-11 votes

Is Privacy What We Really Want?

Are we really fighting so many battles for the right to keep stuff in our lives private? Is it possible that what we really want instead is for that stuff to not be used against us?

When I look at what is being fought to keep private and ask myself if I really care about others knowing that information, I often struggle to justify 'why' it should be secret. I really don't care if someone else know if I catch a bug and go to the doctor for an antibiotic prescription. I really don't much care if others know my social security number. I don't even care if they know what I make or have left. I don't even care if my location, habits and possessions are all tracked. I personally tend to think that someone wishing to find out this information really needs a life because they have too much time on their hands. All these things are the primary knowledge gained by a breech in that privacy.

What I do care about is the secondary aspect of this knowledge. I don't want my bank account robbed and as such, I have been trained to think that keeping it secret is the only way to keep it safe.

What I do care about is that other nefarious people don't steal my identity (a real oxymoron in this group) and make charges that I'm later forced to pay.

In other words, I care that knowledge of this information could allow or aid others to use that information against me.

In the case of the state, I see hundreds of examples of info that people wish to safeguard from the government knowing. It's become all too easy to find examples where the state has used it for oppression. Looking at that from the outside, it just seems crazy and tiring to live in a world where we allow those oppressive rules to pile up as we fight them back with the single tool we haven't lost yet - privacy. When I look at each fear behind the battle, I usually come to one conclusion...

They have something to hide. We hear this response all the time but do we actually listen to its ramifications? I'm not advocating we compromise on any privacy but I am set on finding the real evils that are lurking in society (public and private) which should be addressed.

So is this the real question we should be asking? Beginning in the case of the state, is it possible that there are simply too many infractions and costs of following the law? If the law was genuinely in support of what We The People agreed it should be, would we really be trying to hide our actions to get away with stuff?

What would our discussions be like if the government did have a national database of our info and real-time whereabouts but it could only be used to bring criminals to justice who actually harmed a victim? It sounds far fetched to imagine that situation existing but we may learn a great deal about eliminating these battles if we at least discuss it.

How about we have a discussion on what infractions are causing this? Why don't we take a hard look and see if there would remain any reasons to care about privacy (other than it being our right to choose) if the various laws were changed so that we weren't criminalized at every turn.

I'm sure we're going to end this discussion sticking to our demands that it is our right as enshrined by The 4th but maybe along the way, we can find other things that are the root problem to go after instead of fighting privacy for that reason alone.

What does the group think about this? Take a situation, state a privacy issue around it, state the secondary reason we wish to avoid and suggest some alternatives. I think it'll be a great exercise in learning what a truly free market society means.



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How much did you pay for your education?

Since you haven't learned to read complex topics that aren't 'sound bite' based, you don't seem to grasp what people say.

Now you're bring a misconception from another topic to this thread to begin/incite a personal attack. I contend that's going down a path not sanctioned by the rules of this site.

Go take your sharp stick somewhere else.

Smear, deke, defame, criticize, accuse, misdirect. dodge.

Unless people can be conned into rejecting their right to privacy the Smart Meter scam is dead in the water.

Give up a little privacy for personal gain.

How does increasing the power companies profits for their existing mal-investments benefit me?

Are you rude and condescending for pay?

I can understand that. Kinda like an annoying TV commercial or public announcement. Carry-on!

Free includes debt-free!

What the hell is your problem with me?

Did I strike a nerve with you or something? Why are you hounding me on this issue on an unrelated thread when you wouldn't read what I wrote in the original one?

This thread is about removing the incentives for people to try to benefit from stealing your info. It is not about eliminating your rights to privacy but attempting to make it easier for you to remain private. (less brush fires to fight if you stop the arsonist)

In that other thread, I was trying to inform people that I have direct personal knowledge of both how some are trying to abuse the smart grid system (the issue you fear) and how others are trying to do it so there is no privacy issue (which you cannot seem to comprehend). I, in no way, advocate allowing anyone access to our personal information, be it SSN, power habits or some mysterious (and impossible) spying on what TV channel you're watching.

How many times do I have to say the same thing for you to get off my back about it. Why are you allowed to continue attacking me and calling me a paid troll or insider? Where are the moderators on this?

