That saying, a twist on Andy Warhol’s famous “15 minutes of fame” line, has been interpreted to mean many things by fans and critics alike. But it highlights the real difficulty of keeping anything private in the 21st Century.
“Today, we have more digital devices than ever before and they have more sensors that capture more data about us,” says Prof Viktor Mayer-Schoenberger of the Oxford Internet Institute.
And it matters. According to a survey from the recruitment firm Careerbuilder, in the US last year 70% of companies used social media to screen job candidates, and 48% checked the social media activity of current staff.
Also, financial institutions can check social media profiles when deciding whether to hand out loans.
Is it really possible to be anonymous in the internet age?
Meanwhile, companies create models of buying habits, political views and even use artificial intelligence to gauge future habits based on social media profiles.
One way to try to take control is to delete social media accounts, which some did after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, when 87 million people had their Facebook data secretly harvested for political advertising purposes.
– Netflix Cambridge Analytica film- Social media is ‘like a crime scene’
– Facebook to pay $5bn to settle privacy concerns
– Is leaving Facebook the only way to protect your data?
While deleting social media accounts may be the most obvious way to remove personal data, this will not have any impact on data held by other companies.
Fortunately, in some countries the law offers protection.