. I cannot predict whether or not 2025 will fall within an ebb or flow, but I am sure privacy will continue to be a concern, especially when financial or safety concerns are connected with lax security.”

Tom Roe, the senior account manager for large staffing organization, and the owner of a mobile technology start-up, responded, “It seems unlikely to me that government will be able to resist the information gathering possibilities afforded by the Internet—some of this is driven by security needs, some by efficiency demands. In speaking with a co-worker in India regarding the NSA leaks, he stated, ‘We always suspected it was going on but did not know for sure until now.’ That seems prudent, rather than paranoid, in hindsight. Those who require security will have to fall back on older forms of communication, sacrificing efficiency for enhanced security.”

Paul Abel, a PhD, wrote, “To cause this type of change will require a major incident in which security protection has been breached to the extent that consumers are motivated for such a change. On the other hand, there are, and will be, strong disincentives for such a change, such as the natural extension of ‘discount programs.’ Discount cards widely in use today are done so at the expense of consumer privacy (i.e., receiving a discounted grocery bill in exchange for sharing purchase behavior). It seems quite reasonable that, as more of this information is useful to enterprises and government, so too will the motivation of these entities to motivate individuals to share such information. As more of Generation X begin retirement, social norms may change; however, such a change seems as though it would require a new technology (analog of a Facebook) or major event where privacy has been breached or used with a significant economic impact.”

David Klann, a survey participant who shared no additional identifying details, wrote, “As Mr. Snowden releases more internal NSA documents to the public, people will continue to learn how their privacy has been compromised and how the NSA has used the large telecommunication companies to erase the boundaries between private life and not-so private life. Other events will contribute to this level of awareness. Continued hacks of financial information (such as the theft of millions of credit card data through the retail giant Target) will contribute to the public’s distrust of online systems. This perception of insecurity and lack of privacy will only change when provably secure and privacy-enabling systems begin to replace the existing tools. I am aware of (unorganized) groups of people that are working on the infrastructure to enable actual secure and trusted transactions and communications. Such things as DNSSEC, TOR, CAcert.org, OpenPGP (and GnuPG) already offer these facilities. I believe that, over the next ten years, these efforts will become more organized and will develop into easy-to-use systems and applications that offer individuals choices.”

Lovisa Williams, a senior policy advisor, wrote, “Companies will be forced to better integrate privacy and security on their platforms and products if they want to continue to be profitable. With the rise in identity theft, online bullying and harassment, stalking, impact to people’s employment, and more, the public will demand greater control over their personal information. We are hearing more and more about breaches in security and data leaks that will help compel consumers to make this an issue with companies and policy makers. They will vote, using their browser, as to which sites, products, and platforms best allow them control and help protect their information. While this is true about their online profiles, the tracking of people online will be an entirely different issue. I do not see businesses being willing to give up the rich demographic data associated with this data. The only way this will happen is through the establishment of international laws with strict penalties.”

Jamie LaRue, a writer, speaker, and consultant on library, technology, and public-sector issues, wrote, “The erosion of privacy on the Internet, aided by the adoption of ‘free’ smartphone apps, will continue. Privacy will not be the default, and it may not be free. I suspect that there will either be a premium for privacy (a separate app or service) or the software application user can buy a private version that does not harvest one’s data. The threat of constant and continuous surveillance is real. In all likelihood, public interest in it will only stir if and when some horrific abuse occurs, either by some corporation, or government, or both—and both are entirely likely.”

Russell Bailey, the director of the library at Providence College, wrote, “While nonprofits, and some government agencies, overlook the need for both secure, individualized, and usable options for reasonable privacy, and effective interactions and communications, a need successful for-profits (i.e., Amazon, Apple, Google, etc.) have figured out much better already. I suspect that significant aspects of privacy-security will be biogenetically based (i.e., fingerprint, retinal-scan, voice-print/voice-pattern/voice-recognition, typing/keystoke-pattern), or with embedded hardware (chips, as currently is true with animals). It is unclear how ‘human nature’ will adapt to a much more complex concept of security and privacy, resulting from more pervasive techno-presence, but humans will be required to accept (participate), reject (remove themselves from much of society), or tolerate (participate with ongoing anxiety) both less ‘natural’ privacy and security and greater ‘synthetic’ privacy and security (biogenetic or chip-based, as described above).”

