Privacy – its about informed choices

3 completely different privacy articles taken together illustrate how privacy is really about informed choices.

First, a Techdirt post by Mike Masnick about a musician from Saskatoon that sought out the Google street view car to get his photo taken to promote his band.   The point is that he wanted the publicity and sought it out.   It was his choice.  That’s unlike the pervasive surveillance culture such as in the UK where one does not have a choice.

Capture

Second, Boing Boing’s Cory Doctorow refers to Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s comment that  privacy isn’t important, and Bruce Schneier’s brilliant response to that as follows:

Google CEO Eric Schmidt says privacy isn’t important, and if you want to keep something private, “maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place” (in other words, “innocent people have nothing to hide.”)

Bruce Schneier calls bullshit with eloquence: “For if we are observed in all matters, we are constantly under threat of correction, judgment, criticism, even plagiarism of our own uniqueness. We become children, fettered under watchful eyes, constantly fearful that — either now or in the uncertain future — patterns we leave behind will be brought back to implicate us, by whatever authority has now become focused upon our once-private and innocent acts. We lose our individuality, because everything we do is observable and recordable.”

(There is a T-shirt or poster waiting for a condensed version of that)

Third, the  EFF posts about the good, the bad, and the ugly about Facebook’s new privacy changes.  I know its a pain to have to take the time to deal with it – but we all need to go to our Facebook accounts and change whatever we need to.   Keep in mind that its our choice how much we want others to see, both by our privacy settings, and what we choose to post in the first place.

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