Privacy

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Hammer
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Privacy

Postby Hammer » Sat May 05, 2007 12:14 pm UTC

I'm curious about your thoughts on privacy.

I'm older than most of you (twice as old as many of you) and the Internet "arrived" during my adulthood. This business where you can (and almost insist on) easily publish every thought in your heads to the world at large in realtime simply wasn't available until recently. I'm wondering if it's going to change the world.

For example, people my age consider it very important to keep things like medical history privacy to avoid being misjudged or discriminated against based on having had a CAT scan or testing positive for HIV.

These days, however, lots of people seem to post their test results on their blogs for posterity. Or draw a comic about them.

The attitude of some people seems to be that nobody has the right to judge you on any grounds, therefore keeping information private is unnecessary.

What do you think about this? Are people really becoming ok with constant personal exposure (no, I'm not talking about No Pants Day) and unconcerned about privacy? Will privacy become less relevant and less important?
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Postby Jesse » Sat May 05, 2007 12:18 pm UTC

I hope so. I'm definitely very open about my life and medical history etc. I realise that discrimination does occur, but the hope is if that everyone is open then discrimination becomes obvious and it can be stopped.

The big thing in England at the moment is people complaining about all these CCTV cameras everywhere. But I do not see the problem; it is only a bad thing if you are breaking the law, especially as they aren't government owned, they're often operated by private owners protecting their shop/business.

I can see the potential for abuse though.

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Postby hermaj » Sat May 05, 2007 12:25 pm UTC

I think the anonymity (God, is that word ever awkward to spell) of the internet really has contributed to this. On the internet you can be anyone, and it's really quite liberating to some people; enough so that they can express private thoughts and things quite comfortably to the world at large. You'd only need to go as far as our very own confession thread to see that working there.

That said. I do also think people realise (or, at least, should) that in a lot of places on the internet anyone can see anything you do, and if they could find some way to attach that to you either as a person or a persona that could seriously affect a few things, whether you've talked about medical situations, personal beliefs, other situations.

I also think that in RL situations where privacy is involved, for example doctors communicating indepth with insurance companies, privacy will still be a highly valued thing, and I'm sure even granted the anonymity and freedom of the internet there are things people would definitely not want out in public.

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Postby mister k » Sat May 05, 2007 2:00 pm UTC

Well, I think everyone has a right to a certain amount of privacy, just as everyone has the right to breach that privacy. Saying only the guilty have something to fear is essentially allowing yourself to believe that government, and more importantly the systems created by government are incorruptible and cannot be abused. This is simply untrue.

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Postby kira » Sat May 05, 2007 2:06 pm UTC

This brings to mind the story about the airline stewardess who was fired for the pictures she posted online.

I think when the person in question is sharing the information, they see the internet as inherently anonymous and feel comfortable with their privacy.

However, it's quite easy to tell that the "anonymity" of the internet does not last long and employers seem to be getting more savvy about it.

I think eventually the anonymity of the internet will be worn away as more people become aware of just how easy it is for google to find their information and people will be a little more guarded.

On the other hand, maybe it will be the start of a social revolution. Open doors and no secrets.

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Postby SecondTalon » Sat May 05, 2007 2:23 pm UTC

The way I see it, more and more instances of "Person reprimanded by work/school/professional life for internet acknowledgement of private life" until... suprise suprise.. people start embracing Anonymous as a persona.

Myself, though I'm easy to track down with my online name.. I use it everywhere, it's fairly unique, and the only real variations are capitalization and whether or not there's a space. It's relatively easy to track down pictures of myself using only that, but I'm also not an idiot in what I post. I try to keep "real life" and my "internet life" as separate as possible.

Currently, the average person who uses the internet frequently operates as if there was only a Professional and a Personal side of them, and that those two sides rarely interact. Ten years ago, that was pretty much how it actually worked. Now that we also have Internet in there with Professional and Personal, most people treat it as if it's an extension of the Personal, while companies treat it as an extension of the Professional.