Barbara Clark, a retiree and Internet user, commented, “In 2013 and 2014, many people are just learning about security and privacy in this communication technology and app age, so in order for privacy to function efficiently across all formats, and globally, a security system will have to be created that allows a user to ‘opt-out’ at some points—i.e., purchasing information, certain medical information, or tracking whereabouts. It may be the most significant challenge to the United Nations, global corporations, and private security builders. These challenges will be as different as night and day. One only needs to look back to 2004 to see how the technology was used in a social context—very different than today—when security concerns were not a common topic, nor were there as many global users.”

Patty Ash, a retired research analyst, observed, “Such an infrastructure will be possible because tech-enabled people will require it and are innovative enough, working together, to do anything toward that end. It is happening already. I trust there will be more safeguards for children and against predatory individuals.”

Evgeniya Petrova, a product manager, responded, “The balance could be found: your private data will be your private data, and if some analytics should be collected—the consumer should be strongly asked about it first. They will be more strict and precise without misunderstandings and lacks.”

Linda Young, a freelance writer, responded, “I would like to see security, liberty, and privacy online for individuals. I believe we have the ability to do that; however, after six decades of living, I am very pessimistic. I have already seen the government betray the American people too often, and our government officials do not seem to be interested in learning from past mistakes. Ordinary people will have lower expectations of privacy. The problem is that the majority of people are ignorant of history, do not read broadly, do not reflect on what is going on, and do not understand how they got the rights they take for granted or how easy it is to lose the rights they value most if they do not guard all the rights that the American people have. We are constantly seeing our rights eroded and are nearing the point where it will be too late to stop that erosion. We know from history that we can lose our freedoms or be deprived of equal treatment. Look at what happened to the Native Americans, African Americans, and Asians over the history of the US. And, look at what we are doing to the long-term unemployed and poor right now, at a time when there are not enough jobs to go around. We turn the unfortunate into the ‘Other’ and take away some of their rights. I think this nation will do the same thing with privacy and have the view that anyone who wants to have a private thought or a private conversation with another human being is somehow dangerous and a threat to others. I fear that we will see drones with thermal energy technology, which can see humans through walls and ceiling, as well as amplified microphones, which can hear them, flying over our towns and cities, and basically spying on people in what should be the privacy of their own homes. I hope not, but that is what I fear will happen.”

Carolyn Appleton, a fundraising executive, commented, “I expect the balance to be struck prior to 2025. I would expect the general public to become more comfortable with new technologies—from the standpoint of understanding and using them more frequently in daily life—and from the standpoint of believing that their privacy is more secure. At the same time, I suspect companies that design and produce new technologies will become more proficient at maintaining privacy and security and that the government will likewise update its laws in terms of privacy and security to fall in line with modern developments. Last but not least, I suspect the security service industry will expand during this timespan. I believe the two sides will meet in the middle, in other words, and will do so sooner than 2025.”

Christine Y. Lupton, a respondent who shared no other identifying details, wrote, “While security for online data, such as credit card and social security numbers, will increase in terms of options and, possibly, ease of use, our personal data will be everywhere, all the time, not owned by us, and not controlled by us. I also believe we will embrace the affordances of this and appreciate the individualized marketing, networking, etc., that it makes possible. We will stop fighting the privacy battle in social contexts and in social media because it will be a lost cause. We will also realize the issues related to this and will be smarter about what we publish and post, knowing we lose control once the materials are posted.”

Tracy Clark, a PhD, and a computer science teacher, wrote, “The one thing that policymakers always have to balance is free enterprise and the will of people.”

Ruth Martin, a retired professor, wrote, “It will take some time to come up with a program that protects privacy, but I think it is necessary to do so. Corporations and government both want all kinds of data, and the risk of misuse of data is high. There will be less importance placed on what kinds of information people post on social media sites.”

