Rule James B. - Privacy in peril

Author : Rule James B.
Title : Privacy in peril How we are sacrificing a fundamental right in exchange for security and convenience
Year : 2007

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Preface. My learned friend—a professor of law—has little patience for worries over the beleaguered state of privacy in today’s world. One can hardly expect all worthy values to flourish in all settings, he points out. The right to bear arms may have made sense in a sparsely populated agrarian society, where nature was more dangerous and armaments less destructive. But today’s conditions render values of self-reliance in weaponry impossible to realize without intolerable cost. No more do most of us really want to inhabit a world predicated on the values of courtly love or the Sermon on the Mount—much as we may admire these virtues at a distance. In the information society we now inhabit, says my learned friend, privacy has simply become an anachronistic value. Blocking the free flow of personal data, like that of any other information, makes about as much sense today as outlawing steam power during the industrial revolution. For this man, as for many others, the state of privacy in today’s world is hopeless—but not really serious. ...

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