Privacy Is A Part Of Civilized Society: There's No Defense For Having It Taken By Force

from the privacy-in-the-modern-era dept

I've been having some interesting discussions about privacy lately, because it's a topic that is a bit more complex than a lot of people are willing to admit. Pretty much every choice you make in life is about tradeoffs, and that applies to privacy as well. Leaving your home and walking down the street is a form of a "tradeoff" in that when you go outside, other people can see you, and that, in some ways, is a "violation" of your privacy. But most of us determine that going out in public is worth it, because there are lots of benefits to being able to leave your house, while there are very few negatives to having someone see you on the street. The same is true, in many ways, online. There are situations in which we find the sharing of information to be much more valuable than the costs. It's why people sign up for online services. They know they're giving up some information and "privacy," but the value of the service they get back is considered worth it. We can quibble over whether or not people can accurately measure the costs and benefits of those tradeoffs, and I think that's an important and valuable discussion to have, but the idea of "absolute" privacy is crazy. You can do that, but the tradeoff is you don't go outside and you don't use the internet. Good luck with that.

The real problem tends to come in when the privacy violations are done in ways that were not a part of the bargain. I may choose to give a company some level of access to my email, because I value the result. But if I then find out that they're doing much more than promised with it, or more seriously, that a third party, such as the government, is digging into that same info, just because they can, that's quite different. That wasn't part of the tradeoff deal that I made.

Tim Bray has an interesting article touching on this subject, over at Medium, in which he notes that privacy is a part of a civilized society, and that we shouldn't have to defend the basic concept of privacy from those who seek to take it by force. He isn't talking so much about the tradeoffs, but rather what happens when there are no tradeoffs at all, and the government just decides that it can take away your privacy because it can:
Privacy doesn't need any more justification. It's a quality-of-life thing and needs no further defense. We and generations of ancestors have worked hard to build a civilized society and one of the rewards is that often, we can relax and just be our private selves. So we should resist anyone who wants to take that away.
He further points out that the real problem is that law enforcement always has and almost always will abuse their power to violate your privacy without any control or benefit to you:
The public servants who are doing the watching are, at the end of the day, people. Mostly honorable and honest; but some proportion will always be crooked or insane or just bad people; no higher than in the general population, but never zero. I don't think Canada, where I live, is worse than anywhere else, but we see a pretty steady flow of police brutality and corruption stories. It's a fact of life.

Given this, it's unreasonable to give people the power to spy on us without factoring in checks and balances to keep the rogues among them from wreaking havoc.
And this is where the tradeoffs come back into play. When I choose to give up some level of privacy, I have some control over the situation, and that's a form of a check and balance. I can choose to limit how I use the services or what I share. That's not true when the government just goes digging and pulls out whatever it wants. And then they can abuse it, often with impunity.

I think it's a little too simple that we should be able to say across the board "I don't want to be watched," because there are lots of situations where we agree to be in public. But when it becomes a forced observation, and there's no control, then there are serious problems.


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  1. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 1:25pm

    So, tell me how to avoid Google's "because it can" invasions.

    As Mike hisself has said: "Any system that involves spying on the activities of users is going to be a non-starter. Creeping the hell out of people isn't a way of encouraging them to buy. It's a way of encouraging them to want nothing to do with you."

    ANY SYSTEM, Mike? Or are Google and Facebook exceptions to your own statement 'cause they're "voluntary" and only trying to get money put their way for advertising?

    NOPE, you CAN'T neatly segregate spying: it's ALL bad.

    Our privacy is simply going to be monetized, and every possible second of attention diverted to commercial interests nagging to buy junk, MUCH more intrusive than gov't. Everywhere you turn will be flashing advertisements targeted at YOU, and right past the "creepy line" with gadgets that produce sound IN your head, and brain implants soon as practical, according to Eric Schmidt. Already when I use the web with javascript turned on and no ad blocking, it's horrifying enough.

    When you think surveillance or spying or snooping, think Google!

     

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    anon, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 1:28pm

    Secret ballots are an important part of the democratic process. Some things must remain secret for our society to function correctly.