Peggy O’Kane, an information science professional, wrote, “The ability of corporations to monetize will trump the rights of the individual. The income/access divide that we are currently experiencing will only be stopped by revolution or chaos. If we continue on the current path corporate profit will beat individual liberty. If we fall into chaos it won’t be over by 2025. I believe most people will willingly give up their privacy for a perceived better lifestyle.

Jonelle Prether Darr, director of a library system, wrote, “By 2025, there will have been a number of incidents that call attention to the privacy rights that individuals have abdicated as a result of using social networking sites, or through corporate monitoring of Internet activities. This will result in the beginnings of a major shift in the public’s willingness to share information and that policymakers and corporations will have begun to establish some more restrictive standards by which information is obtained and shared with one another.”

Mellisa Mallon, an information science professional, wrote, “There will be significant progress towards a balance between consumer engagement and privacy, but given the current state, I cannot see that this problem will be ‘solved’ in just over ten years. It seems that the public will be especially wary in the near future, given the NSA debacle, and policymakers will have to be very explicit and transparent as to how they are using consumer data and content. Honestly, I think it could go either way. I think there might be a tendency to be less cautious about privacy, especially as a new generation (one that has not expressed much interest in privacy at the present time) is entering college and adulthood; however, if more leaks of public data and/or misuse of public information keep happening, this could greatly impact how the public feels about privacy as a whole.”

Jackie Rafferty, an information science professional in Massachusetts, replied, “Currently, widespread concern about the lack of online privacy, and the attendant market exploitation of Internet users, is leading to legislative initiatives to prevent further deterioration of consumer and citizen privacy. It may be overly optimistic to assume that, in ten years, all of the disruption resulting from quickly evolving technology will be minimized, but given the depth and breadth of concern, and even alarm, that many citizens feel, it is likely that pressure will be exerted, and legislation adopted, to curb and monitor Internet use. I believe that the lack of concern over privacy, widely attributed to younger generations that have grown up with the ‘sharing’ of social media, may lead to new awareness and concern, and thus an appreciation of privacy if the current trends of exploitation continue. For example, if people begin to suffer the consequences of having very personal medical information shared that leads to the denial of coverage, an awareness of the pitfalls will surely develop.”

Emma Guillory, a public relations professional, wrote, “Hopefully, in 2025, we will have established policies that are good for everyone involved—not just the companies trying to make money off of citizens, but also the people using the Internet, as well. There is nothing scarier than the thought of a lack of Net neutrality, and Congress has demonstrated in the last few sessions that the biggest buck could be the most important factor of all. It is terrifying to think about our information being simply bandied about by these huge corporations, always being sold to the highest bidder. I am unsure what the landscape will look like by then, but I am simply hoping that lawmakers and corporations will get the clue that we, the people, are what runs everything, not the other way around. I think that because we are becoming so used to security breaches dealing with private data, we will be a lot more nonchalant about what is happening. Even with the Target breach this month, I shrugged my shoulders and said, ‘Meh. That is why there is fraud protection.’ It did not faze me at all, when it probably should have. So, I am thinking, in 2025, we will either be totally open with our information, to the point where it is all basically public, but there are certain safeguards that we use (fingerprints, that sort of thing), or we will have gone totally the other direction, and everyone will be protecting their data with everything they can muster.”

Danny Gillane, an information science professional, responded, “The reality will be that government will rely on the private sector to worry about privacy and that the private sector is more interested in its ability to market directly to consumers or to monetize the Internet than it is concerned with insuring the security of our personal information. The post-September 11 government has shown no interest in individual rights to privacy when they are weighed against perceived potential security needs. I do not believe this will change, regardless of the party in control of the executive or legislative branches of government. I believe that the majority of the public is ignorant of, or oblivious to, the precautions they should take to protect their information, or to the potential dangers of their information falling into the wrong hands. I also believe that the general public tends to be lazy when it comes to putting the time and effort into educating themselves or protecting themselves. I do not believe personal, government, or commercial attitudes, polices, and practices will have changed by 2025, if ever. Those who choose to protect their privacy, or value their privacy, are now in the minority. I believe they will be part of an even smaller minority in 2025. People who go to lengths to protect their personal information and privacy may even be looked upon with suspicion by the public and the government, and these people will find it difficult to do a good number of things online.”