I've been on this site 2 years longer than you. I have gained complete control over my county GOP. I have promoted only smart meters that maintain privacy and fight government knowledge and oppression. I have built a company around fighting against the big energy monopolies. I have battled with senators on television and public forums over many issues. Who the hell are you to make accusations when you can't even comprehend what I say?

It really isn't your opinion that counts, is it?

If you don't care if we have a "Right" to privacy, then work to change the constitution. Until that time, we have that right to privacy. I have a right to be secure in my "papers" unless there is probable reason for the govt to search it.

You missed my point

I'm not saying anything about should we have the right. I'm asking if we should be FORCED to expend all sorts of effort, day in and day out just to survive. I'm saying it should be our choice.

Today, if we don't keep things private, we literally don't survive. We're robbed and jailed and all kinds of stuff by no fault of our own. Those problems should not exist.

THEN, IF they don't exist, in this better world that results, we can much more easily choose what factions of our lives we want private and we can do so with no major effort, cost or detriment to us. That choice should be ours but today, it is not. Today it is forced upon us.

So, it's not about taking away the right to privacy, it's actually about further supporting that very right. How? By making it easy.

Doesnt matter if we have a

Doesnt matter if we have a government we can trust...eventually they all turn corrupt. Therefore they can NEVER be trusted with private information. Pretty simple to me.

See my other replies

for the point of the article. It's not about removing privacy but making easier to do.

And yes, it doesn't matter if we have a government we can trust. We still hold in our power the right to choose what is kept private.

But that choice is nowadays made for us. We are forced to choose privacy in everything. Period. We simply cannot survive a normal life if we let it all out, so to speak. What I'm trying to investigate are the reasons that have stopped that option.

Regarding the statement that they can never be trusted, I disagree. I'm certainly not saying it would be easy but there definitely is a couple ways to accomplish it.

You state "eventually, they all turn corrupt". So? Past history does not guarantee future performance. It is actually pretty easy to see where things went wrong in every government example in history. All one needs are the hard true facts (sure, not real easy) and a rational debate on how that can be avoided. Even if this path only yielded a 'good' government for a limited period of time, during that time, we'd be better off than we are when we do nothing. For that reason, I find it defeatist to say they all turn corrupt because that's equivalent to saying 'why try'?

No....the nature of power is

No....the nature of power is to corrupt...and of course absolute power corrupts absolutely. This is why Jefferson believed we needed a revolution each and every generation to remain free. He understood that all governments become corrupt. It doesnt matter what laws you pass, eventually you will get someone in there like Lincoln who will just ignore them.(Even Andrew Jackson ignored the rule of law when it suited him...the whole trail of tears thing, he ignored the supreme court decision and ordered the army without congressional authorization to force the cherokee west, this coming from an otherwise patriotic president). My point is human nature will always remain the same, I agree with Jackson...a revolution is needed every generation to retain freedom.

So, how's that going for you lately?

I googled it and can't find a revolution in our past or near future so I'm inclined to think there's more to making this happen than simply calling for it.

In the interrum... Might I suggest that we CAN do some things that do make a difference?

What if:

You learned of a way to stop power from being accumulated?
You learned of a way to stop power from corrupting others?
You learned of a way to enforce laws to stop government corruption?
You learned of a way to stop government from ignoring those laws?
You learned of ways to gain accountability by the SCOTUS, POTUS, Congress, Administration, Regulators... all of it?
You learned of a way to even hold big companies accountable to the people?

What if you learned that you were simply taught that human nature was actually some wool pulled over your eyes because you'd never seen altruism in action?
What if you learned at least one way to begin a shift of that back to a world where abundance replaced scarcity and the free market ruled everything fairly?

I'm not saying that all these problem can be fixed or easily. I'm saying that for every one of those statements, there are many potential solutions that need to be discussed. In doing so, we may just find a few that can be done. However, if we simply dismiss the whole premise, none of them will get done. I'm just trying to initiate the discussion. I'm just a messenger of sorts.

You make a great point

there is no privacy when neighbors talk to each other and live in a close knit community.

humans are animals that need each other and privacy isn't compatible with human nature.

