In a commentary in The Observer, a media company chief creative officer talks about how young users of “the confessional media” will never be able to “take it back” the way today’s politicians, celebrities, and other grownups can. “The bulk of them use their MySpace and Facebook entries for self-advertisement, social networking and the generally raw process of growing up and working out their identities. With the aid of these sites, they are the first generation … whose sexual adventures, drug taking, immature opinions and personal photographs are indelibly recorded electronically.” He asks if there’s been a fundamental shift in attitudes toward privacy (for a US response, see New York magazine, which says “the future belongs to the uninhibited”). The “key elements,” he says of protecting privacy online now as much as offline of yore are to “increase media literacy, enable the withdrawal of consent [e.g., to have photos displayed] and ensure that obsolete data can be effectively deleted.” I agree that we all need to be thinking and talking with our kids about doing our own spin control – how we’re presenting ourselves online and what the implications are – but the part about withdrawing consent (proving that the photos in question, for example, are of oneself so they can be deleted) could prove very unwieldy. Stay tuned – this will all get increasingly interesting.