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

Reese howell.r at inkworkswell.com
Tue Jun 22 08:37:54 PDT 2010

On 21-Jun-10 22:51, Jeremy Apthorp wrote:

> I have seen http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sousveillance put forward as
> some sort of resolution of this issue by a number of singularitarians.

Never heard of 'em, I'll have to read up on that.

> Personally, I don't know where to stand on the privacy scale. After
> having thought about it for some time, I still don't even really
> understand what privacy *is*, or  whether it's inherently important.

Whether it is important or not depends on the society as a whole.
Can you get denied health insurance because of a pre-existing
condition? Privacy is important. Does the same quality of health
care not depend on excluding you for that pre-existing condition?
Privacy is less important as a result. For one example. Whether
you are hired/harassed/promoted/fired because of your religious
proclivities and associations (or lack of them), for another.

> The question I try to ask myself is: what would a society with no
> privacy look like? Would that be a good society?

If you can't answer that question to your own satisfaction, do an
end-run and reverse it. What would a society with good protection of
privacy look like, and would you want to live there.

> 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?

My best guess? The content on the other side of the link asks
the wrong questions and of the wrong people. Take a closer look
at the history of codes and ciphers. "Privacy" exists in many
forms and variations over the ages, I can't imagine that any society
qualifying for the name want[s|ed] everyone in the society to know
every last detail about every thing and everyone else. No, that
isn't a lack of imagination, take a harder & longer look at the
history of codes and ciphers.


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