Is a “Right to Privacy” Realistic in 2019?
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Is a “Right to Privacy” Realistic in 2019?

October 19, 2019


All right, let’s get to audience questions
for the week. First one, Hey, David is a right to privacy,
still a realistic expectation in 2019 given the technology that is now ubiquitous. So sometimes with these [inaudible] easier to start with the simplest form of
the answer, like the most basic logistical answer and then talk about the implications. So in a literal sense, in public there’s no
realistic expectation of privacy. There are cameras everywhere. Uh, there are all sorts of different surveillance
methods that are going on via satellite. If a government really wants to follow you
around, they can do it when you’re out in public. So in public there is not, in a practical
sense an expectation of privacy, but that definition of privacy has changed over time. And I’ll get to that in private people. Can decide whether to record and there are
laws that govern this. If businesses want to have surveillance cameras
inside their business, most of the time it’s legal in bathrooms and locker rooms. It’s not an, it should continue to be illegal. I believe that it should be disclosed if there
is surveillance. I’m trying to think in Vegas casinos where
there are cameras everywhere. I don’t know that I see signs that say that
you are under surveillance at all times other than in the bathroom and presumably it presumably
in your hotel room. I think that that should be there. It may not even really be um, the law, but
it is that businesses right to do it and then it’s up to you to decide whether you want
to be a patron of a business that is a recording, video surveillance, et cetera. The problem really goes back to what do we
mean by privacy when we talk about data collection, is that a violation of privacy that was not
in considered by older definitions of what it means to have a right to privacy. Because what you have to understand is that
a hundred years ago we could say if you’re in public, you don’t have a right to privacy. And in 2019 we say if you’re in public, you
don’t have a right to privacy. But what that meant a hundred years ago is
very different from what it means today. Today you, uh, have the ability to track someone
almost 24, seven between their phone using the GPS on their phone and all sorts of public
and private cameras that exist out on the streets of our cities, in businesses, et cetera. A hundred years ago. Even though the presumption of the right to
privacy might’ve been no different than it is today from a legal perspective, in order
to track someone in the way that you can track them down merely technologically, you needed
a team to actually track that person 24, seven and so even if the law has not changed, and
even if we can say, even though by the way the Patriot act and other types of surveillance
have modified the law around other types of surveillance, including phone records and
others. But that’s a little bit different than what
we’re talking about here. Uh, the ability, the practical ability to
do this type of surveillance has changed drastically. Never having a right to privacy in public,
uh, ignores that today. It means something very, very different to
be walking around in public than it did a hundred years ago. So should our definition of privacy evolve
even with the same data, often there’s a question of who gets to see it, right? I mean in, in principle, think about something
like medical records and the privacy that is presumed to go along with those. I might be okay with those records being used
in some sort of aggregate and non-US way to research illness, but that doesn’t necessarily
mean that I want my insurer to have access to those records or that I want those to have
my name attached to them in a way that is not private. Uh, so clearly in public, there is no right
to privacy in the sense that many of us imagine. But I still believe that we should have a
reasonable right to anonymity if we want it. And that’s where the technological surveillance
starts to become a question Mark. Realistically. The other thing we have to consider about
this is that as these new technologies have been developed, public opinion has also shifted
and will likely continue to shift. If you ask a 20 year old today and a four
year 40 year old and a 60 year old and an 80 year old, when it comes to something as
seemingly straightforward as right to privacy in public, when you’re just out in public,
you will have drastically different answers from what is reasonable from each of those
groups. And I can’t imagine that that’s going to stay
the same over time as these new technological means become more of an everyday part of our
lives. When I write an email, when I think about
it, I tell myself I have to be under the, the sort of, uh, operating under the belief
that this is not necessarily private, but I’m not actually thinking of that. Every time I write an email, younger generations
may be actually thinking about it that way or they may not because they don’t care. And, uh, that is part of the shift in public
opinion around this that we’ve seen. Let me know what you think. Uh, when it comes to a right to privacy, what
is reasonable to expect and what is not.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. We are getting old, David. These kids don't even ask the question anymore. Many of us have pushed the needle toward a public lifestyle ourselves. Some of us have shared pictures of our lunches with 265 'friends'. It's a narcissistic society. When we all revert to being timid, private creatures, it'll be too late.

  2. This is one of the things that separates Pakman from Kyle. Pakman seems to have a much better understanding of the Constitution than Kyle does.

