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  1. #61
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    From an individualistic/autonomous standpoint, I firmly agree with you, and it has bugged me from that angle.
    I'm going to momentarily brainstorm a few counter points, however, which might or might not be completely accurate but still helpful from the publisher's end...

    Bottom line, though, the Internet is not free. You are taking advantage of someone else's resources in order to share your thoughts and ideas with others. It's not a 'right,' it's a business transaction -- although typically money is not being exchanged between poster and site owner. (It's more a barter system -- users supply ideas, site supplies the resources.) If a person doesn't like that, they are always free to self-publish... whether that means taking lots of risk and financial resources to publish hard copies of their work, or starting and maintaining their own site.
    Granted. I'm not taking issue with that. And I wasn't thinking about this site at all until OA brought it up. Actually, I don't really see how else it could work - though I do believe that you should be able to delete anything you've posted at any time - and I mean PERMANENTLY - not this 'soft' delete bullshit.

    One has to have a certain minimum level of trust in an organisation to maintain one's privacy. But that trust is ALWAYS misplaced, because no organisation (especially not one that runs on a shoestring as this one does) can guarantee that your information is secure. It can't be done. And people ought to understand the risks, which they patently do not.

    I'm thinking about restrictions on licensed drugs - most you can't legally obtain without prescription because it's understood that not everyone has a medical degree and a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing - ignorance kills. Schneier calls for more legislation to protect consumers and I'm trying to think of a model that might work....and failing.
    The beauty of the Internet to early adopters was that it was largely unregulated - that blessing has become a curse.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  2. #62
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morgan Le Fay View Post
    Granted. I'm not taking issue with that. And I wasn't thinking about this site at all until OA brought it up. Actually, I don't really see how else it could work - though I do believe that you should be able to delete anything you've posted at any time - and I mean PERMANENTLY - not this 'soft' delete bullshit.
    Well, for one, not sure how to run a site without having a verifiable audit trail.
    If issues come up of any sort, people have to be able to track what was done and said.
    So now we have the Catch-22 of privacy vs transparency.

    One has to have a certain minimum level of trust in an organisation to maintain one's privacy. But that trust is ALWAYS misplaced, because no organisation (especially not one that runs on a shoestring as this one does) can guarantee that your information is secure. It can't be done. And people ought to understand the risks, which they patently do not.
    Agreed. And people/sites can at least do the bolded above, so now it becomes a choice by the individual member of what level of personal information to expose merely by participating, rather than something happening to them as passive victims.

    I'm thinking about restrictions on licensed drugs - most you can't legally obtain without prescription because it's understood that not everyone has a medical degree and a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing - ignorance kills. Schneier calls for more legislation to protect consumers and I'm trying to think of a model that might work....and failing.
    Interesting analogy, but nothing is coming to mind quickly here either... wish I had more to say about that right now.

    The beauty of the Internet to early adopters was that it was largely unregulated - that blessing has become a curse.
    Yes. Same thing with the "open source" methodology -- it has both strengths and weaknesses. We can't really help that the more communal things become, the more individual rights that become muddied... so it's all tradeoffs. But as you said, we can at least be aware of what risks we are taking. I had to reconcile myself a long time ago with the idea of being okay with any amount of public exposure my 'private' thoughts shared on a site like this might garner. And that is not paranoia, it's realism.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  3. #63
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Well, for one, not sure how to run a site without having a verifiable audit trail.
    You don't have a verifiable audit trail. Because smart people (like Noir, for example) can exploit the weak security of sites like this. You also have madmin who occasionally delete things to protect their own privacy. But that's by the by.

    Yes. Same thing with the "open source" methodology -- it has both strengths and weaknesses. We can't really help that the more communal things become, the more individual rights that become muddied... so it's all tradeoffs. But as you said, we can at least be aware of what risks we are taking. I had to reconcile myself a long time ago with the idea of being okay with any amount of public exposure my 'private' thoughts shared on a site like this might garner. And that is not paranoia, it's realism.
    Do you think wanting to protect one's privacy is paranoia? Lots of people accuse me of being paranoid because I won't use Facebook, for example, whilst I believe I'm far more lax about my privacy and security than I could and should be... I'm wondering how common that accusation is going to be in the future... I find the whole trend distasteful, and somewhat alarming.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  4. #64
    Senior Member Beargryllz's Avatar
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    If privacy is compromised, the amount of information shared between individuals will increase, leading to an increase in the proportion of informed decision-making. It could be a good thing.