I see it as neither, but instead as a brand new side. My Internet self is different from my Professional and Personal selves.

I work at company X. I am from Company X.
I am from a small town in Kentucky. I am from Kentucky.
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Postby kira » Sat May 05, 2007 2:28 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:Currently, the average person who uses the internet frequently operates as if there was only a Professional and a Personal side of them, and that those two sides rarely interact. Ten years ago, that was pretty much how it actually worked. Now that we also have Internet in there with Professional and Personal, most people treat it as if it's an extension of the Personal, while companies treat it as an extension of the Professional.


This is very apt. However, I think the main problem is that even when one selects "Anonymous" as a persona, they usually invariably end up accidentally sharing information that could identify them. And people don't realize that this will probably eventually happen.

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Postby SecondTalon » Sat May 05, 2007 2:42 pm UTC

It's an inevitability. For now.. and I figure this will last another 10 years or so... the average person hasn't figured out the three part thing....

It's all in human behavior.. a person acts one way at work, another way at home, a third way in a place of worship, and so on. Currently, because most people interact online with friends, they tend to act in a manner almost exact to how they act in real life. Not that this is a bad thing, but rather than keeping it confined to chatrooms and other mostly untraceable eraseable communications (as unless someone's logging, a chatroom is basically gone when it's occupants leave), they interact with friends via livejournal, blogs, and so on - Messageboards as well, in my case.

The trick is to treat the Internet more like you do a work environment and less like a personal interaction. Always be ready for the boss to peek over your shoulder, as it were.

I also figure the more personal information - medical history and such - will slowly stop being posted. Eventually most people will stop being as open as they are now. Which, in a way, is a sad thing...it's sometimes interesting to read of the vapid life of a 15 year old in California. It's equally interesting, to me at least, to read the musings of a 15 year old in California from 2001.. and read the same person's musings as a 20 year old in Washington State in 2006. But, eventually, people will catch on, become harder to track, and we'll stop being able to do such things as easily or with as much certainty.

But.. to answer the original question rather than just hinting around at it...

I personally want to remain as private as possible on the internet. While I don't mind revealing non-specific information, such as the city in which I live and previous areas, the smaller the area, the less I reveal about it. Generally speaking, I only refer to my hometown as "A small town in western Kentucky"... and usually, that's all that really needs to be said about it. Everything a random Internet Citizen needs to know is contained in that phrase - small town in an area that sees itself as being similar to the midwest area of the US, while also seeing itself as part of the southern US, etc. The only reason a specific name would need to be said is if someone else chimes in with "Whoa! I'm from there too! Which town are you from?".. and then the conversation, if it continues, is moved to a more secure channel.. e-mail, private messaging systems, instant messenger, and so on.

So.. yeah, I try to keep personally identifying information off the internet.

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Postby FiddleMath » Sat May 05, 2007 8:51 pm UTC

http://xkcd.com/c137.html

I'm hoping that companies will stop acting as if a person's online persona was part of their work persona. On the other hand, I'm hoping I can work somewhere where that sort of strict "professionalism" (toe the line, toe the line) is expected.

But there is no privacy, against an adversary with moderate resources. In the US, for example, social security numbers and credit card numbers are just short of public information. Sure, you might not be able to find them via Google, but I rather suspect you can buy them in bulk, given a week or so. Lots of people have access to them, some way or another. This situation isn't going to improve until we as a society actually set up some decent cryptographic schemes. Then we can at least make electronic privacy as strong as physical privacy.

Unless P=NP, anyway. If P=NP, we might as well deal only in physical cash, or give up on money. Go back to gold, maybe.

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Re: Privacy

Postby CDarklock » Sat May 05, 2007 9:56 pm UTC

Hammer wrote:I'm curious about your thoughts on privacy.


Privacy has always been a fiction that we maintain by social convention.

