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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> is losing PRIVACY worse than losing guns & speech?
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06/30/2015 09:21:29 PM · #1
While there has been a lot to celebrate and debate recently, I really believe those issues pale in comparison to our disappearing privacy. You can go around and around and around over the constitutionality of gun ownership, flag-flying, and marriage, but the attacks on our privacy will affect nearly everyone.

I'm not talking about the NSA or government. I'm talking about something you have no control over. Read these two article.

Facial Recognition

God View

Getting off the grid never looked so appealing...
06/30/2015 10:04:20 PM · #2
Originally posted by Skip:

While there has been a lot to celebrate and debate recently, I really believe those issues pale in comparison to our disappearing privacy. You can go around and around and around over the constitutionality of gun ownership, flag-flying, and marriage, but the attacks on our privacy will affect nearly everyone.

I'm not talking about the NSA or government. I'm talking about something you have no control over. Read these two article.

Facial Recognition

God View

Getting off the grid never looked so appealing...


Only if you're willing to give up everything you currently have/do.

Skynet is not fiction :P
06/30/2015 10:17:55 PM · #3
In 1999 Scott MacNealy then head of Sun Microsystems said words to the effect of privacy is over, get over it. the only battle left is whether private citizens can spy on corporations as well as they spy on us.

With the increase of living our lives on the net, we leave footprints, and the level of privacy of our parent's generation is behind us. The only people who can demand privacy are those, like big companies, who can but up big walls around their data, and government. Our privacy is gone, the only question is whether we will live on an even playing field with the big boys, or if they get special rights.
06/30/2015 10:57:05 PM · #4
Originally posted by BrennanOB:

... they get special rights.

You said it ...
07/01/2015 06:03:11 AM · #5
what i find astounding is the apathy, the shrug-and-accept-it attitude, as if there is nothing that can be done about it and/or what is being done to us isn't really that bad. i guess it won't be much of a topic for discussion until it is deemed responsible for some act of violence or discrimination...
07/01/2015 07:52:44 AM · #6
I look at privacy loss another way. It's a tradeoff.

Giving up privacy can lead to useful improvements in our lives. What was once speculation is now quantifiable and observable human behavior and tendencies.

07/01/2015 08:47:29 AM · #7
Yes living off the grid is starting to sound appealing.... Privacy is as important as gun rights or freedom of speech.

I mean think of it like this. If someone invades your privacy by breaking into your house you can yell obscenities at them and then shoot them.
07/01/2015 09:21:11 AM · #8
For me? No. I gave up my privacy years ago, working in my field you realize just how little you have.

Besides, there was never an amendment guaranteeing my right to privacy.
07/01/2015 09:28:36 AM · #9
Cory's not joking. Everyone, go read Future Crimes by Marc Goodman. Then think twice before you ever post anything on Farcebook or buy yet another *smart* device.
07/01/2015 09:57:16 AM · #10
i agree and accept there being a trade-off, but at what expense? just a quick read of the two articles i first posted moves the needle away from conspiracy-theory and closer to reality.

consider the way your browsing experience is hijacked by reserving your search results in the form of advertisements. how much will you enjoy walking down the street when your walk is a complete feed based on past decisions (think Minority Report meets Eagle Eye)

Originally posted by Cory:

Besides, there was never an amendment guaranteeing my right to privacy.


correct in terms of it not being explicitly stated, but the interpretation has been more in our favor: The Right of Privacy
07/01/2015 10:58:45 AM · #11
Originally posted by snaffles:

Cory's not joking. Everyone, go read Future Crimes by Marc Goodman. Then think twice before you ever post anything on Farcebook or buy yet another *smart* device.


OMG!! Facebook is incredibly scary! I think they're worse than the government regarding what they know about you
07/01/2015 11:17:27 AM · #12
The constitutional right to privacy that's expressed mostly in the 14th amendment is the right to keep things private from the government, not from private corporations. Which is how we can end up with the phone companies keeping data on every phone call we make, and it's totally legal. The government gathering the same data isn't (or shouldn't be).

Skip is right, this is absolutely the defining issue of our generation. The trouble is that if we don't give away that privacy, it becomes hard to participate in modern life. My phone company knows where I am, who I'm calling, what apps I am running, and what data is moving in and out of my phone. My credit card company knows where I spend my money. My email service knows who I email and what we email about. What I search for on the Internet, since they're he same company. Medical records, at least in the US, are stored online. I could give up my cell phone, my credit cards, and my internet, and stop going to the doctor, but am I really going to?

I have to assume that every company I have even a small relationship with is gathering every piece of data it can, and saving it indefinitely.

I work for a company that has access to a lot of your data. We have company policies about not gathering or storing any data that isn't absolutely necessary for our business, never giving or selling it to third parties, no matter what, and safely getting rid of it as soon as we don't need it anymore. In addition, only a small number of trusted people have access to the data. But it's obvious, given the Uber example, that this isn't the case at every company. Uber, in particular, seems to be especially bad at privacy. I saw another article about employees using the God app to track celebrities.