  5. #65
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beargryllz View Post
    If privacy is compromised, the amount of information shared between individuals will increase, leading to an increase in the proportion of informed decision-making. It could be a good thing.
    It means the death of the individual and the rise of the electronic tribe.

    It means individual neuroses will disappear and be replaced by the tribal trance.

    If you are a literate individual, this is a tragedy. But for those who identify with the tribe, it is liberation.

  6. #66
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    As I believe I did not adequately convey my thoughts on privacy I'll make another attempt.

    As a function of time, individual privacy has both risen (as with the dissolution of tribe structures) and fallen (as with the advent of computer information tracking). Lack of privacy may cause harm (both financial and social) when there exists 1. an imbalance of privacy (one party has more information about another than vice versa), and 2. the superior party stands to benefit from harmful misuse of the other's information. However, the reverse is also true: that too much privacy may cause harm (as is the case when an unsuspecting investor is swindled by Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme).

    The financial impact of privacy imbalance can be mitigated by taking steps to ensure proper measures of security are in place (such as passwords, antivirus software, etc.) and by investing in specialized insurance (such as privacy breach insurance). For most people, the potential for unrecoverable financial loss is minimal when these simple steps are taken. I would venture to guess that historically one's financial security tends to increase when his personal privacy decreases.

    As for the social implications of privacy imbalance, most negatives are due to a combination of incomplete information and lack of societal understanding. Using mutual male masturbation as an example:
    Suppose that within a given population approximately 60% of the male population has at some point engaged in mutual manual sexual stimulation with a member of the same sex; however, within this population there is no public knowledge regarding this habit. Now suppose that gay Billy outs hetero Frankie as a participant in said activity. Having no knowledge of the prevalence of said activity, a majority of the population labels Frankie as homosexual and he suffers emotionally as a result.
    Some of the emotional turmoil is simply a result of public scrutiny and not a function of lack of information, but much of the potential heartache would disappear with more complete public information about the habits of the population. I would venture to guess that public knowledge of a teenager's self masturbation habits would be seen much differently today than 50 or 60 or 70 years ago.

    Change in societal knowledge is gradual, however, and even with perfect access to information there is a habit of the individual for selective acquisition and lack of critical thought. Furthermore, societal mores and dogma are often times deep rooted in an individual's psychology, and added information does little to change perception in that short run. Public policy should therefore be focused in the short term on measures to protect sensitive issues of privacy and in the long term on increasing public awareness and openness.

    Ironically, the government's efficacy in dealing with malicious uses of private information rests on having adequate access to information about potential perpetrators. Akin to giving police guns and authority to deal with violent criminals, the government must be given sufficient access to information about its individual citizenry to adequately deal with issues of privacy and security. However, if the government itself is not transparent enough to face public scrutiny, the threat of misuse of private information by government officials might be too high to warrant access (as it might be safer to stick with the spammers, advertisers, hackers, and thieves).


    *On a more personal note, I do indeed take steps to mitigate potential damage from breach of personal privacy through discretion, security, and proactive information control. Also, as someone who attempts to present a positive image of myself, I welcome another way to become superior in the eyes of potential employers: I don't post drunken pictures and the like on facebook for this very reason. In a way, I see this as a shifting of 'survival of the fittest' to a more intelligence based metric (although with a tested IQ of 97 I'm not sure if I'd really benefit). However, I am in favor of businesses utilizing my personal consumer/browsing/etc. habits to better tailor advertisements and to potentially shift economic resources to more favorable sectors.

    This is by no means a complete representation of my thoughts on privacy, but merely an attempt to provide a bit more information. I tend to do better in response to the ideas of others, as those ideas serve as anchors to my ever so wayward mind. Thoughts? Objections? Mockery?
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  7. #67
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    I've been thinking about this lately, apparently David Brin thought it was a good idea, ie everyone would be kept honest and more or less we'd all have to admit to being sinners, kind of, I dont like it, I like the proverbs, mainly chinese, about clear fishing pools getting emptied of fish and being no use anylonger and stuff like that. Sometimes, people should have incomplete knowledge of one another because otherwise interaction will be over ridden by obligated discussions and interactions.

