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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Individuality != Privacy
by shadowhand on Fri 11th Dec 2009 04:52 UTC
shadowhand
Member since:
2005-07-06

We lose our individuality, because everything we do is observable and recordable.


The idea that people who don't feel the need to hide who they are and what they do are some how less individual is completely ridiculous. Individuality is, in my humble opinion, being honest about who you are and what you believe, both to yourself and others. It has absolutely nothing to do with what you hide from other people.

Edited 2009-12-11 04:53 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Individuality != Privacy
by izomiac on Fri 11th Dec 2009 06:44 in reply to "Individuality != Privacy"
izomiac Member since:
2006-07-26

Individuality, in this context, is the state of being distinct from others. It generally implies that an individual is slightly different from other individuals, although this isn't a technical requirement. People, to validate their own choices and quirks, tend to object to some of these differences, insisting that their way is the best.

Privacy protects one's ability to be different in objectionable ways. Without it one is forced to defend one's behavior. This will cause most people to take the easier route of not "being honest about who you are and what you believe". Therefore, privacy has absolutely everything to do with individuality, for if we lacked individuality there would be no need for privacy.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Individuality != Privacy
by orfanum on Fri 11th Dec 2009 13:49 in reply to "RE: Individuality != Privacy"
orfanum Member since:
2006-06-02

Hi Not so much as a reply but I found your post a good place to leap from on a tangent.

In a slightly different context, William Burroughs if memory serves talked about spies being blackmailed during the Cold War for being homosexual; the answer would be in Burroughs' eyes for the spy in question to roar: "I'm a queer, and I luuurve it". So, one defence against all this is to be exactly true to yourself,

In the real world, though, I can be selective about who knows what about me. I tell my friend, not my mom, for example. It's to do with an admixture of trust and utility (and a whole load of other interactions) - what will mom gain from this were I to tell her, what would she think of me, do I know myself how to fully explain it? - You get the picture.

In the Internet world, what is happening isn't really to do with some lofty goal of global self-realization and authenticity, or even, on a more tawdry but still insightful level, with the Warhol idea of all being famous for some brief span.

It's to do with the major search engines wanting to bolster their relative offers of accommodating real-time information gathering, so that they can beat each other in the market, so that (the irony) *private* companies can benefit from telling me that the world is going that way.

I suppose let's just make it equitable - let's lift privacy for everyone: companies, the military, corporations, the police, as well as the ordinary citizen. otherwise, there still must be value in privacy that I, or anyone else for that matter, can claim is real, and pertinent.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: Individuality != Privacy
by kaiwai on Fri 11th Dec 2009 13:58 in reply to "Individuality != Privacy"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

"We lose our individuality, because everything we do is observable and recordable.


The idea that people who don't feel the need to hide who they are and what they do are some how less individual is completely ridiculous. Individuality is, in my humble opinion, being honest about who you are and what you believe, both to yourself and others. It has absolutely nothing to do with what you hide from other people.
"

When one is constantly observed then one changes behaviour to conform to what is considered the 'norm'. THe result is rather than individuals you have masses conforming to an idealised expectation for fear of not wanting to look out of place.

For me I don't like the idea simply because it creeps me out when people are looking into my life, look at me, looking at my details - the same way that it creeps me out being in a large crowd of people.

Reply Parent Score: 5

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

The idea that people who don't feel the need to hide who they are and what they do are some how less individual is completely ridiculous. Individuality is, in my humble opinion, being honest about who you are and what you believe, both to yourself and others. It has absolutely nothing to do with what you hide from other people.


Indeed. It's about what one chooses to share. Not about our credit card numbers.

Two individual's renditions of the same Broadway hit:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lupNzpcpDRk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDPNt1ybQQ4

Reply Parent Score: 2