I am of the opinion that we should expect privacy to disappear altogether in our lifetime. Stop lying to people. Stop hiding everything. If you have strange habits, tell people. If you're into weird sex, tell people. If you find out something embarrassing about yourself, just tell people.

After a while, it becomes a matter of habit, and you stop worrying about it. It saves a lot of time and effort and worry.
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Re: Privacy

Postby OmenPigeon » Sat May 05, 2007 11:00 pm UTC

CDarklock wrote:Privacy has always been a fiction that we maintain by social convention.


Huh? I've made a few hundred posts here, and at least a few of them have contained personal anecdotes. I use the name 'OmenPigeon' often enough that I suspect it can be traced back to my real name with little difficulty. With that you can find out all sorts of things about me, like what awards I got in high school or where I go to college. So theres all sorts of things you can know about me, some of them potentially embarrassing.

But theres a whole host of things you can definitely not find out about me, such as whether or not I'm into kinky sex, have cancer or AIDS, or regularly kill Canadians and hide them in other people's closets. Privacy is real.

CDarklock wrote:I am of the opinion that we should expect privacy to disappear altogether in our lifetime. Stop lying to people. Stop hiding everything. If you have strange habits, tell people. If you're into weird sex, tell people. If you find out something embarrassing about yourself, just tell people.

After a while, it becomes a matter of habit, and you stop worrying about it. It saves a lot of time and effort and worry.


That's really not a very tenable position.

There are a lot of things which are private for good reason. If prospective employers know that I have AIDS, thats going to influence their decision on whether to hire me. By law they aren't allowed to deny me employment just because of AIDS, but I'm not willing to take the chance that it might tip them to a different, equally good candidate. If my coworkers find out, for example, that I've been making a secret love shrine to one of them, thats going to make the office incredibly awkward.

Keeping things private makes everything work a little smoother. If you really think that nothing should be private, compile a list of your most secret dreams and fears, and publish it on the internet. Print out copies and hand them to everyone you meet. See how that works for you.
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Postby apricity » Sun May 06, 2007 12:23 am UTC

Personally, I'm a very honest person. I'll tell almost anything to almost anyone. I hate keeping secrets, especially about myself. I have discretion when necessary, but I also know myself really well and I don't like to hide who I truly am from people when I don't see a reason to.

I'm with CDarklock on this actually. I think privacy definitely is a social construct, that goes along with standards of appropriateness and politeness. And honestly, when Generation Myspace is eventually running the world, I think we can expect people to be a lot more comfortable with subjects that are taboo now, because of things like the internet anonymity that allow people to discover just how many people are into the same kind of kinky sex as they are, or movies and books that go further and further to find new plotlines by openly displaying weirder or more hidden aspects of society.

I think the bigger question to ask is how this change in perception of privacy has affected and will affect society. For example, take PostSecret. It lets people confess anything, without consequences. If theories of catharsis are correct, this is really beneficial to these people, because they don't need to be tortured by these deep secrets. It also shows people who might have the same secret that they're not alone in what they're thinking, and removes some of the taboos surrounding subjects that really shouldn't be taboo anyway.

On the flip side, this kind of sharing could be really dangerous. Power of suggestion... say, hypothetically, someone confesses to having molested someone and gotten away with it. It's very possible that someone else who's already tempted to molest someone will, upon reading this, go through with it after realizing that someone got away with it. It's a valid form of behavioral modeling. Also, people are able, and more willing when anonymous, to join with others with similar beliefs that might actually be destructive, such as on pro-ana sites.

I've actually decided that if I end up going into psych research, this is the very question I want to study-- the effects of anonymity on behavior.

Edit to add:

OmenPigeon wrote:There are a lot of things which are private for good reason. If prospective employers know that I have AIDS, thats going to influence their decision on whether to hire me. By law they aren't allowed to deny me employment just because of AIDS, but I'm not willing to take the chance that it might tip them to a different, equally good candidate. If my coworkers find out, for example, that I've been making a secret love shrine to one of them, thats going to make the office incredibly awkward.


