Even if it’s true that most people don’t really care about online privacy, things will change when the mainstream media start publicizing cases of pain and loss where credible or sympathetic individuals (e.g., young, attractive, or sympathetic families) get “bitten” by misuse of personal data sourced online. Congress will hold hearings and the U.S. might end up with security and privacy laws that are more aligned with those of European countries.
Another scenario is that insurance companies will move in to offer policies covering financial losses associated with inadvertent or criminal misuse of personal data.
Think of it. You think qualifying for a life insurance policy is hard to qualify for now given all the medical screening? Just wait till you have to vouch for “safe online behavior” and have that behavior vetted by online search companies hired by insurance companies to check (using legal and ethical means, of course) whether your online behavior really reflect what you stated in your application.
Actually, I won’t be surprised to hear that such insurance is already available, although most of the offers that will be sent to email@example.com will probably end up in my spam filters unread. You can try, though.