As far as the government or corporations invading my privacy?...that's another story.

So you're saying we can never trust government or corporations?

Ok. Fine, but what about stopping all the ways they could use personal info against us? Still a pipe dream you say?

I say that's prejudging the outcome before we investigate it. Besides, it's not an all or nothing game. If we fix one little thing, we're better off than had we not began, right?

It's not about trust

The gov't and corporations have no right to my info. I gladly share everything with friends and neighbors and enjoy living in a close ommunity.

I don't care

While I LEAN towards agreeing with most things related to your last sentence, I don't personally care what you personally want private. You have the unquestioned right to make that choice yourself and it's no one else's business.

That's not relevant to this discussion. This is about starting a discussion on removing incentives for people to want your info. Please read my other replies for more on that since I'm tired of saying the same thing over and over.

My expectation of privacy is low.

Minding my own business should raise it.

If I could settle down & mind my own business my privacy might increase. Seeing as how I write about adventures of others, they see fit to do unto me as I do unto themselves... Them others. If that is not clear to you, ignore it.

If all the fools in this world should die, lordly God how lonely I should be. - Letter to Olivia Clemens, 1/23/1885

Disclaimer: Mark Twain (1835-1910-To be continued) is unlicensed. His river pilot's license went delinquent in 1862. Caution advised. Daily Paul

Cyril's picture

Thanks for the smile. :)

Thanks for the smile. :)

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.

http://Laissez-Faire.Me/Liberty

"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

Cyril's picture

Well, here's my input.

Well, here's my input.

Yes, I think privacy is important, in a free society ... for the individual, for all the reasons you stated, and albeit it is becoming more and more of a joke ... for governments.

But, guess what. It took me a long time to really understand WHY EXACTLY privacy is important to have, A PRIORI.

See, I have read your post and turns out I had made for myself a similar reasoning once (in the process of understanding this issue). So, here it is.

On the surface, I'd be a close to perfect example for your points. I am pretty law abiding. At 42, near to 43 ... I have never stepped in a police station as a teenager. I have stepped in a police station only once as an adult, on the other continent ... and that was to declare the theft of my employer's equipment I had custody of and neglected a bit to watch more closely.

I never had, not even one, opportunity to get in trouble with other people and/or the force of law. Neither on the road or on sidewalks. Neither in the day or night time. That wasn't even so difficult as I see it, although people are often surprised to hear that. I'm not sure why. But yes, it does raise the question: is privacy so important for law abiding people ... anyway?

Yes, it is. Because the fallacy is all around thinking of ourselves as groups and interests of groups conflicting with each other with the law and government as ultimate referees. That's just not the end of the story.

I want to control, and remain capable of, the amount of information I let go into the "public domain". Because this is what I eventually understood about the true nature of privacy:

privacy is not so much about what you want to keep private as it is about what you want others to access as being truthful, genuine, and public. And the government, or by extension, any other "group of interests" isn't there to decide whether or not this or that facet of your life is moral, suitable, or relevant EVEN ASSUMING you are not breaking the law. Only other INDIVIDUALS ought to be competent to gauge your morality, political opinions, professional opinions, relationship standards, etc.

Those other individuals could be your next friend, your next spouse (if divorcing from current or single), your next employer, your next customer, ... etc.

Thus, while I am fine, and happy, to release A LOT of information "in the public domain" (say, online, but I could do it by other means) regarding my professional experience, or the places I lived in, the same DOES NOT apply for instance regarding my kids. Or the women I have been married to.

This is because I ALSO care about past, present, and future inter-personal relations I had, have, or will have.

Obviously also, you do not want random people knowing too much, if at all, about the extent of your wealth - not until every single person on this planet is law abiding - which will never happen - just as it will never happen we have a "caring government" protecting our private property, private information, private whatever, on our behalf.

Privacy is our insurance that our publicity is able to keep any meaning, any truthfulness, for we HAVE chosen WHAT can be safely released public, with stakes WE have measured insignificant enough for the lives - including the types of inter-personal relations - that we have prior chosen for ourselves.

Makes sense?

