Wednesday, May 10, 2017

How Privacy Became a Commodity for the Rich and Powerful; New York Times, May 9, 2017

Amanda Hess, New York Times; How Privacy Became a Commodity for the Rich and Powerful

[Kip Currier: Excellent article on the growing "Privacy Divide" between the rich and not-rich, as well as philosophical and political Privacy Divides over what "privacy" even means and entails in the digital age. The author also provides a nice "quick and dirty" overview on how notions about privacy have evolved over time].

"In an 1890 paper called “The Right to Privacy,” Samuel Warren and Louis Brandeis cited “recent inventions and business methods” — including instant photography and tabloid gossip — that they claimed had “invaded the sacred precincts of private and domestic life.” They argued for what they called the right “to be let alone,” but also what they called “the right to one’s personality.”

Now that our privacy is worth something, every side of it is being monetized. We can either trade it for cheap services or shell out cash to protect it. It is increasingly seen not as a right but as a luxury good. When Congress recently voted to allow internet service providers to sell user data without users’ explicit consent, talk emerged of premium products that people could pay for to protect their browsing habits from sale. And if they couldn’t afford it? As one congressman told a concerned constituent, “Nobody’s got to use the internet.” Practically, though, everybody’s got to...

How often have you shielded the contents of your screen from a stranger on the subway, or the partner next to you in bed, only to offer up your secrets to the data firm tracking everything you do?"

No comments:

Post a Comment