[FoRK] Apple collecting, sharing iPhone users' precise locations

Ken Ganshirt @ Yahoo ken_ganshirt at yahoo.ca
Mon Jun 21 20:46:19 PDT 2010

--- On Mon, 6/21/10, Jeremy Apthorp <nornagon at nornagon.net> wrote:

> From: Jeremy Apthorp <nornagon at nornagon.net>
> Subject: Re: [FoRK] Apple collecting, sharing iPhone users' precise locations
> To: "Friends of Rohit Khare" <fork at xent.com>
> Received: Monday, June 21, 2010, 10:33 PM
> On 22 June 2010 13:28, Ken Ganshirt @
> Yahoo <ken_ganshirt at yahoo.ca>
> wrote:
> > --- On Mon, 6/21/10, Jeremy Apthorp <nornagon at nornagon.net>
> wrote:
> >
> >> It's also worth noting that privacy is a
> relatively new concept. As
> >> far as I can tell, it started being important to
> people around the
> >> mid-1700s: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=timeline-a-history-of-privacy
> >>
> >> Why did privacy not matter to people before then?
> >>
> >
> > Why do you think it didn't matter to people before
> then?
> Perhaps communities were smaller and it was likely that
> everyone would
> end up knowing everything about you anyway, so it wasn't
> worth trying
> to protect your privacy. Perhaps there was less to hide
> (nobody had
> secret horse porn stashes). Perhaps it was easier keep
> certain things
> private: you simply didn't talk about them. Perhaps people
> were more
> accepting that sometimes people did/said stupid things, and
> were more
> willing to forgive and forget.

I'm really having a problem with this whole assumption that privacy as a concept and an issue suddenly sprang, full-formed, onto the stage in the 1600s. That just seems silly. History is laced with descriptions of secret violations of trust in various forms -- sexual assignations, sabotaging your financial partner(s), etc. -- going much farther back than that. Perhaps even to biblical times or earlier. I don't have cites, only imprefect and fuzzy memories.

In order for there to have been this sort of secret activity happening implies privacy existed and there was an awareness of it and the consequences of its violation. Secrecy requires privacy. Doesn't it?

Given the human condition, I'm inclined to believe that doing things in secret to screw others (both meanings) has a much longer history than back to the 1600s. Which would imply that concern for privacy has a similarly long history.


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