The PrivacyPapers was released over a two week period of emails by Michael Kasdan, who has generously given us permission to post it in its entirety over several posts.
You can search Twitter: #PrivacyPapers, for the content and to share comments.
2. Privacy Papers – Kicking Off
Sent: Sunday, August 18, 2013
Subject: The Privacy Papers — Kicking Off… (!!)
#Privacy Papers Take One:
The Roster (AKA Who the Heck Are All These People?!)
Before we kick off this enterprise, I thought we should briefly know who is involved in this endeavor (I’m going to loosely call it an endeavor, even through its unclear what exactly we endeavor to accomplish). I basically see it as a Digital Salon of sorts. Some of my local friends have discussed the concept of kicking off a Salon. Not a nail salon. We already have too many of those. But a Salon of Ideas, like back in France with all the artists and writers and smart people. Where you meet at a bar or coffee-shop, drink absinthe and discuss issues of interest. (Hey! Maybe we could start a local coffee-shop based on this principle…Well – that’s for another time). So the thought is that this could be a digital version of that. And the topic of this one is capital p Privacy. Data collection, Facebook, Google, NSA monitoring of the internet…etc. etc. etc.
The most important Salon ingredient, besides the Korean ladies who endlessly gossip about you while smiling and giving you a pedicure, is really smart and/or funny people. That’s where you come in. Basically, you are the smartest people I know who may have an interest in this topic and who actually responded to my Facebook post and/or email. Welcome. (Flattery, I hear, may get you somewhere, and even if it doesn’t it certainly can’t hurt…)
Michael Kasdan – Moderator (to the extent you people can be controlled. Jeez!) and CEO (Chief Enthusiasm Officer* *TM).
Brian – Brian is an all around swell guy who works in-house at FourSquare. We met doing panels on social media and privacy together. He lives in Madison, NJ and enjoys torturing himself by driving cross-country with his cute but very large family. Thanks for playing Brian!
Lisa – Lisa is a local friend, writer and entrepreneur. Current projects include The Modern Village and Umojawa (a crowd-sourcing platform for educators, PTAs, and parent volunteers). Brilliant, irreverent, and opinionated on a never-ceases-to-amaze-you level on a host of different issues with just an ever so slight hint of feminism thrown in for good measure. Has imaginary friend named Alice. That last part is just not true – that’s her daughter. She’s real.
John – John is a local friend and founder of The Happathon. He also writes for Mashable.com. He enjoys bogarting projects like this by sending group emails to people he doesn’t yet know. But we admire his pluck and enthusiasm. John also likes rollerskating in the rain and long walks on beaches. Oh wait, that was Mrs. November from 1987. Scratch the last part. Welcome John!
Nadim – I met Nadim when we were summer associates at Kirkland & Ellis. (We are the Borg. We will assimilate you. I kid – I loved it there. Well, love is such a strong word…anyway…). Nadim now does venture capitalisty stuff out in California. Always considered him and interesting dude despite the Harvard Law school thing. 🙂
Kevin – I met Kevin at NYU Law. While he probably doesn’t realize it, Kevin was a major influence in getting me so interested in start-ups and entrepreneurship. He’s worked at Microsoft and now works at Lab126 (the division of Amazon that makes the Kindle). Well read, interesting and interested. I’m a fan. And a friend.
Chana – I met Chana in Japan, where we were both ex-pats for a time. Chana is a writer and a damned good one. Despite that, she could only get a job writing for such low-profiile rags like The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and Forbes. I can tell that she decided to participate in this thing against her better judgment, and for that I am grateful.
Sanjay – I met Sanjay in my first job out of college at Andersen Consulting (Accenture). It was a great place to work – full of smart young people learning about technology. Because of people like Sanjay. Smart, fun, a techie, and an inspiring guy. Adorable children too. Sanjay just co-founded a start-up called Silicon Valley Data Science. I haven’t even *heard* of this “Big Data” thing, but Sanjay insists that its some important trend. Good luck with *that* buddy.
Bill – Bill is a fellow Penn Alum and engineer. He works for some company called Google. I don’t know Bill all *that* well, but we hung out at a wedding once and had a blast, and I knew right then and there that if I ever attempted to host an online discussion of privacy issues, Bill would be on my short list of invitees.
Ground Rules and Administration
So the way this is going to work (hopefully) is as follows:
This discussion will take place in the form of an email dialog, which – time permitting, someday – I will edit and put together into a cohesive, incisive, humorous and entertaining read on the state of privacy today. The model I thought of are the email exchanges between ESPN’s Bill Simmons and author, Malcolm Gladwell (See, e.g., http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/090513/part1). The difference here is that its not just a two-person exchange — its a nine person exchange, a veritable multi-threaded beast. Which could either get completely unwieldy or be REALLY interesting and fun. Or both. Yes, both. Probably both. But to make it work, I would like us to obey (John Havens – That means listen to rules and follow them) the following simple rules and attitude guidance principles:
(1) Take it seriously. That’s what makes it interesting and worthwhile. (…KIDDING…which brings me to Rule Number Two)
(2) Don’t take it too seriously. We will disagree, I hope. That’s what makes it fun. And interesting. Let’s be respectful of different viewpoints etc.
(3) No Throwing Pieces. When I was a child and got to play with my older cousin Debbie (my cool older cousin), this was ALWAYS the most important rule. I distinctly remember repeated with her and laughing (no matter what game and whether there were any pieces): “What’s the one rule of this game?” “NO. THROWING. PIECES.” 🙂
(4) Procedurally, I am going to follow this up with a first email to get our discussion started. So that one person doesn’t dominate the discussion and everyone has time to chip in – if they want to – let’s go with the rule that once you respond and write an email, you can’t write again until 4-5 people chip in with their responses. I think we will limit the discussion to a one-week exercise. Also, at the suggestion of Bill, please copy all emails to firstname.lastname@example.org. The will archive the discussion in a Google Group, which will be useful in reviewing it later, and referring back to, etc.
(5) The fifth and final rule is also No Throwing Pieces. (Its a VERY important rule.) Have fun, but always with the respect for each other and for the game.
Finally, if there is a non-work or different email address you would like me to use for #PrivacyPapers emails, please let me know and I will make the switch.
Thank you in advance all for participating. Should be fun. Unless I suck at moderating.