From a psychological perspective, you're right that some knowledge does influence people's perceptions of others. That's why some discretion is definitely necessary. But it's completely situational. And in a hundred years, who are we to say that there still be any kind of stigma surrounding people who, to use your example, have AIDS? What if, in the next generation, knowing that someone has AIDS won't have any effect on their perception at all because it's not something that people care about anymore? Things like that can definitely change. It's all about perception.

Also, awkwardness is a social construct based on perception too. People are awkward when they perceive that something they aren't comfortable with happened/is happening. It all depends on how someone reacts to the situation. If your coworker was flattered by secret love shrines, it wouldn't be awkward at all.
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Postby Arkohn » Sun May 06, 2007 1:12 am UTC

If V never takes off his mask, isn't he just as much V as he is the man from 50 years prior?

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Postby Owijad » Sun May 06, 2007 3:19 am UTC

But he did take off his mask, at the end.



I feel like being completely open would deny most people many, many opportunities to be happy, for relatively little benefit.
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Postby Arkohn » Sun May 06, 2007 3:23 am UTC

No he didn't, she decided not to look.

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Postby d3adf001 » Sun May 06, 2007 5:50 am UTC

we have no privacy anymore, the government has taken it away. i think its time that we fight back

(that wasnt a joke)

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Postby Jach » Sun May 06, 2007 8:23 am UTC

Just a quick side note: deal with the first-person plural usage; I use it sometimes but in no way do I think I represent all of 'us', or want 'us' to be a hive like in Anthem. =P

The concept of privacy shouldn't be enforced (or taken away) by law, indeed, but the fact is most of us would be much happier not knowing certain things about other people, or seeing certain things that we didn't want to know about... It's like those commercials for Herpes. Some lady's doing some neat activity, and you think the commercial's one about the clothes she's wearing or something, and suddenly she'll blurt out "I have herpes!" We didn't really need to know that, and for the most part unless we somehow know the person on the television it's irrelevant to us. We don't need to fill our brains with irrelevant crap the media feeds us. If privacy wasn't a concern, it would still be irrelevant because we wouldn't judge them any differently, now would we? But privacy is a huge concern in today's society, thus while it is irrelevant to some, some people will immediately think "slut." I'm of the opinion of "...What the heck? Why did you just tell me that?" Admission to a problem is always a good step, but you don't need to admit it to everyone...

As far as violating privacy, if one wishes to be private it is their own decision. Let society decide the punishments for violating privacy, or over-exposure, not some representatives that don't really represent everyone.

I'm usually pretty honest, but there are several things I keep to myself (thoughts about others' inconsideration, for example) mostly because it's irrelevant for them to know what I think, and already jerky people become even more jerky when you make them aware of it. The privacy of the mind is necessary, but again, a choice. If you want to keep to yourself, keep to yourself, and the law should not dictate otherwise. If you want to be overly-social, do so, just know that society will probably punish you in turn with the law (though the law should be kept out of it.)

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Postby mister k » Sun May 06, 2007 1:46 pm UTC

To say "privacy is just a social convention" is a baffling thing to say... Of course it is, it isn't a magical genetic power we all get.... but that gives no judgement on the value of it or not. As others have pointed out, there are many situations when we wish to keep our privacy. There are things about my life, things I've done and said, that I prefer to keep to myself. A society with no privacy is quite a disturbing idea to me. We should all be allowed some secrets.

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Postby Hammer » Sun May 06, 2007 9:04 pm UTC

I think that privacy is very important. I also think that exercising some discipline with regard to how you choose to interpret the information you do discover about someone is also very important.

For example, take Google Search History. Match up my IP address to my Google search history and you get a list of what I've been looking for online. However, what you don't get is that I was a Google Answers Researcher. Much of my search history has nothing to do with my own interests. In addition, due to the deceptive practices of many websites, where I ended up is not a good indicator of what I was looking for.