'HTH,

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.

http://Laissez-Faire.Me/Liberty

"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

What seems to be missed in the comments

is that I'm not advocating us considering get rid of any type of privacy AT ALL. The topic was brought up (as clearly stated in the OP) to spark conversation about maybe we could fix some problems that are exposed by our incessant need for privacy in every aspect of life these days.

To further clarify, in the oh so great 50's, life was much easier and everyone thinks it was grand. People didn't spend 10-20% (or whatever) of their time actively trying to keep things private from companies, banks, government, etc. People just let things stay private and they did. What has changed since then?

We now have a society where every aspect of living can and often is compromised on morals just to make a buck. Spammers only exist to make money. Government can only buy out lackies because those people can't otherwise earn an equal living. Banks can only buy out government politicians because there's money in it. Every aspect of our lives is going down the sewer because people are broke.

In short, we've allowed and supported the banks in tying our social standing to our wealth and then the banks quietly inflated our money from us and wham, bam... we're divided, conquered and fighting over which person gets the best spammer job.

So what do we do? Do we fix the monetary equity problem? Hell no. Instead, we spend ever more time and money fighting to keep our stuff private in more and more areas of our lives.

Cyril's picture

You're asking for solutions.

You're asking for solutions. I'd recommend only two things:

1. people to reclaim their privacy rights stolen by the government (and sometimes, by lobbyist groups, which can be corporate or not)

2. to do so more efficiently, by understanding and standing firmly on that understanding (against the detractors opposing this or that type of privacy) I have tried to explain in my above comment.

'HTH,

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.

http://Laissez-Faire.Me/Liberty

"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

Read the last OP paragraph

I wasn't asking for generic, overall results. I am asking for a pointed discussion on just one (your preference) topic and the secondary fear (which usually leads to the offenders' motives AND a specific action we can take (not just say "fix it" but more like "gather 10,000 people and propose an Amendment that says X").

I'm trying to lead this toward actionable items, not generalized bitching about how the world is.

Cyril's picture

Then, at this point in time,

Then, at this point in time, I'd say that all the privacy surrounding our choices for healthcare is in the line of fire and is the one to defend with highest priority.

(For guns, it's too late already. They are now pushing for gun control.)

What concrete action to take? Well, to start with: keep denouncing the failure of redistribution-based healthcare system run by governments.

Not only it doesn't improve anything, it actually worsen everything: less quality, more taxes, less freedom (in choosing your medications, doctors), more moral hazards with the big pharma cronies, you name it.

By denouncing, I mean: keep educating the people on why and how far it doesn't work. I've pointed out many times taking the example of Europe and France - but as you said once: "nobody listens".

This intensity of socialism in America is new to most of you, guys. For a decade or so. While I've seen it destroying my country for THREE DECADES. It's not just about the economy: the most harm is done ON THE PEOPLE'S MENTALITIES.

It's HOPELESS if we can't change THAT TREND, FIRST.

(Or, unless, you are able to fire at once ALL OF YOUR CONGRESS which don't read the bills any longer and pass them depending on the size of their bribes or their popularity on TV. Bread and Circuses. See Nancy Pelosi, etc. I believe the former tactics has better chance to succeed. MENTALITIES : cleanse them FIRST.)

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.

http://Laissez-Faire.Me/Liberty

"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

I don't completely understand your fear

Regarding healthcare choices. Are you saying that you fear harm coming from someone knowing which insurance you have? Or are you saying that you fear harm coming from the government knowing your personal health status? Or otherwise?

While I don't see a "top level" issue there, I'm more than willing to discuss it further as it leads to other topics and thus to other solutions. Personally, I think the insurance companies, banks and government benefit more from it being kept private. Public discussion of hidden costs cannot happen when specific examples are kept private. Public outrages over disparities in coverage vs. cost are also kept from taking place. My ultimate suggestion on solving the whole healthcare issue is to gather 10 million people, pool 10k each to start and 20k more over 20 years to pay off (in full) their share in a pooled Aflak style, roving, peer appropriated and preventative insurance system. Yes, the number work out and do so better as more people join.