     

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    Mason Wheeler, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 1:35pm

    Leaving your home and walking down the street is a form of a "tradeoff" in that when you go outside, other people can see you, and that, in some ways, is a "violation" of your privacy.


    That's quite an assertion, and with nothing to back it up. How is other people being able to see you when you're out in public in any way a violation of your privacy?

    It's obviously ridiculous to even say that, but the problem here is that the only way to define "violation of privacy" is by first defining privacy, and the only meaningful way to define privacy is the definition that Techdirt has explicitly rejected: privacy is about having something to hide that you don't want shared with the public.

    This does not mean that it's a bad thing. If I buy something online, I use encryption to make the transaction private--even though whatever I'm buying is something completely legitimate that I wouldn't be ashamed of people knowing I had bought--because the transaction involves financial details that I don't want other people getting ahold of. Obviously, that's something I want to hide.

    When I get dressed in the morning, I do so in the privacy of my own apartment, and not out in public, because of basic decency and not wanting to get arrested. I don't see my body as anything to be ashamed of, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't still be hidden from the world in general as part of simply behaving like a civilized person. So again, privacy.

    I have plenty of things to hide in my day-to-day life. We all do. That doesn't mean that they're illegitimate or shameful or illegal; just that they're private. But the opening of this article shows just how silly of a road you end up on when you trying to separate the two concepts.

     

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    St. Pat, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 1:35pm

    >"That wasn't part of the tradeoff deal that I made."

    They are altering the deal. Pray they do not alter it any further.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 1:36pm

    equally, it isn't right that those who want to remove privacy (and freedom) should make so lite of abuse of power and laws which those same people would use to their full extent against someone else who was suspected of doing the same!!
    the likes of Hayden, Clapper and Alexander should be up on charges for what the have done! they have totally ignored laws and reinterpreted others, just to suit themselves, what they wanted to do and the situations in hand! no one else would ever have been allowed to ignore or misuse the law in these ways! using the excuses they have and still are, is disgraceful! it literally pisses on what they purport to hold so dear, the law and the protection of the nation in which they live and their fellow citizens!!

     

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    Russ (profile), Oct 9th, 2013 @ 1:42pm

    I worry less about the corruption in the process, they are a fact of existence and hope that they are accounted for. I worry more of the zealots. Those whose mission is a higher calling and that the ends justify any means. Their purity of cause will obliterate any contols and limitations that interfere with what they think is the right thing to do. Their motives justify any action, any subtrefuge.

    Remember that the goal of the Spanish Inqusition was to save man's souls. Justification for any action on such a noble cause.

     

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    Andrew F (profile), Oct 9th, 2013 @ 1:43pm

    Trade Off = Taxation

    The problem with the trade-off analysis is that it trivializes the issues of privacy somewhat. If we're OK with sharing private information as part of an exchange for services, but disapprove of that information being acquired without our consent, that implies that what the NSA is doing is equivalent of taxation without representation (or inadequate representation).

    That's an important issue for sure -- one important enough to have started the American Revolution -- but I don't think that's the harm people are thinking of when the NSA spies on them. For example, the CIA spends all sorts of taxpayer money on secret gadgets, many of which probably have questionable benefits for national security. But that doesn't invite the same type of outrage that Snowden's revelations did.

     

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    Rikuo (profile), Oct 9th, 2013 @ 1:43pm

    Re:

    " and the only meaningful way to define privacy is the definition that Techdirt has explicitly rejected: privacy is about having something to hide that you don't want shared with the public."

    Can you point out where Techdirt has said or implied such a thing? I've been a member for about 3 years now, give or take a few months, and I can't remember Mike or any TD staff saying anything like that.

     

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    Jay (profile), Oct 9th, 2013 @ 1:46pm

    Re:

    ... What caused this response? I don't see how having secret ballots is something to allowing society to function...

