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alan2here

Privacy, a right wing idea?

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I don't know if there is something more fundermental than politics. Sometimes it feals like that in lack of politics, for example amoung thr disinterested there is a sort of gravitation to the right. Sometimes a good idea comes along and receives a lot of resistance emediatly but nobody knows why this is, even those who are agains't it don't know why. Even amoung those who wouldn't dream of being prejudiced agains't black, or indian, or eastern european don't mind at all about being prejudice agains't the French, but have no idea why.

 

To me privicy is just a word, and a supcious one at that, it cirtainly seems to serve particular political views better than others, almost like political autopilot whenever anything could involve privicy, and as somonone involved in technoligy I believe it is very emowering, the sort of empowering where everyone is empowered and you'r no less empowered because somone else is also empowered.

 

I can't think of anything less helpfull, and more invasive than the mindset that made "privicy" an issue, and contridictionarily an issue to which there is only one valid point of view.

 

And this mindset, and all the other things it represents while all very small are what we sort of think of as human nature, but are supiciously political as well, and cirtainly cultural, and make allmost everything, equally small things but that must happen with the changing world, or just that are good ideas unthinkable, and so creates ever more unnecery conflict and makes comunication between almost any sort of inovator really diffucult, why try when you know whats going to be said anyway to find the one in one thousand, why not make it 2 out of 3 instead.

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Come on. Please do a tiny, tiny bit of research before you post your musings. Privacy rights are, for the most part, a left wing concern. Organizations that advocate for privacy rights include NARAL, NOW, the ACLU, the EFF, LGBT advocacy groups. These are all left wing concerns. From the right you're more likely to get statements like "The only people who have things to hide are criminals." and "There is no such thing as a right to privacy in the US constitution."

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I can think of reasons to make privacy a right-wing issue, but none that have been widely adopted. In particular:

 

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=998565

 

Privacy's point is not to hide things. It's a protection against government power.

 

Giving the government the power to read your email, tap your phone, and record your porn usage isn't bad simply because it's embarrassing. After all, the data will likely only be seen by a computer. But it gives the government enormous power to make decisions about you -- decisions about whether you may take a commercial airline flight, get a security clearance, or even get a job -- without your knowledge or consent, and without you knowing how they make the decisions.

 

In short, a lack of privacy gives the government the power to be even less transparent in its decision-making, and gives it yet more power over its citizens. It's not a question of discovering your fetishes or being embarrassed, and we shouldn't respond to the "I've got nothing to hide" argument as though their conception of privacy is right and having nothing to hide really is an excuse.

 

It seems to me that small-government enthusiasts have good reason to favor privacy as much as left-wing groups do.

 

(this will be the third time I've used this post on various sites on the Internet)

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Your musings look European oriented. Where are you? Here in the U.S., as DH has pointed out, privacy concerns are usually driven by the left wing.

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I believe he's in the UK, IIRC.

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If privacy were a right wing value, why would they be trying to control what you can eat and drink in NYC?

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Privacy's point is not to hide things. It's a protection against government power.

That, plus other powers public and private. There are lots of organizations these days besides governments that have the resources to poke way too deep into my private life.

 

It seems to me that small-government enthusiasts have good reason to favor privacy as much as left-wing groups do.

Privacy is one of the few matters where Libertarians and I agree. Here in the US, Libertarians generally evince right wing attitudes but diverge markedly from the right when it comes to government intrusiveness. This suggests that privacy is neither left wing nor right wing. That's looking at things too one dimensionally. Privacy is a more of a big government / small government issue, which is a bit orthogonal to the prototypical left / right divide.

 

Another possible explanation of the apparent difference between Europe and the US is which side is dominant. It is those in the minority who have the most to fear from governmental intrusiveness. As the right has been dominant in the US, but it's the other way around in Europe, it makes some sense that privacy would be a right wing concern in Europe but a left wing concern in the US.

 

That said, at least here in the US, it is the left that has advocated for privacy rights for as long as I can remember, even in the 1960s to 1980s when the Democrats were the dominant party.

Edited by D H

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If privacy were a right wing value, why would they be trying to control what you can eat and drink in NYC?

While I completely disagree with Bloomberg's recent push to prevent food establishments from selling sugary sodas in containers larger than 16oz, it's not accurate of you to suggest that they are "trying to control what you can eat and drink in NYC." There's no way we can improve the world we share if we choose to misrepresent it entirely.

 

http://healthland.time.com/2012/05/31/bloombergs-soda-ban-and-other-sweeping-health-measures-in-new-york-city/

 


That, plus other powers public and private. There are lots of organizations these days besides governments that have the resources to poke way too deep into my private life.

A much deeper question at hand right now is what the concept of "private life" even means anymore.

 

Between the digital methods we use to learn and communicate and the way we're tracked with our credit cards and the way we're surveilled practically everywhere and doing everything... The idea of "private" doesn't quite mean what it used to.

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Possibly it was not the right time or state of mind to post coherently. Thank you everyone for your replies, this really is a good place for politics.

 

Privacy rights are, for the most part, a left wing concern. Organizations that advocate for privacy rights include NARAL, NOW, the ACLU, the EFF, LGBT advocacy groups. These are all left wing concerns. From the right you're more likely to get statements like "The only people who have things to hide are criminals." and "There is no such thing as a right to privacy in the US constitution."

I generally like the EFF, but you'r correct. I can imagine there and other similar left wing orginisations views reguarding privicy.