  3. Isn't there a country in Europe that has full transparency including public knowledge of salaries and the like on the web?
    The laws haven't kept up with technology though. For example your cell phone apps have you approve they can access your contacts, and other options. Your phone can listen to your conversation when you are out to lunch I believe than market stuff to you on facebook based on what it heard. Privacy is trickier even in your own home if you own the amazon echo dot or a cell phone or even a computer due to the risk of hackers. It is a very complicated subject.

  4. If you want to send a message to a person that you trust with any confidence that the recipient will be exclusive, it cannot be done electronically… snail mail is your best option.

  5. You have no rights you don't fight for and protect. Sadly, we can't do either now. Its too late. Big Info has all the money and power and we are nothing more than a raw resource. It'd be like coal or oil fighting for "right to stay in the ground."

  6. If you're not talking about metadata with the question, you're missing the point. Surveillance based on your location is nearly irrelevant.

  7. Almost all things you access on the Internet has no right of privacy. Unless you want some shitty public website owned by the government that's badly maintained.

  8. I don't think it's possible to have true privacy in the modern Information Age, but I do believe certain laws and policies can be implemented to reduce the worst impact. Like preventing a company from storing certain types of data like Equifax having like a 1/4 of the countries social security numbers getting leaked.

  9. That is a JOKE of a question. You should have privacy in your home, and on your electronic devices and interaction online! In hotel rooms! In bathrooms! The right to be protected from "search" and "seizure". In your vehicle!

  10. The real issue is that these digital systems we've made are unparalleled in history, giving the common man internet is like giving Neanderthals fire, the wheel, as well as written and verbal language all at the same time.

    In other words.. these systems were build with little understanding of what they actually are so how could we possibly know how build them securely or to wield them properly?

    This is literally just the third decade after thier creation, look at what we can do with fire, wheels and language now. We can stay true to the principles of the Declaration of independence and Constitution while spearheading evolution; EM based technology will get there, we're still just apes playing with fire.

  11. As a boomer, I am surprised at how much the younger generations post on the internet. They use fake names for comments but then they plaster photographs and videos of themselves and family and friends all over social media. Sometimes they even post nude photos. I cannot understand this attitude. They have devices listening in their home, recording what they say. They have cameras in their home, videotaping what happens privately.

    I guess those who do these things do not care about privacy in any shape or form. You might as well live in a glass house.

    I like my privacy. I always have. I do not like intrusive devices.

    I have also looked at satellite photos of my house online and streetview photos of my house. They are remarkably detailed. So the only real privacy I have is in my home where I do not use voice digital devices except for phone calls and do not film videos in my house except of my pets.

    I have listened just the other day to a reddit story of someone's monitor for their child that was hacked by some sociopath creep. I am so glad I ditched my child's room monitor after about 2 weeks when he was a baby. I mentioned I hated it and we gave it away to the first person who wanted it.

    I tried a monitor again in spring of 2018 while staying with my mom who was recovering from surgery. The darn monitor drove us both, mom and me, nutso. So, 30 years later and I still hate monitors. A hospital like call button is much more private and less intrusive.

    But I guess people who have grown up photographed, videotaped, and voice monitored with little privacy are used to it and don't feel any loss of privacy.

  12. No matter how "realistic" "relevant" or whatever, we should never just surrender our pursuit of rights to privacy even if that is on the path of least resistance. Following that path is partly why we have conspiracy theories permeating our leaders brains.

  13. "Is utopia realistic in 2019/2119/3019" No. No it is not. Perfect is never realistic.

    We will fail. Simple as that. The question is do we want a life where we overcorrect or undercorrect for the problem. What are we willing to pay to get closer to those ideals? Do we need to suppress other ideals? Do we need to abandon an aspect of one of our ideals to maintain another of our ideals?

  14. perhaps "Admissible in Court" is a more accessible issue. And laws must not be able to access the data retroactively, if they change.
    But regardless, we are going to mangle our data, and share our searches in a way that obfuscates the individual user.

  15. We are currently being surveilled by the electronic object on which we are probably watching David's fine program. The default position on our computer software these days sits at "OK. Spy on me!". The "fine print" of Software User Agreements would be very sobering indeed to most people if they actually took the time to read it. We don't. When we click on "Accept" we are giving our tacit assent to the surrender of our privacy.