If someone were to make decisions about me based on that information, they would be seriously misguided.

The same applies to context. I am unwilling to share most of my day-to-day thoughts and feelings in a public place. Not because I am afraid that people will find out about the real me, but because I am afraid that they won't bother to do so.

I will share these things with my friends because I know that they know me. That they will take my statements in context with everything they know about me. That they won't grab something I say on a bad day and decide that it defines me as a person.

For me, privacy is not about keeping secrets out of shame. It is about an attempt to ensure that, if someone is going to make a decision about me, that they have to work to do so. That they are likely to be exposed to information in context. Where possible, that I will have the opportunity to address their conclusions.
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Postby apricity » Mon May 07, 2007 2:25 am UTC

Hammer wrote:The same applies to context. I am unwilling to share most of my day-to-day thoughts and feelings in a public place. Not because I am afraid that people will find out about the real me, but because I am afraid that they won't bother to do so.

I will share these things with my friends because I know that they know me. That they will take my statements in context with everything they know about me. That they won't grab something I say on a bad day and decide that it defines me as a person.

For me, privacy is not about keeping secrets out of shame. It is about an attempt to ensure that, if someone is going to make a decision about me, that they have to work to do so. That they are likely to be exposed to information in context. Where possible, that I will have the opportunity to address their conclusions.


That's an interesting point. I've honestly not thought of it before. I've always noticed that people seem to like me a lot more when they get to know me, but that's a pretty good explanation of why... but then, I always feel like I'm being fake if I hide any part of who I am, secrets or not. Still, it's definitely something to ponder.
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Postby Vaniver » Mon May 07, 2007 6:06 pm UTC

What if, in the next generation, knowing that someone has AIDS won't have any effect on their perception at all because it's not something that people care about anymore?
If we reach a point where we simply don't care about life-altering situations... where will we be?

I mean, if you don't care that someone is dying quickly, that they like to have sex with dogs, or that they like Ann Coulter, what aspects of their life *do* you care about?

It all depends on how someone reacts to the situation. If your coworker was flattered by secret love shrines, it wouldn't be awkward at all.
What percentage of people are flattered by secret love shrines, and what percentage have the word "stalker" flash through their mind?

There's a reason I don't maintain a blog anymore. Whenever I would want to write something really important in it, I would know that someone could read it that I wouldn't want to read it. Hell, I've probably inadvertently come out to a few of my relatives by talking about being gay here, just because I use the same name here as I do for a few other things. It's not that hard to link a person with an online identity.
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Postby Phenriz » Mon May 07, 2007 7:38 pm UTC

To post about the topic, i've ALWAYS been a private person ever since i was a child, i have always closed doors and locked them if i'm in a room by myself, i usually have the blinds to my apartment closed, and i tend not to talk about my personal shit with strangers. i don't really see the allure of posting all my personal stuff over "myspace" especially with the way some employers do background checks, it's really not that safe to put sensitive information out there for any crawler to look for. Shit i only have a myspace page because my last girlfriend threatened to make one for me. (read: made me)

d3adf001 wrote:we have no privacy anymore, the government has taken it away. i think its time that we fight back

(that wasnt a joke)


if this were true all of my "friends" would know everything there is to know about me, which i assure you they don't.

whenever i get pulled over i'd be in jail (as would most people i'd wager)

but it is getting time to fight back, for other reasons.
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Postby Azrael » Thu May 17, 2007 12:44 pm UTC

I think the key thing with privacy and the internet is to be cognizant of how much/little privacy you have over your internet interactions.

I'm sure that if anyone here really wanted to, they could learn my address or call my home phone or see the (very few) pictures I have on photobucket. But I recognize those "threats" to my privacy and accept them -- making sure that knowledge of those areas won't cause (reasonable) problems. And, yes, I do Google myself every once and a while just to see what might be out there. Not much...

