The thesis work of second-year student, Erin Moore, seeks to “change the way people interact with money.” The latest entry to her daily thesis blog, entitled, “Birthdays, Christmas clubs, weight loss, and micro loans,” ponders the metaphor of the community bank, finance management tools for multiple users, and closes with privacy:
…to what extent does this demographic – people who have grown up with social technology- care about privacy? Does sharing of savings goals and the act of depositing money towards a goal help keep them accountable and give them a greater awareness of what one could (or should) be saving for? When talking about the social motivations and boundaries of information sharing in my thesis, I often use Weight Watchers as an analog. How is it that groups of women, who, under most circumstances will not go near a conversation about weight, come together and not only talk about their weight, share their struggles with losing weight, but also support each other as they work towards their weight loss goals? All of this is done in an open environment where women are encouraged to share only what they feel comfortable sharing and what will personally motivate them. There are few things more uncomfortable and personal than talking about money. Weight, especially for women, is one of them. Weight Watchers is one example of a service who has made the issue of privacy a non-issue. They have achieved this through by providing a framework through which communities can motivate and support each other and individuals can work towards personal goals in ways that are meaningful to them. WW gives users control of the information and also a platform to communicate this information. These insights are driving my decisions around privacy and information sharing.