    Facebook – Orwell and Huxley could not have conceived a more nightmarish affront to our privacy. The world's first addictive, home-based, data-mining platform for… "dumbfucks". Mark Zuckerberg used that offensive term when referring to users of this dangerous form of anti-social media. Zuckerberg simply couldn't believe that Facebook users were simply entrusting the likes of him with so much of their private data. Why hasn't Federal Anti-Trust legislation been deployed to dismantle the monopoly that is Facebook? Too much power folks. Zuckerberg and his ilk have 24 hour access to the Capitol and the Oval Office.

    Such rights like privacy are easily thrown away, but they are almost impossible to reclaim once gone. Existing protections of privacy must be enforced. Where ambiguous or lacking they must be codified before we have no privacy left.

    We seriously need to protect what little remains of our Bill of Rights. What about repairing the immense damage to our freedoms wrought by the USA Patriot and FISA Amendment Acts? No. Instead we are too busy tearing each other apart over side issues like so-called "identity politics".

  16. Sci-fi writer Sheri S. Tepper had a fantastic response to a similar query some time ago (she passed away in 2016). I can't find it on Google, but the gist of it was that most people confuse the right of privacy with the right of anonymity. Most people believe in the right of privacy- when you're in your own home, or go shopping in a grocery store, have a quiet conversation in public, etc, no one has the right to make public your personal actions, appearance, or comments. That's been considered privacy for probably thousands of years. Anonymity is completely different. No one has ever had the right to anonymity, or even the ability to achieve it, until the massive population shift after the first world war. The vast majority of people lived and died in the same village, small town, or neighborhood in a large city that they were born in. Everyone knew them and knew most of their business too. Strangers were noticed and not particularly welcomed. It wasn't until WWI that people found they could lose themselves in those big cities, and having a car made this a possibility for anyone. That's really the first time people began to expect the 'right' to anonymity. I can't remember the rest of her piece on privacy, but will try to find it. Personally, it seems strange to me to expect the right to remain unknown or unidentified by the people that surround you (or even by cameras which are largely unsupervised and go straight to tape) when you live in the same neighborhood for decades, or have the same daily routines. Although, now that those actions can be studied and even predicted by software programs, that makes it a totally different ball game, infringing on my actual right to privacy. I don't think I'm "out in public" when I'm at home, on the internet, but up pops an ad for something i looked at on Amazon 2 weeks ago. Gives me the creeps to know that I'm being spied on in my own home by some software program. That to me is an invasion of privacy. I'm not sure how anyone expects to remain anonymous out in public. We didn't expect that 200 years ago either.

  17. If you make your own phone. Use your own telecom network. And always use LAN. And keep your WiFi off. Use no third party software. Sure. Then you deserve privacy. Or. You can stay off the internet, or go analogue, as much as I love the idea of privacy if you leave your house and go some place, and a camera at an intersection/or mall gets your picture. …. in. A public place. Why are law abiding citizens worried? Do we not have the freedom to wear masks? …do we not. Have the freedom to buy another device to get a new Mac id ? Does google not give us the button to refresh with a new ad id?

  18. There's no such thing as privacy anymore. Innocent people have their right to privacy violated all the time even when not out in public. Media will dig into a person's past and blast them publicly and literally put a target on that person when the person had done nothing to deserve that. I agree that all businesses that have surveillance should post publicly and give the patrons the option to do conduct their business there or go elsewhere. Personally I don't have issues with businesses having cameras, it helps both sides should something occur. But not being able to step foot out of my home due to unwarranted surveillance is taking matters too far.

  19. The return of privacy as a social norm: The Edward Snowden effect. In 2013 there was a dramatic change in polls showing that 4 out of 5 people changed private settings on their social media accounts in a matter of 3 or 6 months in relation to Edward Snowden’s revelations. The majority of those were on the younger side, 18-44.

    https://amp.usatoday.com/amp/3517919

  20. I dont believe it is realistic in this technological age. We input our personal information into computers and phones on a daily basis in whatever apps we use. Our likes,dislikes,photo, what we buy etc… our profiles are pretty much floating around the internet for corporations and the government to exploit us

  21. Too much discussion for this segment.
    Right to privacy, is different on either side of the pond.
    USA has clung to the 4th Amendment like a drowning person (along with other Amendments!)
    In Europe, we have a very different perspective of privacy, which does not necessarily correspond to the US's view, in part bc we have very strict gun laws..and our implementation of digital systems in our every day lives, is quite different compared to the USA.

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