Monday, February 26, 2007

Worth thinking about

"Younger people ..... are the only ones for whom it seems to have sunk in that the idea of a truly private life is already an illusion. Every street in New York has a surveillance camera. Each time you swipe your debit card at Duane Reade or use your MetroCard, that transaction is tracked. Your employer owns your e-mails. The NSA owns your phone calls. Your life is being lived in public whether you choose to acknowledge it or not.

So it may be time to consider the possibility that young people who behave as if privacy doesn’t exist are actually the sane people, not the insane ones. For someone like me, who grew up sealing my diary with a literal lock, this may be tough to accept. But under current circumstances, a defiant belief in holding things close to your chest might not be high-minded. It might be an artifact--quaint and na├»ve, like a determined faith that virginity keeps ladies pure. Or at least that might be true for someone who has grown up "putting themselves out there" and found that the benefits of being transparent make the risks worth it...."
From here -
Via Brian Micklethwait -

(Apologies. Blogger is buggering around with the HTML editor at the moment)


Baz said...

that new york magazine article is really good. we're just squares you know. makes sense to - any privacy line is pretty arbitrary, so why have one?

Chris said...

I can't say I think it's that good an article - it seems to be suggesting that the opposite of private isn't public, but fame. It seems that just about every example the writer brings up is still one in which there's a large amount of control. You might not have total control over what people say about your photos on flickr, but it's your choice whether to put your photos there in the first place. To suggest that this is the same as having private emails read by security services is a bit of a leap - like saying CCTV is just automated papparazi.

But I suppose it it true that there's a generational gap in expectations of privacy.

Paulie said...


I linked to it mainly because I thought it had a few observations I've not heard before.

Also, the idea that being relaxed about privacy = making yourself more efficient to deal with is. as I said, worth thinking about.