My bigger worry is that any piece of data that's stored anywhere is potentially accessible to hackers or the NSA, who might aggregate data from multiple sources.

One note. Privacy laws are considerably stronger in Europe than in the US. If you're in the EU, you can limit your exposure by sticking to EU companies and services.
07/01/2015 11:31:12 AM · #13
Recently right here in Cleveland, there were several women kept as hostages and sex slaves for years. They were in a house in an impoverished area and they were officially MISSING. It was public information that they were missing. Cops had visited the house several times and never discovered what was going on. It was a passerby that heard the screams for help that eventually freed them. It took about 10 years.

How can we live in a world where we have "no privacy", but no one finds these women?
07/01/2015 11:32:28 AM · #14
definitely.

Originally posted by vawendy:

Originally posted by snaffles:

Cory's not joking. Everyone, go read Future Crimes by Marc Goodman. Then think twice before you ever post anything on Farcebook or buy yet another *smart* device.


OMG!! Facebook is incredibly scary! I think they're worse than the government regarding what they know about you
07/01/2015 12:39:39 PM · #15
In answer to your topical question Skip, I say no. Freedom of speech is the only one of these that is fundamental. Your privacy can be invaded, your guns can be taken away, and you are still you. Less free, but still you nonetheless. But without freedom of speech you are enslaved not just in expression, but also in thought. All other freedoms are subordinate to that one fundamental freedom and derive from it.
07/01/2015 12:49:21 PM · #16
The trend is troubling, but it is clear most people value convenience over privacy. We could use cash instead of plastic. We could shop at stores rather than order online. We could write letters instead of email. We could NOT go on FB.

As long as we have the choice. ..

Also, what is privacy? Why do we need it? Covet it? Some believe that privacy is the root of all evil :)
07/01/2015 02:05:58 PM · #17
Originally posted by tanguera:

The trend is troubling, but it is clear most people value convenience over privacy. We could use cash instead of plastic. We could shop at stores rather than order online. We could write letters instead of email. We could NOT go on FB.

As long as we have the choice. ..

Also, what is privacy? Why do we need it? Covet it? Some believe that privacy is the root of all evil :)


You may not think you have anything to hide right now, but I suspect everyone has something they don't want to get out. For example, I don't want my wife to know what I'm getting her for her birthday. I spend cash for the present, because if I use my Amex card, she immediately gets a phone notification that I just spent $45 at Dave's Flower Shop. That's pretty innocent, but what if I'm involved in a nasty divorce, hiding from domestic violence, or involved in a custody battle? All of that data is a potential path for a smart person to find out information I don't want found out.

In 2006, Netflix, quite innocently, published an anonymized data set with every movie rating every customer had done, ever. Their idea was for teams to compete to make personalized movie ratings more relevant. Researchers, however, were able to connect the anonymized users with real people, and then show a list of every movie that user had watched. Imagine if you're in a custody battle somewhere in the bible belt, and your ex finds out that in the previous six months, you watched every lesbian movie ever made.

The biggest problem isn't what the data is being used for now. I don't actually care much that my purchase data is being used to market to me. What I do care about, though, is that much of that data stays around basically forever, and eventually it will either be stolen, or sold to someone I don't want to have it, and used for some purpose I don't want it used for.

So no, I don't have a Facebook account, and I pay for things with cash.

And yes, companies can do better. That Uber example is appalling. There's no reason that Uber should keep records that long, or that so many people should have access to them. But it won't change until data privacy laws are passed.

07/01/2015 02:26:28 PM · #18
For people who are interested: https://tosdr.org/
07/01/2015 02:56:05 PM · #19
Originally posted by vawendy:

Originally posted by snaffles:

Cory's not joking. Everyone, go read Future Crimes by Marc Goodman. Then think twice before you ever post anything on Farcebook or buy yet another *smart* device.


OMG!! Facebook is incredibly scary! I think they're worse than the government regarding what they know about you


There's even a joke out there, I think on The Onion, about the CIA congratulating special agent Zuckerman on how much easier he has made their lives by creating a website where people post all manner of personal information about themselves and their families.
07/01/2015 05:07:05 PM · #20
The simple fact is that with the rise of the internet and that availability of very cheap storage of data, our notion of privacy has undergone a radical shift in our lifetimes. Teenagers have a very different and vastly more savy idea of privacy than their parent's do. In the day's of Daniel Boone privacy meant moving your house when you could see the smoke of another house. You can try to hide from data collection these days, but the lack of a digital footprint can be as damning as a bad footprint. The fact is that good actors are expected to be available on the web if you want customers or are trying to be a public citizen. Making that image be what you wish it to be takes work.

