Thursday, November 7, 2019
Not so private privacy. . .
I find it rather odd that we as a society don't want the government in our bedrooms but we regularly tell our most intimate secrets willingly and freely on social media. We as a culture are offended by religions that violate the politically correct stands of the moment and want to silence the voices of disagreement around us yet we ourselves are not restrained by much of anything. On TV a commercial jokes about a monitor that plugs into your car the tells your insurance company about your driving but it is not joke. People a generation ago would have insisted it is nobody's business but theirs. Phone calls target me for certain products based on a host of information that must be readily available to them or they would not know the age of my vehicle or whether I am eligible for Medicare or who I voted for in the last election. On one hand we are offended by the leaks of information we consider private by Facebook or financial firms whose computers were hacked but we as a people routinely give out tons of information once considered privileged and private.
It is a strange circumstance. We guard our privacy but so much of our lives are routinely public. Yet at the same time, we are adamant that no one dare judge us and all the things we make public -- except, of course, those things that violate the standards of acceptable things as defined by the moment. It makes me wonder sometimes. China has been most successful at exploiting the use of such public privacy and has, in effect, turned its populace into spies and probation offices for their neighbors. We are well behind them but moving in the same direction. England is filled with cameras recording everything that takes place and the government uses all of this in pursuit of its responsibilities and its political agendas. We are well behind them but moving in the same direction. Yet in the end it just may be that algorithms will rule the day in place of a common set of values and morality. Social credits will become not only the currency of note but that which binds us together. Perhaps not the kind of social credits China is using but social credits through business and social media with a modicum of governmental participation. And where will religion fit into this? You tell me.