Walter Minkle, an information science professional, responded, “There will be a major effort to create such a system, but as the frequent break-ins of hackers remind us, someone will always be able to find a way in. As for personal privacy, we hope that we are not being tracked, but if we use the Net, we have very little control over where our data goes. We will have to accept less privacy, just as we accept less of it now—or, more correctly, we choose not to think about it too much, unless our identity (or money) is stolen.”

Kit Keller, a librarian researcher and consultant, commented, “I am being optimistic here: what made me say, ‘Yes,’ is the inclusion of the phrase ‘technology innovators’ in making this happen. The phrase ‘policymakers’ is too vague, but I assume it refers to government oversight, and I have little faith in that arena. Most people are comfortable with sharing day-to-day minutia of their lives; however, I think the desire to control one’s privacy will continue to grow. I do not think that people will get comfortable with ceding critical privacy controls to others, and certainly not to any government entity.”

Tim Kambitsch, an activist Internet user, wrote, “One should be cautious about extrapolating to 2025 the importance of events of the past year, but I see the Snowden revelations and the responses from technology companies, media outlets, and individuals as offering a new view of privacy and the costs of losing those rights. This is will drive greater opportunities for all.”

Trudy Schuett, chair of the Regional Council on Aging for Western Arizona, wrote, “It is a qualified ‘yes,’ as there is much misperception on the nature of privacy: what is truly a right and what is not. There will always be those who expect it to be more than it is. Perhaps, by that time, there will be more understanding of the exact nature of privacy and what is reasonable to expect.”

Karen Matis, a respondent who shared no additional identifying details, wrote, “It will take trial and error and many court rulings, which will continue to be challenged in the future. A healthy balance can be achieved, whereby security, liberty, and privacy will be make transactions and information secure. Regardless of the system, I also believe that outside threats will always be a concern for compromising online venues. Public norms have already changed so that we are in an era of, ‘Everyone must know if I am sitting on the couch drinking coffee or if I slept in today.’ We have ‘given up’ our rights to privacy with our posts on social networking sites. Our ‘friends’ expect a post telling what we are doing. As egocentric as some daily posters are, they really believe that we want to hear about their daily doings. I believe that, to get privacy, you must give privacy. But, I also believe that the public will be able to access online information will ease.”

John Schaeffer, a respondent who shared no additional identifying details, replied, “First, convenience will win over security and privacy. Second, there may be choice, but it will be of the lesser kind. I do not think a consumer will be able to use cash and, as a result, will be tracked. The Internet is, by definition, tracked.”

Carla Schober, a respondent who did not share additional identifying details, predicted, “Call me a cynic, but I do not believe business and policymakers will do anything to defend individual privacy; on the contrary, I think that we, as citizens, will become more accustomed to the idea that our lives are never truly private. As long as there exists a way to make money from a person’s shopping history, travel history, and other spending habits, that information will be exploited. Why would businesses—and the politicians they donate to—consciously choose to hobble themselves? And, how could the general public ever trust that our information was truly private? I predict two trends: First, we will see average people becoming inured to the idea that they and their data trails are marketable commodities. It is the way it is: get used to it. Second, we will see a resurgence of in-person exchanges that are not mediated by technology. Using technology will still be a norm, but the desire for a private, intimate connection will persist. We already have ‘no-cell photography’ for weddings, concerts, etc. This will be most popular with the handmade/makerspace movement.”

Fran Mentch, an information science professional, commented, “Regulation of businesses and banks has been abysmal and many years behind what is going on in society. Our government is owned by big business because of the campaign contributions they can make. Until we have campaign finance reform, citizens are at the mercy of big business. Some popular social media will make it easier to control your privacy settings. Some cell phone companies will be forced to make it easier to understand and control your privacy settings. There will be some regulation by then. We no longer have privacy; that ship has sailed.”

