The ‘Philosophy Talk’ broadcast on KUMD really got me thinking, like, right away this morning.
It was all about the surveillance state and the Right to Privacy.
Is there a reasonable Right to Privacy in an age where we willingly spread and share information about what we’re thinking, where we plan on going, what we plan on doing, or what we’ve done?
And Facebook is a prime example. It’s a corporation beholden its shareholders, not its customers, to increase the value of it’s product/service. And its product/service is the information we feed into it that lets it calculate what kind of consumer we are.
And by clicking on ‘I agree to these terms of service’ we are voluntarily agreeing (usually without reading the agreement) to Facebook using that information anyway they deem appropriate.
We are being watched. That’s not even a debate at this point. It’s not a conspiracy. It is a fact revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Data/information is being collected en masse and we are giving away a lot of that information on our own volition either through complicity or through an optimisitc trust that information we are choosing to share won’t be used against us. But we have no control over that.
And, by refusing to do something as simple as reading the ‘Terms of Service’ before we agree to it, can any individual actually expect a reasonable Right to Privacy when the lastet technology that everyone “has to have” comes fully-loaded with a camera and microphone?
Just a few weeks ago, I was at The Blind Pig. I had a white russian, wrote a poem on a bar room napkin, and took a picture of both. When I left that establishment, I looked at my phone and it told me I should help others explore The Blind Pig by uploading my photo and letting other people know where I’d been.
Of course, sometimes it suggests I help others explore the casino when I’m on the sidewalk taking pictures of The Orpheum or let others know about Burrito Union when I am walking around Chester Creek checking out the ice flow.
But still, we are being watched and we are choosing, rather freely, to be watched by knowing that it’s happening and accepting it blindly like some sort of hog who does not question the slop in front of their face; they just consume it. It’s convenient. And I’m a part of it. I love the technology and all the positive things that could be said about it: like voice-recording song ideas or writing down notes or the convenience of having the internet in your pocket.
But all of this does comes at a cost. That cost is less privacy.
So, is their a reasonable Right to Privacy when we are so willing to share the details of our lives with whom we perceive to be merely our friends and family–but in reality is a publicly-traded corporation with its primary function being appeasment of the shareholder?
I don’t know. I need a shave.