In reference to firing Congress 'all at once', please see my post (http://www.dailypaul.com/251911/united-we-stand-divided-we-t...) on uniting people behind some solutions. It's a bit long but it explains very well how we can chip away at the banking monopoly over all industry/media/government in such a way that the more success it gets, the more powerful it makes future chips. As you can see, I don't see that we have to have a solution that does all this stuff all at once. We just have to have our solutions compound their future success on past ones in a positive feedback sort of way.

Cyril's picture

(Btw I am one who has upvoted your post not downvoted. Just FYI)

(Btw, I am one who has upvoted your post, not downvoted. Just FYI.)

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.

http://Laissez-Faire.Me/Liberty

"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

Cyril's picture

It's more about this one:

It's more about this one:

"Or are you saying that you fear harm coming from the government knowing your personal health status?"

But that's not all of it.

See, I could elaborate at lengths on what a full blown socialist healthcare system brings to a society, on many levels. But your topic is privacy, so we'd end up digressing fairly.

We can stick to the bottom line: this sort of scheme, where you, as an individual, surrender on privacy rights that you ought to keep unaltered... it's just A PATH.

It's a path on ENDORSING the state to manage all of it, eventually. You end up surrendering ON THE MANAGEMENT of the entire thing to the state. You have become just another number in their spreadsheets. Then, they will start to try "optimize" the costs on your behalf ... and the very bottom line is: it doesn't work.

Because the overall friction induced by the bureaucrats' "management" lead unavoidably to always more costs, more burden that they put on everybody AND everything to (try) fix up the budget failure of the year before. It just DOES NOT work.

In France, your employer, over the years, has increasingly paid ever more taxes to contribute to your healthcare. So have you. Your employer has also increasingly paid ever more taxes to contribute to "the fight against poverty". So have you. More taxes for the elders' healthcare AND retirement (never mind yours, by the time you'll get there, everything of the assets to fund yours will be gone already). We even have a tax "to fight against unemployment" and "help reinsertion of the poor into the society" (CSG)[1]. The income tax, obviously. The TV tax. You HAVE to disclose to the government that you have a TV, because there is a tax for that. Yes, no kidding[2] Etc. etc.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxation_in_France#List_of_taxes

[2] http://www.americansinfrance.net/movingplanner/Taxes_in_Fran...

The privacy topic is important ALSO because of a facet of the redistribution moral hazard you may or may not have thought of, but that I LIVED : it's an implicit ENDORSEMENT thru your daily life while dealing with your pharmacist, doctors, etc. that you have surrendered on managing YOURSELF how to take care of YOURSELF ... to the state.

You can generalize it to other topics. Banking for instance. In France, if you had some (very) bad credit history, the government central bank itself can force ANY and ALL of the private banks that you have or you try to deal with, to disclose ALL OF your banking history, income and spendings on to them. The central bank has a central file of all the people that are not allowed any longer to open any new account at a private bank until the state decides so.

Sorry the page is in French only:

http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interdiction_bancaire

Thus, this privacy issue is only the first shared facet in line of fire, for many dimensions of the surrendering this or that of your life ... to the state. That would be great if that could ever be economically defensible, but the fact is it is systematically economically disastrous in the end.

Let alone the "freedoms" (in the strict sense of free-will for action/choices) which are also gone, of course. You have struck out those long ago by then.

Once you allow the state to know THIS or THAT about you, they will find whatever "reason" to manage it and tax it "for the greater good of the majority" (or this or that "protected group").

I am not saying that ANY and ALL state-initiated regulations are bad, intrinsically. But everything I have pointed out above is definitely, observably:

http://www.dailypaul.com/272450/france-totally-bankrupt-says...

what YOU DO NOT WANT for the USA.

'HTH,

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.

http://Laissez-Faire.Me/Liberty

"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

But you're still arguing for solutions to "J"

If we do this algebraically, then...

A) People decide what they want private and act accordingly.
B) Bad people create ways they can benefit from stealing info.
C) This causes harm to the owner.
D) People don't want this harm to happen to them.
E) People greatly increase their privacy so "C" doesn't happen.
F) As they win this battle, the abusers find new ways to win.
G) More is robbed, causing harm.
H) As they win the battles, the people spend more on privacy.
I) Security companies cash in, causing expense.
J) Repeat from "F" through "I" endlessly.

