Linked by David Adams on Fri 11th Dec 2009 01:25 UTC
Privacy, Security, Encryption I was reminded of Sun Microsystems' Scott McNealy's infamous sound byte (used as the title of this article) when I read about Google CEO Eric Schmidt's foot-in-mouth moment during a recent CNBC interview (YouTube Link). Here's what Schmidt said: "I think judgment matters. If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place. If you really need that kind of privacy, the reality is that search engines -- including Google -- do retain this information for some time and it's important, for example, that we are all subject in the United States to the Patriot Act and it is possible that all that information could be made available to the authorities."
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Privacy is Obsolete
by tuttle on Fri 11th Dec 2009 09:22 UTC
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People always gloat that the recording industry and dead tree publishing has been made obsolete by the internet and will go the way of the buggy whip manufacturers.

I think that privacy is another concept that will be made obsolete by technical developments. And that is not necessarily a bad thing. People in the middle ages, growing up in a large family and rarely leaving the small village they were born in, did not have much privacy either. So privacy is a relatively new concept. And given how much privacy people are willing to give up to participate in social networking sites like facebook, it seems that humans do not have an intrinsic desire for privacy.

The question IMHO is not how to preserve privacy (which is impossible), but how to organize a society with little or no privacy so that it does not end up an orwellian dictatorship.

Everybody who is interested in this topic should read "The Transparent Society" by David Brin. It makes a pretty compelling case.

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