Friday, September 25, 2015


How about a little privacy here!

A thought-provoking meme came my way a while ago: Ten Things that Will Disappear. It goes on to say that they’ll disappear “in our lifetimes”, though I think this one was originated by someone very, very young. It predicts the demise of, among other things, the post office, the check, the newspaper, and the land-line telephone. Well, that one went out years ago at our house.

Last month I did a blog on one of the disappearing things: #4 - Books. Today I am writing on #10 PRIVACY. The meme said:
“If there ever was a concept that we can look back on nostalgically, it would be privacy.”  That's gone. It's been gone for a long time anyway... There are cameras on the street, in most of the buildings, on most policemen (and maybe soon everyday civilians will be wearing them) and even built into your computer and cell phone. But you can be sure that 24/7, "They" know who you are and where you are, right down to the GPS coordinates, and the Google Street View. If you buy something, your habit is put into a zillion profiles, and your ads will change to reflect those habits... "They" will try to get you to buy something else. Again and again and again!”

Yes, they will try, but I probably won’t buy. 

“Privacy” – just what it is?  Google “privacy” and you get this:

the state or condition of being free from being observed or disturbed by other people.
"she returned to the privacy of her own home"
seclusionsolitudeisolation, freedom from disturbance, freedom from interference
"protecting one's privacy"
the state of being free from public attention.
"a law to restrict newspapers' freedom to invade people's privacy"

What?  Well, let me say this - I need “privacy” in my home
                          When I dress
                          When I sleep
                          When I use the bathroom facilities
                          When I loaf around the house
There’s privacy and then there’s privacy. Things like cameras on the street or some entity collecting my shopping habits don’t bother me at all. Under those circumstances, I am just one of millions, perhaps just part of a trend, and I don’t consider any of this as personal information. I’m delighted to see all the cameras – I know they help catch criminals. When I pick my nose – meaning that if I do it on the street and a camera records my faux pas, that’s my fault. But if I do it in the “privacy of my own home” that’s no one else’s business.

O.K., privacy may have been “gone for a long time anyway”, but in the years before the media explosion, before the amassing of data of all kinds, most folks thought little about privacy as it related to them outside their homes. That’s the way it should stay for the vast majority of people.

My privacy I’m not worried about. The security of my personal data, my identifying numbers of all kinds, is a concern to me. I do my best to keep safe that kind personal information. I'd be a fool not to.

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