I suspect have been asked this question via the many quizzical looks I have noticed on the occasions I espoused Agency over Privacy, but I sadly I read "confusion" rather than "question".
So recently I have been considering why I was not so "into" Agency in the past, and why I am now.
I had toyed with Primacy over Privacy in the early days of the Jericho Forum, indeed the word Primacy appears in the Identity Commandments.
It has recently struck me that the reason is very similar to the deep feelings of discomfort I experienced in my early forays into Second Life. The digital and physical world are starting to converge and in that convergence we have some new things to learn, and perhaps more importantly some new things to gain control of.
So to revisit my second life experiences, my first foray was more about understanding the interface and how to build things and dress myself in this new virtual world. I was happily immersed in these challenges (I still am not sure why I chose an animal skin cat suit) when I accidentally bumped into another virtual being. It was a visceral shock, I did not like the fact that I had absolutely no identity or trust cues. In fact I hated it so much I stayed clear for a fair while, and on the odd occasions I did venture back in, I worked hard to find deserted locations to play, in order to be "in control". If I couldn't be "Private" I sensed myself going into "Tube" mode. The way I am, and act, when travelling on the underground; in close proximity to a large number of strangers, I basically work hard to ignore them, pretending they are not real!
The time I did go into second life to interact with another virtual entity, was when I was being chaperoned by "Byn". She was a virtual world expert in my eyes, and most importantly I knew and trusted her. The experience was far more akin to real life and I felt like I was there, but most importantly I felt in control. Thus I sense that my issue was not really my desire for Privacy but rather my desire to be "in control". In short, I have an innate desire for agency! So perhaps my first swing from Digital Privacy to Digital or Cyber Agency was triggered by Second Life.
With the accelerating emergence of the Internet of Things the Digital and Physical worlds are colliding again. Instead of the Physical world being instantiated Virtually in the Digital World, as in Second Life, this time the Digital World is being Physically instantiated in the Physical World.
We are learning how to make digital things physical in a new way. We have done this mechanically and indeed electrically for a long time. After all a thermostat and a heater are two components, or a thing, that translates a desired digital outcome, or a digital intent, into physical reality: "I want the temperature in the room to be 20 degrees Centigrade."
The fact that we are networking the sensor and the heater and giving them an API does not seem too important until we realise that now anyone on the planet, with the right skills, can chose to set the temperature of our room to whatever temperature they chose. The dangerous thing about this latest Digital / Physical interconnect is that there are no means to identify the lack of trust cues.
We have no simple means of knowing if we are in control of a thing and when we lose it. How many of you spotted the new Frequent Locations service embedded by Apple deep in the bowels of iOS on your iPhone.
As an aside: Tim Cook please also shift from Privacy to Agency,your focus on Privacy I accept that you "are" working hard to protect our Privacy from Nasty State Agencies. May I remind you that you have also been working hard to reduce our Agency or the degree of control we have over our Cyber Space. While I accept that Apple is not the only organisation hell bent on turning people from fungible resources into revenue generators. Locking us into your walled garden while carefully and subtly reducing our degrees of freedom, is not what I want from an organisation that wants to gain and maintain my trust.
The first organisation that truly empowers me, with an agent service that acts on MY behalf, will get my vote and perhaps most importantly access to my wallet. Indeed the first organisation that helps me to monetise my information whilst keeping me in control of that same information will be a hero in my eyes.
So, why the swing from Privacy to Agency? : I want to be able to be the agent of my own destiny in this ever more connected world of Things.
Agency gives me control and allows me to select and achieve many more things than the Privacy/Transparency choice.
Light, Heat, Nutrition, Health, Making, Wealth, Learning, Entertainment, Supporting Others, Charity, Security to name but a few.