     

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    Mason Wheeler, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 1:49pm

    Re:

    Actions such as, oh I don't know, maybe cutting way back on the use of torture? Greatly reducing the use of the death penalty for less serious crimes? Eliminating witch trials in Spain altogether due to their requirement for solid evidence of witchcraft, rather than simply accusations and witnesses, a century before the rest of Europe? Pioneering the concept of the rights of the accused and the presumption of innocence?

    For some bizarre reason, they're remembered as villains today, but do a bit of research, have a look at what they actually did, and you'll probably find that you'd rather have the Spanish Inquisition than a lot of what passes for a modern legal system these days!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 1:57pm

    There's a third factor

    Mike, you seem to be talking about consent being the primary balance for privacy. I'd say that there's another equally important factor to balance, which is knowledge. Sometimes I consent to give up my privacy, sometimes it's taken from me without my consent; but either way, I'd like to know about it when it happens. Knowing that your privacy is being taken is better than not knowing, just as informed consent is better than uninformed consent.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 1:57pm

    Re:

    The term having something to hide implies that you are doing so because it is in some fashion shameful or illegal.

    Privacy is more like simply the ability to avoid being observed in general.

    You are giving up some privacy to go outside. It is not a VIOLATION of your privacy.

    Any business conducted from our personal homes, whether it be using the internet, working, watching cat videos, or writing dissertations are considered private, as we don't expect to be observed donig these things at home.

    It has nothing to do with WANTING something hidden, its that we are in an area where we arent being observed, and when we are observed, or people break into our "private places" to see what we've done, that is a violation of our privacy.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 1:59pm

    Re:

    Tracking my location data that shows me going to locations at dates and times where political rallies are being held and then also shows me going to a location at a date and time when it is being used as a polling station effectively eliminates the secret ballot.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 2:04pm

    It seems we have crossed the rubicon and all rights are now granted to us from government largesse.

     

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    Mason Wheeler, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 2:05pm

    Re: Re:

    Not necessarily. Just because you've done something that in some way affiliates you with a certain cause doesn't mean you're going to vote for everything related to their cause.

    I've actually found myself in the somewhat bizarre position of receiving emails from campaigns on both sides of a certain hotly-contested political race recently, both urgently asking me to donate to their candidate's campaign, because (for completely unrelated reasons) I've done things to support both conservative and liberal political causes in the past, that apparently ended up with me getting added to some mailing lists.

    I pity the fool who tries to divine how I'm going to vote based on information like that, though...

     

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    Andrew F (profile), Oct 9th, 2013 @ 2:06pm

    Information Wants to Be Free

    One thing that gets tossed around a bit here but is missing from the privacy discussion: Information wants to be free. What doesn't that apply to information we want kept secret from the NSA?

    We usually use that phrase in the context of paywalls or DRM. But it's absolutely relevant here as well. Even if we didn't explicitly bargain for the NSA to see our private information (much as content holders don't bargain for their content to be shared outside of the original licensee), anything we put on the Internet can and will make its way out to them if they truly want to see it -- if not be the NSA, then surely by a foreign government which owes us even less accountability than the NSA (if such a thing is possible).

    That doesn't me we have to condone domestic spying, much as we can recognize piracy happens without condoning it. But it does suggest that attempts to keep information private are a temporary stop-gap at best.

    I'd argue that a better place to draw the line is not "what does the government know?" but rather "what can the government do with what it knows?". It's hard to control the flow of information, but it is (somewhat) easier to recognize and prevent certain conduct. I'm not sure what those conduct-based lines would be, but the DEA's prosecution of drug-based offenses based on NSA intel definitely fall on the wrong side. Privacy is a part of civilized society -- but not all aspects of civilization can be legislated. IMHO, our efforts are probably better directed at identifying specific harmful acts we want the government to refrain from, rather than a blanket ban on domestic surveillance.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 2:06pm

    Re: So, tell me how to avoid Google's "because it can" invasions.