Barbara Genco, manager of special projects for Library Journal, wrote, “There will be more opt-in and opt-out choices for consumers, as well as better education around the issues of privacy. Norms are already changing. The impact of the NSA surveillance, consumer financial security breaches, etc., will continue to challenge and change both business practice and consumer expectations.”

Tim Mallory, an information science professional, commented, “The public will continue to perceive, and perhaps correctly, that neither the government nor corporations are particularly interested in protecting personal privacy. They (governments and corporations) want the right to invade whatever realm they want and will use their resources, probably in secret, to ensure that they can crack the same privacy codes to which they give lip service. Many in the public will be fooled into thinking their privacy is intact. The great masses, having not much to lose, will not care about their so-called ‘privacy.’ They are actually rather fond of sharing information. Those few who point out, or try to, that entities espousing a diet of respecting privacy are still growing fat on private information garnered any way they can get it, will be demonized as First-Amendment groupies and ACLU nut cases. Money will continue to buy any information you want, but even the richest governments and corporations will find the blade cuts both ways, as they will be victims too of brutal and massive data theft. The norm will no longer be that most people can be assumed to be honest. The only real privacy protection individuals will have is either to withhold information or to discard honesty and create false identities with imaginary data so, when an account is hacked, the trail will lead nowhere. Fortunately, this will lead to a resurgence of personal interaction based on the increasing ineffectiveness of honest online communication. On the Internet, no one knows you are not a dog. Personal contact may become the most valuable commodity to both commerce and community building, as it continues to be in human (and canine) interactions.”

Susan Barnum, an information science professional, commented, “Despite pressure to secure corporate monopolies, it seems to me that most people want to preserve freedom on the Internet. With the rise in Makerspacers, Hackerspaces, and other grass-roots efforts, I think we will see pressure to keep an open Internet in the future. I work with teens at a public library and have found that many of them are savvy about privacy. On the other hand, if the public does not keep pressure on lawmakers and businesses, then I do not think we will see a good balance in the future. I feel that the public is ready to stand up for their rights. But if we do not speak up, then I do not see a balance of innovation, privacy, and free speech being a reality. In many ways, we are all becoming very used to the idea that we are being watched. I do not know that this is a good or bad thing inherently. It is best to deal with it as a reality and work within the confines of the fact that we are always watched. I feel that technology that allows individuals to have privacy in public should be allowed—such as ways to ‘cover up’ RFID signals from IDs or, perhaps, virtual ‘privacy nets’ that cover a person as they walk around. Perhaps a person would (should?) have to obtain a permit for these things, but they should be allowed. If these cannot be allowed in the public sector, then I think that such provisions are a must in private areas. In our own homes and in private businesses, we should feel free from being watched. This is a minimum.”

K.G. Schneider, a university librarian, responded, “This will happen, though not that soon. The public has not been scared enough. Privacy has never had a static history; the way we see privacy today, and the way I, as a librarian, particularly learned to value it, is malleable.”

Will Stuivenga, an information science professional in the state of Washington, replied, “I imagine that there will be attempts at creating an infrastructure of the sort described, but I think the Internet is already so fragmented that it is unlikely that any one universally applicable such infrastructure could be created, even if the will to do so existed, which is doubtful. People will just assume that their privacy is always at risk, and that hackers may be capable of breaking in, even if individual Internet companies and service providers attempt to guarantee a greater control over individual privacy; I also think future generations will inevitably come to have a different understanding of privacy norms than we do today; and, while privacy will still be important, probably in ways that are different from how we regard it today, we may well evolve to consider privacy less important for many everyday details of ordinary life.”

Don Hutchinson, a retired entrepreneur, observed, “This privacy issue is fundamental and needs to be solved—at least in part and with different, perhaps optional, levels of security for different applications and different people—i.e., the different levels of security, especially integrated with physical characteristics, such as retina scans. The public will need to be much more sophisticated in the need for extra effort to secure privacy. For example, many people do not now make the effort to have unique passwords.”

To read full official survey analysis, please click here.

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