 

I can think of reasons to make privacy a right-wing issue, but none that have been widely adopted. In particular: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=998565Privacy's point is not to hide things. It's a protection against government power. Giving the government the power to read your email, tap your phone, and record your porn usage isn't bad simply because it's embarrassing. After all, the data will likely only be seen by a computer. But it gives the government enormous power to make decisions about you -- decisions about whether you may take a commercial airline flight, get a security clearance, or even get a job -- without your knowledge or consent, and without you knowing how they make the decisions. In short, a lack of privacy gives the government the power to be even less transparent in its decision-making, and gives it yet more power over its citizens. It's not a question of discovering your fetishes or being embarrassed, and we shouldn't respond to the "I've got nothing to hide" argument as though their conception of privacy is right and having nothing to hide really is an excuse. It seems to me that small-government enthusiasts have good reason to favor privacy as much as left-wing groups do. (this will be the third time I've used this post on various sites on the Internet)

Information gives everyone more power if it is open, it only gives the goverment, or at least law enforcement in situations where they can access a companies private data more power if the data is private.

 

A company can only make profit selling your information in a drought of information, misinformation is easier where there is less of it to check things agains't etc...

 

Goverments find a lack of transparency much harder when there is lots of information about everone who works in the goverment, there actions can be easily computibly compared agains't past events etc...

 

Theres also the utility that where everyones skills and personality are recorded and searchable, not forcibly but because the benifits are so great, then it reduces overheads for all employers enormously. Maybe an emloyer won't employ you if you drink heavely, but another employee who also likes his drink will be able to actually contact you, without you lifting a finger or having to pester hundreds of other employers with several pages of "gimme a job". Then you won't have to put on a front around you'r employer and will be employed where you wouldn't otherwise be, with the total effort by everone reduced considribly.

 

I heard it's going to be an interesting election next time in the US where all the candidates seem supringly human where so much is now known about there real lives.

 

Maybe datasets should be more distriuted or more centralised, more govermentally orginised or more to do with private companies. I'm not sure it matters, or that it's possible for the goverment to be inovative, let alone inovative enough to be a big player in any of this. But any of the many possible ways will do.

 

 

Your musings look European oriented. Where are you? Here in the U.S., as DH has pointed out, privacy concerns are usually driven by the left wing.

In England. I don't know if the 'privicy' concept is necceraly right wing here, but it seems to me to serve the right wing sinercism about techoligy, progress and any sort of change at all.

 

I don't think it makes a lot of sence as a concept, at least not one thats so prominent, that must have come from somewhere, quickly and recently, that indirectly effects so much, even things like colabrative content creation or cloud computing seem to reduce in many to such worries at some point.

 

Iv'e seen the libertarian right wing movement that seems assoceated with the US. I'm not keen on the specifics but I admire there attitude that things are not as good as we know how to make them, so we can improve things until they are.

Edited by alan2here

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That, plus other powers public and private. There are lots of organizations these days besides governments that have the resources to poke way too deep into my private life.

Like Target's power to detect pregnancies?

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/magazine/shopping-habits.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

 

Information gives everyone more power if it is open, it only gives the goverment, or at least law enforcement in situations where they can access a companies private data more power if the data is private.

Yes, it gives everyone more power. More power over me. More abilities to make decisions about me without my knowledge or input. I would rather not have my neighbors choose to decide whether to invite me to their barbecue by looking through my browsing history and email accounts to see if they like my politics.

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There unlikely to invite you to there BBQ a 2nd time if they dislike your politics that much.

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Sure. But I can choose not to talk politics if I don't want to; I can't choose whether people judge me on my politics if they have full access to all my emails.

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Privacy will become increasingly difficult in a world with the internet, and large businesses sharing customer information with eachother.

 

But I think most people would feel very uncomfortable if there was a little camera watching them in the bathroom.

 

Privacy is also a potential protection against excessive powers of the government. All too often, the Progressives seem to want to micro-manage people's lives. I do not want to live in a nanny-state.

 

I think it comes down to ideological differences. Conservatives emphasise reliance on the individual, whereas progressives emphasise the role of the government. No wonder that conservatives value privacy more than progressives.

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Privacy will become increasingly difficult in a world with the internet, and large businesses sharing customer information with eachother.

 

But I think most people would feel very uncomfortable if there was a little camera watching them in the bathroom.

 

Privacy is also a potential protection against excessive powers of the government.

So far so good.

 

All too often, the Progressives seem to want to micro-manage people's lives. I do not want to live in a nanny-state.

That some politicians know how to manage my life better than do I is a disease to which politicians of all ilk are susceptible. Not all Progressives suffer from this disease, and this disease is not limited to Progressives. All politicians are susceptible. This disease is at most epidemic in the Progressive movement in the US, but it is pandemic in the wacko religious right in the US.

 

I think it comes down to ideological differences. Conservatives emphasise reliance on the individual, whereas progressives emphasise the role of the government. No wonder that conservatives value privacy more than progressives.

That's just wrong, at least in the US. Conservatives in the US tend not value privacy. Joseph McCarthy. Richard Nixon. All those dolts on the right who say "I'm a good Christian. I have nothing to hide." In the US, it has been primarily the left rather than the right who have supported privacy rights for a long, long time. It goes back to McCarthy, if not earlier.

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People who think "The only people who have things to hide are criminals." should be made to stand naked (in a greenhouse if it's too cold) on a busy shopping street until they realise that they are mistaken.

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People who think "The only people who have things to hide are criminals." should be made to stand naked (in a greenhouse if it's too cold) on a busy shopping street until they realise that they are mistaken.

That just encourages them to think that privacy is about hiding things, which isn't true. They could easily retort that the government isn't asking for naked pictures, so the government should be allowed whatever surveillance scheme it's dreamed up.

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