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Showing posts from October, 2010

Privacy: the Transatlantic Divide

Despite what the likes of Mark Zuckerberg may say, there are still some people who strongly care about privacy.  This seems to be more so the further east you go from Silicon Valley. And even in the Valley, an increasing number of people are becoming aware of this, even though they may not understand or appreciated the alternate viewpoints. Whenever I am asked for an opinion on the European "obsession" with privacy or for an explanation on why the Germans seem so incredibly hung-up on privacy, my standard answer goes about as follows: Yes, there are indeed differences in the approach and attitude to privacy in particular between the US and non Anglo-Saxon continental Europe, but in substance the differences may be smaller than the commonality. And yet we humans seem to be particularly good a picking out small (cultural) differences and get disproportionately stressed-out over over them. In robotics when a humanoid model is close, but just doesn't feel quite right,  th