    I'm more concerned about surveillance, OK people volunteer a hell of a lot but there's so much in way of recordings and monitorings now, its not just the state, its people, assholes, bullies, corporations, businesses, all sorts and its not, nor is it likely to in my estimations, result in people becoming better people, instead it looks like a race to the bottom in terms of cruelty and dumb assery.

    I spoke to someone lately who told me that teachers where being briefed on the possibility of being aware or wary of being secretly filmed by partners or the risks associated with agreeing to being filmed during sexual encounters could be part of future sex and health ciriculums because of the major social and psychological ramifications of people being cyber bullied or exposed in that manner. I mean technology previously only available to highly qualifed professionals, who could very well have used it for ill but who where none the less a lot less likely to be using it as frequently or stupidly, is now in the hands of people you wouldnt expect to have developed consequential thinking, strutured reasoning, emotional intelligence or all the other things which allow for pretty unambigious right vs. wrong thinking.

  8. #68

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    Do you care about the "Death of Privacy"?

    Depends on whos privacy we will invade and destroy first. Privacy is a fundamental human right and a lack of it will leave people vulnerable. I think the future of the human race will be in danger from electronic dictatorships(1984,google,microsoft,intel,CIA).

  9. #69
    Yeah, I can fly. Aleksei's Avatar
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    Privacy is for people with something to hide.

    As such, I care about my IRL privacy more than I do my internet privacy.
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  10. #70
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aleksei View Post
    I care about my IRL privacy more than I do my internet privacy.
    Interesting that you distinguish between the two.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonnyboy View Post
    The financial impact of privacy imbalance can be mitigated by taking steps to ensure proper measures of security are in place (such as passwords, antivirus software, etc.) and by investing in specialized insurance (such as privacy breach insurance). For most people, the potential for unrecoverable financial loss is minimal when these simple steps are taken.
    First you suggest that not having privacy is a good thing, then you suggest that we ought to take out insurance against breach of privacy. That's inconsistent of you, to say the least.
    Personally, I refuse to pay into some insurance scam to protect myself from other scammers. "Identify theft" insurance is a huge con. And financial losses are not the only, or even the most important, considerations when it comes to privacy.

    Also, you are failing to understand the ways in which the direction of modern technological developments undermine our ability to protect our personal privacy and security. Developments like social networking, cloud computing, mobile computing, offshore out-sourcing (to name a few) make it impossible to control what happens to our personal data. Anyone who thinks they can protect themselves with a/v s/w and a "strong" password is completely deluded.

    Ironically, the government's efficacy in dealing with malicious uses of private information rests on having adequate access to information about potential perpetrators. Akin to giving police guns and authority to deal with violent criminals, the government must be given sufficient access to information about its individual citizenry to adequately deal with issues of privacy and security. However, if the government itself is not transparent enough to face public scrutiny, the threat of misuse of private information by government officials might be too high to warrant access (as it might be safer to stick with the spammers, advertisers, hackers, and thieves).
    That is some very faulty logic. Government does not need unrestricted access to personal data in order to be able to formulate an assessment of risk and make provision for that risk.
    Secondly, government is not protected by the same rights (or subject to the same responsibilities/constraints) as the individual, just as corporate bodies are not. I'm not sure why you are mixing up these legal entities. In the UK we have a Data Protection Act (to protect the privacy of the individual) and a Freedom of Information Act (to provide citizens with access to information held by public bodies).

    Also, as someone who attempts to present a positive image of myself, I welcome another way to become superior in the eyes of potential employers: I don't post drunken pictures and the like on facebook for this very reason. In a way, I see this as a shifting of 'survival of the fittest' to a more intelligence based metric (although with a tested IQ of 97 I'm not sure if I'd really benefit).
    I'm not sure either...
    Maybe you don't post drunken pictures of yourself on your facebook page, but can you be sure that none of your "friends" will?

    Already, people are both confessing that a profit-driven tool like Facebook has the power to alter their social behaviour AND are suggesting that this is a good thing. I find that pretty disturbing...


    Anyway, for anyone interested, there's a pretty good account of the whys and hows of locking down your account here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

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