Sony Xperia Z3 Review
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
Karbonn Sparkle V (Android One)
Micromax Canvas A1 (Android One)
Xiaomi Redmi 1S
Asus Zenfone 6
Asus Zenfone 5
HTC One (M8)
First Impressions: Blackberry Passport
Samsung Galaxy Alpha: First impressions of Samsung's premium mini phone
A date with the Oculus Rift
Windows 9: The bloodiest war for your PC is coming soon
Hot Shots: A Windows game that warps conventional touch based gaming
How tech is taking football to the next level
Classic FPS games are a dying breed
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Carmick Shift: Can John Carmack and Oculus Rift change the world?
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Samsung India launches Galaxy Grand Prime to compete with the Moto G
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Lumia 930, 830 and 730 WP 8.1-based phones launched in India
Broadband adoption rate improves in India: Akamai report
Moto G 2nd gen launched, available from midnight at Rs. 12,999
Xiaomi goes for the kill, prices Redmi 1S at Rs. 5,999 in India
Xiaomi lists Mi3 cases and power-banks on Flipkart, offers 10,400 mAh powerbank for Rs. 999
Moto G2 expected to be announced on 10 September
Motorola Moto X (Gen 2) smartphone, Moto 360 smartwatch announced for India
Intex Aqua Star Power
Intex Aqua Star HD
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Idea Magna L
Case Study: Optimizing Cyberlink PowerDVD to improve battery life on Intel devices
How to use Parallel Programming with C#
Create a music App with touch, stylus & keyboard control for Windows 8 tablets
How to optimize multimedia & augmented reality Android apps for Intel platform
How to use Intel INDE Media Pack for Android to add video capturing capability for Unity Apps
How to Develop an Intelligent Autonomous Drone using an Android Smartphone
How to get started with OpenCL on Android OS
How to use Intel Cilk Plus to speed up your Android application
How to choose the right engine for your x86-based Android game
How to create sample codes for Video 3D on Android
Nokia Lumia 930 - First Impressions
Nokia Lumia 830 - First Impressions
Nokia Lumia 730 - First Impressions
Microsoft jumps to Windows 10 and rolls back to Windows 7 features
First look: Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Hands On: Nokia Lumia 930
Hands On: Nokia Lumia 730
Hands On: Nokia Lumia 830
Home entertainment projectors to buy
I see that Eric Schmidt is back in the news with an erroneous assertion that if you've got nothing to hide, you should not worry about your privacy.
I'm always stunned when a billionaire with a private life goes on about how trivial privacy is. And he is not the only one. I often hear people say, "if you are not doing anything wrong, then what's the fear?" Scott McNealy famously said, "Privacy is dead. Get over it."
All these folks miss the point time and time again. Privacy is not about just you and me. It in itself is a milieu—one that needs nurturing, not a lax attitude.
Privacy is not important because I do or do not have something to hide. I would argue that lack of privacy regulations, whether by rule or agreement, creates total societal corruption. A Soviet-style state. Orwellian, like 1984.
Privacy laws protect the public from government officials whose personal lives may be compromised, for example. Say a public official has a sister who is a hooker. Someone finds out through some slack privacy policies. Only a few people know this, but they blackmail the politician into voting for laws that do not represent the public sentiment that he or she is supposed to regard. That's a problem. It invites corruption.
This is a silly but valid example. Spies and snoops operate in the world for a reason. Are we supposed to make their jobs easier with lenient policies?
OK, how about stock market manipulation? With slipshod privacy, how easy is it to eavesdrop on certain investors to figure out what they are up to and invest ahead of the curve? Apparently nobody sees this as a problem, either.
And what is with Eric Schmidt anyway? I wonder if he is even sincere about all this. Some years back, a CNet reporter did some Googling and dug up a bunch of personal information about Schmidt, including his home address, which he then published. Not happy about this, Schmidt banned the publication from all Google events. Based on his own attitude toward privacy, why would he care?
In some cases, you do want your personal privacy protected for honest reasons. Sometimes you do have something to hide. You are working for Company A and are up for a raise. In the meantime, Company B has been talking to you about coming to work for them. If that information got back to Company A, you might not get the raise but instead get fired. It's not corrupt, but it's certainly information you'd want to protect. How does this make you a criminal? How is this something you should not do?
Or even the more mundane: you are throwing a surprise party for your wife and would like to keep it a secret. But Schmidt says, "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place." Really? I shouldn't be throwing a surprise party?
Is everyone completely whacked out over the simplicity of privacy and why it is important? How did protecting privacy somehow only become associated with criminal activity? By reducing the argument to the simplistic "what have you got to hide?" you have created an incredibly poisonous argument that has nothing to do with the need for privacy. How about asking whether you would you like a government camera in your bathroom? Why not? What have you got to hide?
Seriously, reject these discussions. Protect privacy because it is the right and civilized thing to do. Eric Schmidt, Scott McNealy, and the others should be ashamed of their patronizing attitude toward privacy and the public. Stop it!
Copyright © 2010 Ziff Davis Publishing Holdings Inc