An old post stuck my mailbox but which has not lost its relevance in the slightest. Privacy is not about having something to hide. Otherwise, privacy rights would not be recognized even when one is in public places. It is about being a human being who can choose when and with whom s/he can interact. Because we have privacy, we have obliged police officers to obtain a warrant before searching private places. Privacy is at the core of a democratic society. Only dictatorships or autocratic regimes don’t give a damn about privacy.
Therefore, we should not give it up as easily as we do, whether it is to fill in our details for a price comparison or to use a website facility. Here I am thinking about Evernote which asks for a date of birth and full contact details. Sorry, but my date of birth is of no relevance to them unless they want to have stats about what I do. Idem for ISPs
Which ISPs Hand Private Surfing Info Over To Secretive Private Group Who Monitors It For The Feds? TechDirt, 3rd August 2010
Abundance And Scarcity In Privacy, TechDirt, 6th August 2010
but abuse of power, in democracies or not, is always a temptation.
Feds Appealing Ruling That Said Warrantless Wiretapping Was Illegal; Will This Backfire? TechDirt, 23 February 2011
At least, in democracies, the rule of law should provide relief even when it takes decades to shake the ‘system’ if there are big mistakes.
For other more recent headlines (mostly US), see: