We SAY we value our privacy, and yet we give it up all over the place. I was recently in the market for a guitar amp, and now, two weeks after I bought it, I find ads for guitar amps and guitar-related product in the sidebar all over the place in sites totally unrelated to each other and having nothing much at all to do with music. 

If you really valued privacy, you wouldn't be on Facebook because they seem to be working non-stop to find out things about you and to help their advertisers find out about you. They introduce security updates and other changes with privacy implications so regularly that they've virtually trained us not to look them over. 

Outdoors, while it's not quite as bad as it is in the UK, we are under surveillance a good deal of the time, and one regularly hears on the evening news about crimes solved via some surveillance camera or other. We should be thinking, "If the camera saw them, has it ever seen ME?" but we don't.

While, under the law, there's no privacy when you're in public, a lot of us resent the idea that some person can see us but we can't see them, and that often are activities aren't just being observed but are being recorded.

Since we don't seem to WANT privacy anymore, do we really need it?

Tags: UK, privacy

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Personal responsibility comes into play don't put anything on the web you don't want people to know.

Hence I'm known here by a moniker that isn't anything like my real name.

If you really valued privacy, you wouldn't be on Facebook because they seem to be working non-stop to find out things about you and to help their advertisers find out about you. They introduce security updates and other changes with privacy implications so regularly that they've virtually trained us not to look them over.

But I am not on facebook!

Oh, I get it. This is one of those "Please pat me on the head" posts.

Not really.  But your phrasing does seem to imply that of course everyone is on it, including those who bitch about privacy issues.  One (but only one) of the reasons I've never opened an account on it is because I realize what a privacy disaster it is; it's not just that the defaults are to no privacy, but that they systematically tear down any walls you do manage to put up on that site.

I figure it's about 50/50 that they'll go too far someday, and there will be a backlash.  Though it certainly does seem as though many simply do not care.

Compared to Google, FB knows nothing interesting about you.

I sometimes question the need for privacy. In a nudist society, none of use would need to hide our 'privates', and a strip search couldn't even exist let alone be a violation (well, the nudity rather than the potential imposition of gloved fingers). Our inhibition toward social nudity is a social construct. Perhaps it is possible that for every instance where we desire privacy in life, it is almost entirely because we are conditioned to view these instances as private matters. In that sense, perhaps no act intrinsically requires privacy.

Yet, I don't think there is any society with no cultural inhibitions. To some extent, I think it is necessary for us to be able to explore with less boundaries or consideration for external approval (or fear of disapproval).

What I can say in more certain terms is that the need for privacy is generally less important to me than the need for the expectation or promise of privacy to be respected:

  • I lived with three other people in a two bedroom apartment where I slept on the living room floor. I had very little privacy, and I was okay. 
  • I had an apartment with a bed room to myself and I found out that one of the superintendents entered while I was away without my consent, without it being an emergency and without prior notice (which is illegal). I was livid, even though I had nothing to hide and overall I still had more privacy than my previous living arrangement allowed.

I think most clinical psychologists would say that privacy figures into the concept of boundaries. If you can't declare aspects of your life private and expect those limits to be respected, your boundaries are weak and/or under attack.

A good part of the dysfunction involved in the codependency relationship is the disrespect of the one who believes they are helping of their subject's privacy.

Privacy has been moot since government tapped te phone lines. Nothing is private except an in person, low volume conversation in which no party divulges any details. Short of that, nothing is private.
We all have the option of leaving modern society to live in either isolation or Amish conditions. We choose technology and modern convenience over privacy.

Even the Amish can be watched by satellite. 

You may have heard of ECHELON, described as a computer network that monitors virtually all electronic communications, though exactly what its capabilities are aren't clear and would be classified. It isn't an American system per se. Actually, it belongs to and is used by five allies: 

The UK
The USA (the NSA)
Canada
Australia
New Zealand 

Read more at Wikipedia.

It's commonly believed that ECHELON listens in on a huge proportion of electronic communications and, using pattern and speech recognition software, refers "interesting" conversations for further analysis. Basically, it is thought, if you use a word like "assassination" or "overthrow" in your conversation, your conversation will be further analyzed for additional indicators. Obviously, most of this further analysis is done by machine because the amount of data flagged has to be astronomical. In that sense, no person is likely going to be aware of an innocent discussion of theories about the JFK assassination but if it's a discussion of assassination the British Prime Minister or our American President or any other such hugely impactful seeming conspiracy, someone can probably expect either a knock on the door or the installation of listening devices into their home while they are out buying groceries.

I think that a person has to assume that we can be observed at anytime.  

Yeah, we do - it's what keeps you from walking in on me in the bathroom!

RE: "I find ads for guitar amps and guitar-related product in the sidebar all over the place in sites totally unrelated to each other and having nothing much at all to do with music."

That's because one of the sites you visited while shopping for your amp, placed a "cookie" in your browser - you can eliminate their influence by going into your browser's Preferences and finding and deleting it. I have usernames and passwords from various websites saved on cookies in my browser, and so, save those so I won't have to re-enter that info each time I access the sites, but otherwise, I go into my browser's cookies folder from time to time and delete all of the cookies I don't recognize.

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