    I was at a Dell conference awhile back and they demoed a system to us used by Walmart and other big box stores to track people in the aisles of the store, track facial expressions when they look at specific products, track eye movement, how long a person looks at each product, who the person is when they check out (in order to aggregate the data with their next visit and the visit after), and all kinds of creepy stuff. It's what those black domes in the ceiling are doing these days. It's why when a couple is printed on your receipt, it is for something you might be interested in buying. Walmart's purposes, while kind of creepy, are understood, and as Mike said it's a trade off you make when you shop at one of these places. However, if the government aggregates all of this type of data with bank records, phone records, internet usage history, cell phone location data, etc, etc, then they are basically recording our entire lives. Where does it end? What happens when the cameras on your XBOX start being aggregated into all of that data? You then have to sit in the corner of your living room, hiding from a camera, to write in your paper journal, and hope no one sees, ala 1984.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 2:14pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Combine that information with your bank records and emails. It might not be airtight but it'd give a pretty good indication of how you voted.

     

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    S. T. Stone, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 2:21pm

    Re:

    privacy is about having something to hide that you don't want shared with the public

    What if I happen to feel proud of my work with specific political causes/groups that advocate Libertarianism or anarchy or any legal-yet-‘weird’ political views, but I don’t want the government to track me based on that work and use that information against me? Why don’t I deserve the right to assemble a group of people for a perfectly legal purpose without the government using that as a reason to think I’ve somehow become an ‘enemy of the state’?

    The next time you think of piracy, think about the people who don’t have ‘anything to hide’ but don’t think they shouldn’t have to ‘hide’ to avoid surveillance (government or otherwise).

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 2:23pm

    Re: Trade Off = Taxation

    I don't want to work hard everyday to be taxed and my tax money be spent on the technology used to collect every piece of data about my life from everywhere.

    I pay for services with companies. I expect the business conducted between me and those I pay for services to be kept private and confidential. I don't expect them to pass along every piece of information they have on me to the government. If they do, I don't do business with them anymore and fore-go those services.

    If the government continues to use my tax dollars to spy on me, perhaps I don't work as much and reduce the amount I pay in taxes.

    Does anyone not see how society starts to breakdown because of these revelations?

     

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    Bengie, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 2:27pm

    Re: Re:

    It comes down to that if there is a logical expectation of privacy, like a private communication, then having that privacy violated violates the trust of those people.

    In society, trust is all we have.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 2:35pm

    Re: Re: So, tell me how to avoid Google's "because it can" invasions.

    An important difference between Walmart and NSA, Walmart may guess that you are having a party, but NSA will know when, who attended, and if your devices let them, what was said and who went home with who.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 2:52pm

    Re: Information Wants to Be Free

    No.

    Information wants to be free is in regards to things like research and papers, things that can have a notable impact (environmental studies, research on political regimes, research on), items with a tangible PUBLIC benefit.

    Our PERSONAL information, unless we knowingly give it out for use in some kind of study, is NOT information that "wants to be free."

    Putting our information on the internet is not the same as putting it publicly on the internet. Mentioning on a forum or site that it's my birthday means that people can find it.

    Putting in my birthday to register a bank account or anything similar for purposes of identification is not information that has no expectation of privacy.

    The government can do anything it wants with what it knows, which is why we are concerned about what it does know.

    The fact we have to legislate things considered common sense is an issue, the real problem is there is already legislation that disallows things, but double speak and rule twisting allows people to use "loopholes". If we were more willing to punish for loophole infractions, people would be less likely to abuse the rules and this issue wouldn't have happened.

    Too much "letter of the law" rather than the "spirit of the law" exists today.

     

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    Brazenly anonymous, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 3:56pm

    Re: Information Wants to Be Free

    Specific harmful act to refrain from: intentionally gathering, or coding a program with the intent to gather, any information that is not directly relevant to an on-going investigation.

    Specific harmful act to refrain from: using any forceful, coercive, illegal or dishonest method, including [impersonation, exploiting code vulnerabilities, etc], to gather information when the method, locations to be searched and items to be searched for are not specifically enumerated under a valid warrant.

    Specific harmful act to refrain from: secret warrants or any warrant that cannot be properly contested in an adversarial manner (under the normal constraint that all evidence so gathered or the new constraint that all evidence gathered based on information so obtained will be rendered inadmissible should the warrant be defeated).

