I am a big fan of the emerging movement to allow all of us to better operate our lives by using the data about us and how we live so that I can be more productive and efficient. Tools like Google Now and Everything.me are wonderful intra-life apps that give me what I need when I need it. The key, though, to this being “ok” is that I explicitly agree to share my data and to use it to my advantage. I think it makes my version of THPL more achievable as I can get more done in a day by doing this.
What is not acceptable, in my opinion, is when “others” decide that privacy can be violated because they have other “reasons” to use our data to their advantage. Security is a reason given – we might need to see your data to keep you secure. Offers is another reason – we can give you a better offer if we understand who you are and what you do. I just am not sure that someone else should be deciding for us how they can use our data without our agreement and we need to keep a “sharp eye” to the times when others violate this implicit covenant that we have in our society that our private information is private until we agree that it should not be. Full stop.
And to this discussion I watched one of the new TED videos coming from the annual conference in Vancouver. It was, I believe, an amazing (and long 35 minutes) discussion about security, privacy and our rights. Appearing by telepresence robot, Edward Snowden spoke about surveillance and Internet freedom. The right to data privacy, he suggests, is not a partisan issue, but requires a fundamental rethink of the role of the internet in our lives — and the laws that protect it. “Your rights matter,” he says, “because you never know when you’re going to need them.” If you have some time watch his video – no matter what side you are on this debate it is really good to hear what Edward Snowden is going through in trying to bring this delicate and very important topic to the public stage for understanding and debate. And to hear the other side of the story you can watch another video recorded by the NSA when they give their side of the story.
Loving life and our right to privacy