If I felt the need, I wouldn't bad mouth my boss or company in a written medium on the internet, certainly not by name or even direct reference. Nor would you find me (if I had a nice body, boobs and a company uniform) acting ala that Delta flight attendant and posting a cleavage shot at work, in my uniform.

In days of old, privacy was more easily managed because, as mentioned, you didn't have a ready, easy and thought-free way to spill your inner thoughts into public view. Now, if you wish to maintain your own privacy, you have to work at it a bit. And by "work at it" I really mean "not act in ways specifically detrimental to your privacy".

EDIT: As for someone getting a hold of my search or site history records -- I'm very careful at work and anyone viewing my home should probably expect exactly what they might find.

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Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Thu May 17, 2007 4:09 pm UTC

I would like what I WANT to be made public made public, and what I WANT to keep private kept private. However, some people in my house believe that anything I want to keep private needs to be made public, and no amount of disagreement is going to change that.

Personally, I think that privacy is sacred. As a child, I grew up with zero privacy (I was grounded if I locked my bedroom door) and, as an adult, I continue to have zero privacy, but I still think privacy, what little of it there is, is a sacred thing.

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Postby Phenriz » Thu May 17, 2007 5:17 pm UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:Personally, I think that privacy is sacred. As a child, I grew up with zero privacy (I was grounded if I locked my bedroom door) and, as an adult, I continue to have zero privacy, but I still think privacy, what little of it there is, is a sacred thing.


i know what you mean, whenever i'm on the phone i pace around because growing up my parents tried to eavesdrop on my phone conversations. (which is natural to an extent, on their part, i suppose)

Thus is the beauty of living alone, as an adult. I think it's somewhat important to live by yourself and only be responsible for only yourself even if it's for a year or two before moving onto family life.
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Postby Azrael » Thu May 17, 2007 7:36 pm UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:(I was grounded if I locked my bedroom door)


I didn't have a lock on my bedroom door, nor will my children when the time comes. Hell, we didn't have locks on the bathroom, either. We knocked and waited for a response before opening closed doors.

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Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Thu May 17, 2007 7:46 pm UTC

They explained that they were my parents, and didn't have to knock. I should explain that they also didn't like it if my door was closed.

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Postby EvanED » Thu May 17, 2007 8:48 pm UTC

lanicita wrote:And in a hundred years, who are we to say that there still be any kind of stigma surrounding people who, to use your example, have AIDS? What if, in the next generation, knowing that someone has AIDS won't have any effect on their perception at all because it's not something that people care about anymore? Things like that can definitely change. It's all about perception.


There won't be for AIDS. But there will be for something else. Maybe it'll be that you have "inferior" DNA like in Gattaca. Who knows. Humans have found one thing or another to ostracize segments of the populations for millennia. It's not going to end with the Internet.

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Postby mister k » Sat May 19, 2007 3:56 pm UTC

Azrael wrote:
Mighty Jalapeno wrote:(I was grounded if I locked my bedroom door)


I didn't have a lock on my bedroom door, nor will my children when the time comes. Hell, we didn't have locks on the bathroom, either. We knocked and waited for a response before opening closed doors.


I never had a bedroom door lock, but not having a lock in your bathroom is uncivillized. What if you have guests? I like to have security while I'm on the loo...

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Postby Gazette » Sat May 19, 2007 8:47 pm UTC

I think alot of people don't care these days. Especially the ones with high self-esteem who really doesn't give a fuck about what others know about them. People with high self-esteem are alot less afraid of being misjudged or discriminated these days imo, since if someone misjudges or discriminates you, they are not people you want in your life anyway.

But hey, welcome to the United States of Paranoia. The general population (who, by the way most likely have low self-esteem) are scared... which contributes to the whole privacy issue.