    A blanket ban on domestic surveillance is really only a half-measure.

     

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    Jaime Frontero, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 3:59pm

    Who controls us...

    "Mostly honorable and honest; but some proportion will always be crooked or insane or just bad people; no higher than in the general population, but never zero."

    No. This is just wrong.

    There will *always* be more of these people in positions of 'authority' than in the general population. Those who live to control their fellows gravitate to such positions.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 4:06pm

    Re: Re:

    If someone said, "vote for me or I'll kill you," would you prefer secret ballots or not?

    That's an extreme example but the same general principle holds true. The political process is more prone to coercion if those in power can see who supports them and who doesn't.

     

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    Rapnel (profile), Oct 9th, 2013 @ 4:12pm

    Re: Information Wants to Be Free

    A blanket ban on domestic surveillance. That looks suspiciously like a very good direction for directing our combined efforts.

    It might be wasted type but you're aware that prior to the NSA being directed to subvert the order that the order was no domestic surveillance, correct?

    What's different now? I mean what's really different?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 4:29pm

    Re: Re: So, tell me how to avoid Google's "because it can" invasions.

    You are an embarrassment to nature you know that?

    YaCy is an easy distributed(P2P) search engine, or you can use Startpage which serves as a proxy between you and Google servers.

    Have you visite PRISM Break?

    Lots and lots of tools to bypass Google.

    You can replace Android for Cyanogenmod

    For searches you can use DuckDuckGo or others.

    Want email services?

    Bitmessage

    But we told you this already, but somehow you are unable to use other tools, are you magnetic linked to Google services or something?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 4:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: So, tell me how to avoid Google's "because it can" invasions.

    The above was target at CID=25 not CID=222

     

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    Jay (profile), Oct 9th, 2013 @ 4:40pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I'd argue that the issue is somewhat different.

    Here's the amounts of inequality in America

    And what is happening is that people need to vote for a good candidate that represents their interests. The vote would undo some of the damage as we saw in the 1930s when the public had more power in politics.

    But right now, we have an aristocracy of the top 5% who have a LOT of money from our system. So we need our democracy back or else we lose.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 5:02pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Based on that data alone it may be difficult but give it enough samples the current algorithms can actually make some pretty darn good predictions that even you may not be even aware off yourself.

    But that is not what those people in the NSA want to do, they are not predicting behavior they want to deanonymize people and track them, that is very much possible with current tech.

    PDF: Robust De-anonymization of Large Sparse Datasets by Arvind Narayanan and Vitaly Shmatikov

    Is like putting a GPS collar on your cat, you can see where it has been and some times even make some good guesses about his habits like were all those dead things are coming from, where are his hunting grounds.

    In a sense the NSA spying is the government studying you and you habits, like researchers observe wild animals in Africa.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 6:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And how do you think letting those in power know who voted for whom would further that goal?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 6:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Look at it like this, right now you get 5% that are well organized, write their own laws and make it happen while the other 95% fight each other and are dependent more than ever on others.

    This is why they are able to rule everyone.

    So either you create the means to organize people in a chaotic environment or you make everyone less dependent on the government.

    There are no other options, you either organize and write your own laws or you create the means to not depend on the people who use and abuse you.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 7:27pm

    The public is being asked to trust the government that it won't abuse it's power. Yet at every turn it seems the government is giving reason to to trust it. This idea that the info is there for the grabbing in a free-for-all does not inspire trust; quite the opposite.

    When you look at it and the way it has been handled, Obama stated he would welcome a debate on this yet everything that has been done, shows just the opposite. They are doing everything in their power to prevent such from occurring.

    It seems that every entity from the police on up, want to violate that personal privacy for their own gain. It's no longer about trust. That was shattered some time ago when the public learned that this stealing of privacy has not only been going on a long time but it has been a matter of collusion between most of the branches of government to allow it and keep it hidden from the public at the same time.

    This is not how you inspire trust when you seek it and not how you keep it. Right now, that trust isn't going to happen without major changes starting with the charging of both Alexander and Clapper with illegal acts.

