What you do, say and think is no longer private. Our lives are opening up to scrutiny as our previously private data moves into the public domain at geometric speed.  Much of being human depends on our ability to forge relationships with a few people based on dreams, problems, challenges, and attitudes that are shared with a small group, often only one person.

Radical transparency is the new reality of privacy where the notions of privacy as they have applied in the past to individuals and  institutions are simply no longer relevant.  It seems absurd to me that we still have regulated privacy in situations where there is a clear benefit to that community to remove it, such as in the case of contagious medical conditions, and whilst we shake our heads  at the photos our kids (grandkids?) put up on facebook, that is the new reality.

This change happening around us is emerging as one of the most radical social revolutions in history. How are we, and our institutions  going to deal with the absolute ubiquity of information?

Over the last decade, we have effectively given away the assumption of privacy as we understood it, surely the challenge now is to figure out how to manage the new transparency rather than doing a “Canute” about it.

This notion is engaging greater minds than mine. Part one of an email conversation between a couple of the real thinkers in this area, Clay Shirky and  Don Tapscott, appeared recently in the Atlantic. It  deals forces of change unleashed by the collective intelligence of the net, the 4 broad principals of the internet age, Collaboration, Transparency, Sharing, and Empowerment, as outlined by Don in his June 12 TED talk.

Part two of that conversation examines the impact of the information revolution on the Arab Spring, and its wider implications, demonstrating again, the 4 principals at work .

Radical transparency is a part of our world now, it cannot be undone, so our corporations, institutions, and every individual need to respond to this new reality.