Privacy

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Full Title or Meme

Privacy is the right to be let alone. [1]

Context

Everyone wants some privacy, but no one can explain that in a way that matches anyone else's desire for privacy. [2]

In his dissent to a 1952 Supreme Court decision[3] Justice Douglas issued this stirring defense of the right to be let alone:

If liberty is to flourish, government should never be allowed to force people to listen to any radio program. The right of privacy should include the right to pick and choose from competing entertainments, competing propaganda, competing political philosophies. If people are let alone in those choices, the right of privacy will pay dividends in character and integrity. The strength of our system is in the dignity, the resourcefulness, and the independence of our people. Our confidence is in their ability as individuals to make the wisest choice. That system cannot flourish if regimentation takes hold. The right of privacy, today violated, is a powerful deterrent to any one who would control men's minds.

The above statement seems to state that the people's character and integrity will be enhanced by the right to pick their own sources of information. There is ample reason to doubt that statement in light of the environment in 2018 where populist demagogues are again persuading people to vote against their own interests by manipulating news sources that appeal to the peoples' prurient interests. [4]

Problem

The amount of information that Facebook has accumulated about people is far more that most people understand[5]

Solutions

The number of governments that have proposed "Solutions" to the invasions of "The Right to Privacy"[1] is large[6], but the results are meager and most law enforcement agencies are often in court trying to use any loop-hole to strip away privacy even where products have been specifically designed to maintain privacy.[7]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Warren and Brandeis The Right to Privacy Harvard Law Review http://groups.csail.mit.edu/mac/classes/6.805/articles/privacy/Privacy_brand_warr2.html
  2. Louis Menand Nowhere to Hide: Why Do We Care So Much About Privacy? The New Yorker June 18, 2018 https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/06/18/why-do-we-care-so-much-about-privacy
  3. Public Utilities Comm'n v. Pollak, 343 U.S. 451 (1952) https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/343/451/case.html
  4. Eduardo Porter, Is the Populist Revolt Over? Not if Robots Have Their Way https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/30/business/economy/populist-politics-globalization.html
  5. Brian X. Chen https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/11/technology/personaltech/i-downloaded-the-information-that-facebook-has-on-me-yikes.html
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Privacy#Privacy_law
  7. Jack Nicas Apple to Close iPhone Security Hole That Law Enforcement Uses to Crack Devices https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/13/technology/apple-iphone-police.html