[iDC] Privacy is the right to be left alone

twsherma at mailbox.syr.edu twsherma at mailbox.syr.edu
Fri Jul 14 10:50:07 EDT 2006

Privacy is the right to be left alone, or maybe it's the right to control
your own information and self image. People worry about big brother, but
the problem is we keep on checking in and depositing personal information
with governments, with the banks, and with each other. The average citizen
has surrendered much of his or her privacy to obtain credit, an education,
good medical care, and many other necessary services. If you want to vote
in elections, or be a professional, or a land owner, a business person, a
borrower of money, or a driver of motor vehicles, then the rest of us have
the right to know who you are. It is impossible to interact actively with
society unless you give up your anonymity. In other words, you have to
sacrifice your privacy for the things you need.

Privacy can be best understood as protection against certain kinds of
risks--risks of injustice through such things as unfair incrimination,
risks of loss of control over personal information, and risks of indignity
through exposure and embarrassment. Privacy can be thought of as a shield
that may serve to protect us from dress codes restricting types of
clothing or hairstyles or tattoos and piercings. Privacy may be freedom
from an oppressive gaze.

Few people realize that in a computerized society, only criminals, who
live under forged identities, enjoy a high degree of privacy. Criminals
hide in the shadows of the underworld. The only absolute privacy is in the
darkness at the fringes of society. The rest of us, if were lucky, have
pretty good privacy. Our privacy has to be protected. You never know when
you might need it. Our privacy is our right to be left alone.

Nerve Theory:  http://www.kunstradio.at/2006A/H5N1en.html

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