     

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    Corwin (profile), Oct 10th, 2013 @ 3:09am

    No.

    If you know everything about everyone then you don't have to trust anything ever again.

    It's not the end of civilization, it's only the end of liberty for those who don't have access to the data.

     

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    FarSide (profile), Oct 10th, 2013 @ 5:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Based on that data alone it may be difficult but give it enough samples the current algorithms can actually make some pretty darn good predictions that even you may not be even aware off yourself."

    Agreed. Remember Target predicting a girl was pregnant? That was almost 2 years ago. I'm sure NSA had that kind of stuff well before Target, and far better predictive capacity now.

     

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    araybold (profile), Oct 10th, 2013 @ 6:03am

    Not so Hard

    "I've been having some interesting discussions about privacy lately, because it's a topic that is a bit more complex than a lot of people are willing to admit."

    It is actually simpler than you make it seem; the complication exists only in your discussion of it, which appears to be a tortuous attempt to reconcile it with your political dogma.

    "The real problem tends to come in when the privacy violations are done in ways that were not a part of the bargain."

    That's a simple, reasonable position. So, if I send email to you, what bargain exists between me and Google with regard to information about me in that email?

    I can't choose what email service the people I need or want to communicate with use. I can't enter in to a bargain with the provider of that service.

    It is simple, if you are not trying to create a spurious distinction between government and corporate snooping.

     

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    Jay (profile), Oct 10th, 2013 @ 6:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I'm an advocate of paper ballots and better voting procedures than the ones we currently have.

    I'm a bigger fan of Duverger's Law and people not losing the right to vote when they are convicted of a felony. I just don't see how a secret ballot helps anyone.

     

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    beltorak (profile), Oct 10th, 2013 @ 8:02am

    Re: Re: Re: So, tell me how to avoid Google's "because it can" invasions.

    WalMart also won't break into my new SO's apartment next week, tie them up and blackmai -- er, detain them and encourage them to help investigate their love interest's terrorist affiliations because last month I (accidentally I swear) befriended the CIO of the Afgani mob. At least I'm pretty sure WalMart won't. Not too sure about my government these days.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    icon
    beltorak (profile), Oct 10th, 2013 @ 10:16am

    Re:



    Leaving your home and walking down the street is a form of a "tradeoff" in that when you go outside, other people can see you, and that, in some ways, is a "violation" of your privacy.


    That's quite an assertion, and with nothing to back it up. How is other people being able to see you when you're out in public in any way a violation of your privacy?


    Maybe you missed the phrase "in some ways", and the quotes around "violation"?

    Let me translate. Some people might, but not necessarily do, view knowledge of their presence among the general population (including when and with whom) as a violation of privacy, for some definition of privacy that might not be held by the majority of people.

    OK, that's too abstract. How about a concrete example? Some celebrities do indeed protect themselves from the paparazzi when going into public places, and have stated that being unmasked has adversely impacted their private lives.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    icon
    Andrew F (profile), Oct 10th, 2013 @ 2:21pm

    Re: Re: Information Wants to Be Free

    It might be wasted type but you're aware that prior to the NSA being directed to subvert the order that the order was no domestic surveillance, correct?


    Yes, but it didn't work. And there's no easy way to enforce it. Or know when it's being violated.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    icon
    Andrew F (profile), Oct 10th, 2013 @ 2:25pm

    Re: Re: Information Wants to Be Free

    Our PERSONAL information, unless we knowingly give it out for use in some kind of study, is NOT information that "wants to be free."


    YOU (and I) personally don't want such information to be free, but it happens. Information wants to be free is not a normative statement about what should happen but what does happen.

    A substantial amount of the information that triggers the Streisand effect is "personal", yet we see how well efforts to control that go.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2013 @ 3:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Ok, I'm not going to bother trying to argue with a government shill. I'm sure you would love to be able to see who people have voted for, but for a society that's actually free, secret ballots are essential.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2013 @ 8:19pm

    Re: Re:

    Uh, secret ballots are a hallmark of democratic society. Why would you want to cast them aside and let elections be subject to intimidation and bribery

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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