May 082011

This one is interesting to me, now that we’ve had a bit of time to digest it.  No doubt there are others besides the woman in Ontario who are launching lawsuits against Sony.  And, if there aren’t yet, these will probably get certified into Class Actions pretty soon.  I think Sony’s going to have to do much better than an apology and a little gift.

But that’s not what is so interesting.  It’s something that a colleague noted.  Basically, in many more words, she noted that this data breach caught a lot more people’s attention (at least among the carefree crowd in her house) BECAUSE IT WAS THE CROWD THAT DOESN’T CARE.  Well, that’s not what she said; I’m paraphrasing.  What she meant was that even in her house it had now caught the gamers’ attention and data security/privacy was an issue.  These are the same people that haven’t cared much about any other data breach:  TJ Maxx, CIBC, etc., etc.


I asked why.  And now I’m going to propose an answer.  To my mind, this is the first data noticeable data breach that has affected the community of people that don’t otherwise seem to care about their privacy.  The generation that is more than willing to post compromising photos on Facebook, expose all their most intimate information to the world, and treat the Internet as though only the obviously “bad” people are “bad.”  The generation that plays online games.  The generation that has yet to feel the significant impact of unfortunate legacy.  This generation had its first encounter with danger online.  And it was danger of the most obvious kind (not that “preying, fake nurse inciting you to suicide” kind):  they’re-messing-with-my-money-during-my-GAME kind.  Games aren’t supposed to be dangerous (although that’s being put to the lie in hockey:  concussions from getting your head banged against ice or plexiglass–who’d have thunk it).  But they are.

So this crowd is cowed.  For the moment anyway.

I don’t have the time or inclination, but recommend that a genearationalist of the sociological or psychology kind should consider this as a spectacular opportunity for at worst a Masters thesis and at best a doctoral dissertation.  There is something here.  I just don’t know what.

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