Careful management of those footprints are important, and laws could be better to avoid gross abuses, but at a root level, anything you do on the net is available to someone, and once it is recorded in ones and zeros, it is to some extent a public record. You can set up whatever level of security you like, if a good enough hacker wants it, they can get it. I look at it the way I look at locking my home. I buy good locks, and keep a big dog, but I know that if someone who is smart wants in and brings the right tools, they can get in. A friend who works in security at microsft has a tee shirt that read "I read your e-mails". When you live on the net, you are living out in public. If you want something to be private, keep it out of digital form.

Message edited by author 2015-07-01 17:08:10.
07/02/2015 03:29:18 AM · #21
Brennan, these are excellent points!

Originally posted by BrennanOB:

...You can try to hide from data collection these days, but the lack of a digital footprint can be as damning as a bad footprint...

Originally posted by BrennanOB:

Careful management of those footprints are important, and laws could be better to avoid gross abuses...


this is awesome, ann! thanks!

Originally posted by Ann:

For people who are interested: https://tosdr.org/


-----------------------------------------------------

there are a couple things that concern me the most, and the discussion so far has lightly touched on them. for years i've been describing social media to my children as being a digital tattoo, something that can never be erased once sent or posted. the over-arching problem is that there is no control and no protection. when anthem, target, american express, sony, or the US gov't can keep people out of their data, what hope is there for anyone else? consider all those data collectors and aggregators who seek to remove all shreds of anonymity from digital life: what happens when they get hacked or lose control of their data?

the other issue is one i was discussing with my son yesterday morning, and that has to do with accountability. even if it is superficial and subject to debate, we do have means to at least attempt to hold our government accountable for their actions. unfortunately, that same accountability is not there when it comes to the private sector (other than thin slivers covered by the likes of HIPAA). as evidenced by the first article i referenced in my OP, it is highly unlikely that they will ever willingly give in to oversight or accountability.

that leaves me a little torn over paul's observation:
Originally posted by ubique:

In answer to your topical question Skip, I say no. Freedom of speech is the only one of these that is fundamental. Your privacy can be invaded, your guns can be taken away, and you are still you. Less free, but still you nonetheless. But without freedom of speech you are enslaved not just in expression, but also in thought. All other freedoms are subordinate to that one fundamental freedom and derive from it.


while i can agree with it, i'm starting to see what i and others have referred to as "privacy" as something much broader. i think i'm starting to see it as my right to my identity...
07/02/2015 10:43:13 AM · #22
Regarding loss of privacy via advancing technology, Arthur C. Clarke left a synopsis for a novel, which Stephen Baxter finished, called The Light of Other Days which is quite fascinating...
07/02/2015 11:10:43 AM · #23
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Regarding loss of privacy via advancing technology, Arthur C. Clarke left a synopsis for a novel, which Stephen Baxter finished, called The Light of Other Days which is quite fascinating...


LOVE this book, and the premise is remarkably similar to today's "privacy" concerns - where "wormholes" are the digital connections of today. His view of their existance (wormholes) was much more positive: the resulting completely loss of privacy (anyone could navigate to any moment in time to view actual incidents) was accompanied by complete peace, as crimes could no longer be carried out surrepticiously. The involved parties would just navigate to the point in time and see what actually happened.

You concern about identity, however, is quite well founded.
07/02/2015 11:22:48 AM · #24
Good topic. Right to privacy is, to me, the reasonable expectation that nobody can come into my house without my permission. Or take my stuff. To me, the work of controlling information about me is mostly my responsibility. Making more laws in the hope of finding a way to control information about me that eases the burden off my shoulders is doomed to failure. I know people who seem to go out of their way to put more and more information about themselves right out in the public. It's as if it feels a little bit like being famous. You can't make enough laws to protect people from themselves.
07/02/2015 12:58:35 PM · #25
Originally posted by pixelpig:

Good topic. Right to privacy is, to me, the reasonable expectation that nobody can come into my house without my permission. Or take my stuff. To me, the work of controlling information about me is mostly my responsibility. Making more laws in the hope of finding a way to control information about me that eases the burden off my shoulders is doomed to failure. I know people who seem to go out of their way to put more and more information about themselves right out in the public. It's as if it feels a little bit like being famous. You can't make enough laws to protect people from themselves.


Can't say that I agree with this premise.

The first part of your comment has nothing to do with invasion of privacy but rather deals with matters that are covered in the laws of the land dealing with B&E and theft.

It would be downright simple thing strengthen privacy laws. Simply make it mandatory that if any entity wants to access the information that they be required to demonstrate before a court of law that they need the information for "Legal" purposes.

As things stand now, a bevy of information is collected on every individual and in many instances without their knowledge or consent and then is transmitted to a myriad of government and private interests... and therein lies the rub for me.

Ray
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