The internet, obviously, began with a promise of anonymity, not surveillance.
It was a place where nobody knew you were a dog, a technological incarnation of the Central Park Rambles. It took many years, and many embarrassing posts and emails, for people to realise that beneath the digital Rambles lurked a panopticon.
When people obsess over the privacy architecture embedded in Facebook, this is what they’re worried about. They worry that they are in a space that deliberately creates the illusion of privacy in order to tempt participants to engage in revealing behaviour, which can then be leveraged for fun and profit by the observers secretly taping the proceedings through one-way mirrors.