The thing with the internet is... if people find things out about you or who you are, it was probably your fault unless this is some government or hospital database, in which case you're SOL. The only people who know my screen names and who I am are people I personally know and trust. Nobody who I don't want in my life are able to track me down so I don't worry about it. Once you've been around the block you learn to deter stalkers. =\

I'm generally a secretive person so only certain people know my personal information. I don't want people who I don't want in my life to know anything about me... just because. But if say, my complete profile gets on the internet or my search history... I probably wouldn't care. I'd keep getting on with my life. *shrugs* If somebody judges me to be less than the person I am, well they can go fuck themselves. ^_^

The government may decide to strip us of privacy completely, or they may not. But you know, does it really matter? I guess so if you're self conscious or have low self-esteem, or are extremely secretive by nature. Otherwise... I really don't think it's that big of a deal.

Also... there is no real written rule regarding privacy. It's about trust, and these days just how many people can we trust in this world? So personally I just say fuck it - I make sure my info's private as much as I can, but if they were leaked, big deal. What are they gonna do, stalk me to death or wrongfully judge me? These people wouldn't have a place in my life, pyohohoho. :P

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Re: Privacy

Postby miles01110 » Sat May 19, 2007 9:59 pm UTC

Hammer wrote:Are people really becoming ok with constant personal exposure (no, I'm not talking about No Pants Day) and unconcerned about privacy?

I think they are, and the internet is only making it easier.
Hammer wrote:Will privacy become less relevant and less important?

No, and that's the rub. People don't care enough these days.

People on digg and slashdot cheer whenever a new security issue in Windows is revealed that could possibly give up personal information, while at the same time they sign their life over to another large company- Google- that may or may not be releasing that to third parties.

I have general mistrust of large organizations with personal information, and as such am extremely hesitant to give out such info unless absolutely necessary. I have a Gmail account, but I don't use it for sensitive things. I have a facebook account, but only people I know can see what little information I have posted there. My phone number is unlisted. I don't pay bills online. The list goes on.

I scoff when I hear about the "future of the internet" in which everything will be done online. Why anyone in a sound state of mind would put their financial or personal safety in jeopardy by giving sensitive information to a third party over the internet is way, WAY beyond me.

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Hammer
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Postby Hammer » Sun May 20, 2007 12:15 am UTC

Gazette wrote:I think alot of people don't care these days. Especially the ones with high self-esteem who really doesn't give a fuck about what others know about them. People with high self-esteem are alot less afraid of being misjudged or discriminated these days imo, since if someone misjudges or discriminates you, they are not people you want in your life anyway.


That's a brave (or bravado?), but I think somewhat impractical, viewpoint. We don't live in a vacuum. The opinions of others intrude on our lives whether we care about them or not. Legislators, job interviewers and insurance companies are just a few examples of people whose opinions of us can have an impact on our lives regardless of our personal sense of self-esteem.

Are you worried about your privacy with regard to those times when you don't get to choose who you do or do not want in your life?
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Gazette
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Postby Gazette » Sun May 20, 2007 4:30 am UTC

Hammer wrote:That's a brave (or bravado?), but I think somewhat impractical, viewpoint. We don't live in a vacuum. The opinions of others intrude on our lives whether we care about them or not. Legislators, job interviewers and insurance companies are just a few examples of people whose opinions of us can have an impact on our lives regardless of our personal sense of self-esteem.

Are you worried about your privacy with regard to those times when you don't get to choose who you do or do not want in your life?

That's the only exception to how I view the topic. The fact that there will always be people who misjudge and discriminate you, some of whom are important who you must face in your life. But things like job interviewers and insurance companies... it's all an act. It's a game of heavy manipulation for selfish desires from both parties. It's unfortunate, but that's the way it goes.