The whole system should stop after "A" because "B" never got started until recently (historically). If it did get started, it was either insignificant or minimized due to some form of peer pressure.

Unfortunately, not only are we fighting against "J" for every given path that this can take place, new paths for "B" are being started all the time.

Am I the only one that sees this as us fighting thousands of tiny brush fires while leaving the rampant arsonist to run free? I'm not saying to let those brush fires (J) burn us but can't we ALSO discuss how to stop B?

Cyril's picture

Sure. Let's address "B" then

Sure. Let's address "B" then.

By "bad people" if you understood to whom I was pointing fingers to, you may agree with me on the following, that "B" can be any or a mix of:

B.1. officials already in charge (either executive, judicial, or legislative)
B.2. elected representatives
B.3. various layers of civil servants depending on the above
B.4. big corporate

(I may forget others, e.g., foreign interests with insiders of their own too...)

Right?

Back to privacy: I tried to make the point that if YOU neglect YOUR KEEPING CUSTODY of this or that item of YOUR privacy, any or a mix of the above will try to take advantage of it by force of law (for B.1 to B.3) or by force of money (B.4).

So, what about it? How to fix it?

Again:

then, to prevent "B" from spawning into the rest of your enumeration - DEBUNK, EXPLAIN, DEMONSTRATE the unintended (and, maliciously intended) consequences of allowing "B" to ACQUIRE whichever item of privacy is relevant.

Indeed, YOU have provided the solution by yourself: the debunking, is, case by case, all about this "C" to "J" - what you only need is prior occurrences knowledge of failures - for the privacy item you're concerned with.

Concrete example I started with (there are many to pick from, but that one is especially DESTRUCTIVE economically speaking - I hope you don't underestimate it):

ObamaCare.

FULL of good intents, right?

Maybe, maybe not. But even if so:

YOU KNOW already it doesn't work and will never do so - because you have prior examples, various flavors, but same FLAWED PRINCIPLES, that it is economically unsustainable in the long run and, furthermore, ALSO the self-sustaining source and recipient of always more lobbying and moral hazard, by crony capitalism. If not done yet, the government and big pharma corporate WILL DECIDE behind closed doors the details of the implementation - you will only have TO ACCEPT THE PRICE to pay - thru taxation. Doesn't matter which next excuses they will find to HIDE THEIR FAILURES - they WILL find those and explain the gullible that what is needed is MORE OF IT.

Where to look at? Europe.

You have several, many countries, where you will see it does not work - unless one accepts it "working" where it's "normal" that over 50% of your income is redistributed for everybody else for things YOU HAVE NO WORD about any longer.

Your privacy item, again, is only A PATH to lay down the rhetoric foundations of statist management later on.

How to protect ourselves, our critical privacy items that are the best candidates for being taken advantage of in such schemes, then?

Easy: stick to fundamental TEXTS and principles.

Collective efforts are not intrinsically flawed or undesirable - look at charity - but they should always BE VOLUNTARY and, seemingly, as local as possible. I would LOVE to have ZERO income tax and be able to choose to donate for whatever is needed in the city and county I live in ... but I can't. I am already trapped in a rat race where some of my privacy (income) has been surrendered to the state.

And, indeed, YES, THIS STARTED WITH FORCING ME TO DISCLOSE THAT INFORMATION - under force of law.

Thank you 1913.

'HTH / it makes more sense,

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.

http://Laissez-Faire.Me/Liberty

"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

Now we're getting somewhere

"How to fix it?"
Well, how about we remove the incentives? I'm not sure all the ways that would work or everything that was needed to be removed but we have to start somewhere.

For example, what if we the people started a private business where a minimum of 10M people (doesn't work as well with less) would put money in a pool voluntarily and then they get insurance the way that it really should work. I'll leave out the details unless requested but IF that was an option, and IF it worked well (e.g. saved people money, cut insurance problems, etc.) wouldn't others do the same (or just join the first)?

