That's because these sites and search engines such as Google gather data about the activities and interests of individuals as an integral part of their businesses, he says. "We're Google's product that Google sells to their customers," Schneier says. "We get all the privacy that Facebook allows."
Mediating interactions with other people through computers -- social networking -- calls for setting policies about how information in those interactions is handled. "It's not natural," he says. "We now need policies where we didn't before."But people growing up living more of their lives in public won't know anything else. "By the time you graduate high school, you've been dumped on Facebook, and you're used to it," he says.
This rubs many older people the wrong way, because control of that data alters the quality of their lives. "It's not our data, it's our life, and we want control," he says.
Technology is not the problem because technology is neutral. Policies about how technology can and cannot be used determine privacy, and the balance is changing away from privacy. "We can accept the new balance or set the balance," he says.
Read more about wide area network in Network World's Wide Area Network section.