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Postby Toeofdoom » Sun May 20, 2007 8:46 am UTC

I try to keep most things about me private, but all I really have at the moment is a name and an address...

unfortunately my name is unique and has been posted on the internet by numerous other people, so I kinda gave up with that. No-one would want to stalk me anyway... right?
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Postby krunzi » Thu May 31, 2007 11:55 am UTC

the thing about internet privacy is that it's up to you how much of your privacy you wish to give up. If you post on your public blog "HAY EVRYBDY I GOT HIV T_T" well, then everybody will have access to that information since the internet is, unless you make an effort, a public place, and it seems people forget this from time to time. Everyone has acces to everything you say on the internet (if you sue the same nick, don't keep google off your site, have a public blog etc.) even people you'd never think would look.
But i see this as very, VERY different from the privacy of the things which are contained in my medical records or tagged to my social security number. It is the utmost DUTY of the government to protect the private information which i give to it from publication(where a information is tied to a social security numer or a name, and b information to b ssn or name) and from people who wish to use it for commercial or private gain and the like. Where as if i post things on the internet, i give them to everybody.

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Postby newbeat » Thu May 31, 2007 10:20 pm UTC

If some blogger wants to inform somebody of their medical/anything status that's their own choice. It may be that constant intrusion of privacy in modern society (You can be reached anywhere, for the most part. and we put ourselves in that situation, too) has desecrated the idea of beng left to yourself. You begin to want to share personal details with other people. I guess the only thing we can do is isolate ourselves through constant curt behavoir towards everyone.

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Postby Barbie » Fri Jun 01, 2007 8:34 am UTC

I'm sure this is not going to be well-received, but I'll put it out there anyway: From a consumer's perspective, I personally would prefer that companies had *more* information about me. In theory, if the marketing process achieves what it's supposed to achieve, this would result in products being designed that were better designed to meet my needs. I would receive information about products and services that would be right for me, and I would not be subjected to promotion for products that are incompatible with my needs. Would that be so bad? IMHO, privacy makes the current system is economically inefficient, and leads to wasted resources and unfulfilled needs.

SecondTalon wrote:I see it as neither, but instead as a brand new side. My Internet self is different from my Professional and Personal selves.

So who is the *real* you? Are none of them the real you, or are all three of them different facets of the real you. If the latter is true, it would seem you're *always* inhibiting part of yourself. Wouldn't it be liberating to find somewhere where you could be all that you are? By not expressing your full self in any one situation, wouldn't you agree that you are actively working against finding that place?

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lominsky
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Postby lominsky » Sat Jun 02, 2007 4:27 am UTC

I can understand the argument that as long as you're not doing anything wrong it shouldn't be a problem, but for me it's more about being able to have privacy, even if I don't need it.

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Postby blind visionary » Sun Jun 03, 2007 5:38 am UTC

I think there are certain aspects of one's life most people will always want to keep private. However there are those lesser in number who want to say what they're thinking, maybe everything they're thinking, but never really got that chance. Then the internet came along, and eventually, they can put everything out there for the world to see. Add to that the idea that the internet is a gathering place for obscure minorities. Click on a link and you'll find a forum stock full of xkcd fans, unlike anything you could find walking down the street. I don't think its so much that privacy is dwindling away so much as that on the internet you will find more of those less private people.

The anonymity offered by the internet also definitely contributing to it, but some people don't realize that if they're not careful, that their "anonymity" of the internet does not last long. What I find irritating is people throwing stuff out on the internet and expecting it to stay private/anonymous. For example lets just say, going on facebook and posting pictures of yourself performing illicit acts on school grounds and expecting the school to not be able to find them and removing you from the running for SCA vice president. People can be so naive, and when dealing with the internet, such naivety can have serious repercussions.

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Postby lukkucairi » Sun Jun 03, 2007 8:32 pm UTC

ach - privacy these days (or is it any days?) is a convenient fiction -

how many databases am I in? no idea, but I know a few biggies. how about you?

I could get bugged by this, which would accomplish nothing, or I could try my best to ignore it, which is what I do. is this wrong?


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