IF this all happened, wouldn't there be a whole bunch of people calling to eliminate the government mandated, corporate monopolized current system and replace it with the new one? I'm not sure that would recall ObamaCare but it would certainly make it harder for them to justify all the bad crap in there by keeping it alive.

In this same way, we could eliminate the incentives for other privacy invasions to generate profit. If there are no incentives for anyone to know some piece of info on us, it would stop. Then not only would we have the right to our privacy (as guaranteed) but it wouldn't even be in question.

Unfortunately, current discussions can't seem to get past the gossip stage of how bad ObamaCare is and into the what to do stage. ...hence this thread.

Cyril's picture

Well, how about we remove the incentives?

"Well, how about we remove the incentives?"

I have to go for now. I may elaborate more on that later, but yes, incentives and also undesirable incentives "by construction" are a very good place where there's room for improvement, I think.

I just let you ponder on that one that I thought of many times, regarding politics in general, not just in the USA - a topic I affectionate especially:

Rent-seeking.

Most if not all of our representatives in Republics are tax-payer-paid (congress, senate, etc).

What if, unlike firefighters or a public post office, we would have politicians FUNDING THEMSELVES THEIR COMMITMENT TO THEIR IDEAS / POLICIES they propose the people?

Isn't A SURE RENT a good source of moral hazard for politicians who don't even care what the bill discussed is actually about?

You want to do politics? Have a real, self-sustaining job first. In this information age, I don't even want to hear about "yes, but that'd require unfeasible changes in time management / presence in the Houses, etc"

To that I say: seriously? B.S. There might be other difficulties, but not that one.

Later,

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.

http://Laissez-Faire.Me/Liberty

"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

You said ...

"What would our discussions be like if the government did have a national database of our info and real-time whereabouts but it could only be used to bring criminals to justice who actually harmed a victim?"

Yeah ... and IF the government stayed small like the Constitution promises, we wouldn't be having this discussion at all.

The reason for privacy is because YOU DO NOT KNOW who will get the information or what they will do with it -- now, or in the future.

Why fight 1,000 battles when you only have to fight one? If 1,000 people know where my gold is, it is a problem for me. If nobody knows, it is not.

End of story.

It's the discussion that's needed, not making our stuff public

Right arguments but you're looking at it from the wrong side. I'm not saying we should tell all on our info. I'm asking for the discussion you referenced above (and then backed off of actually doing so) so we can eliminate those battles.

This has zero to do with what we decide to keep private. This has everything to do with identifying the one battle that's best for us to coordinate against.

If we took the money out of spam by some free-market movement then no one would be paranoid about it. Some would still keep private, others wouldn't give a damn. Their choice but society would benefit overall, don't you think?

You conceded that "IF" the government was small (and other inferred attributes) that we wouldn't be having this discussion.

EXACTLY !!!!

So, if we can get the government back under control, then these discussion AND ALL PRIVACY BASED ONES will go away.

You are probably saying that's impossible but I say it's much easier than people think. Unfortunately, I can't even have the discussion to show how without people running away screaming "it's not possible"!

My point is ...

... that central discussion you talk about is a discussion about the right of privacy itself. Makes no difference to me when and if you personally decide to reveal what I might want to keep private -- *IF* and only *IF* you respect my right to do likewise (or not to do likewise).

The discussion is the right itself, and that right belongs to each and every one of us. ANY encroachment into that right is a violation and *WILL* eventually lead to a loss of that right.

ANY law passed that is designed for the purpose of eroding privacy is a BAD law and is immoral -- provided that an individual in question has not violated someone else's rights.

It's the exact SAME argument to defend the position that one has the right not to be a witness against himself. The WHOLE POINT is you DON'T KNOW what someone else will do with that information.

ME: Were you in Central Park last Tuesday?
YOU: Yes, I was jogging.
ME: Ahah! So you ADMIT that you were at the scene of the crime!
YOU: xxx
ME: Have you ever used a knife for any purpose?
YOU: Well, yes, I cut food with one all the time.
ME: Ahah! So, you ADMIT you are familiar with the murder weapon!

We just don't know what someone ELSE will do with information, and ESPECIALLY people who have bad intentions against you.

THAT is THE primary discussion, as I see it.

Do you see it differently?