Dienstag, 24. Oktober 2017

Why privacy matters

Of course, I have nothing to hide in the sense that nothing I do is criminal or bad. I feel completely satisfied with what I do because I do what I want. This can be called "freedom". At least, in the ethical dimension. Of course, I need to work for money and not cross the street while a car is approaching. So, there are rules I need to keep to. But I do not do anything that I need to be ashamed of.

Nevertheless, I do not want that everyone knows everything about me. Because I know how destructively negative people can distort facts to form completely new stories from facts which do not reflect reality at all. If they live according to rules and values that I do not share, they might hate me because I do not share their values. I already received diverse threats by people whom I do not know, and also by people I know and who had strange ideas about what I think or do. I do not want THEM to know everything about me, even if this might prove my innocence. But if they are haters, they filter the facts accordingly to hate me even more. I am very often shocked by how different people judge the same situation. They see evil where I do not see any. (Vice versa, too, of course.)

Although this is a quite abstract text, behind it there stand many concrete experiences. But these I do not want to share publicly, because I know that negative people interpret these stories differently, too.

Therefore, I liked a lot this talk of Glenn Greenwald about why privacy matters. I especially find it revealing and not surprising at all that those who build and manage the software tools for surveillance find their own privacy so very important and valuable! It is the same for all computer scientists who know what is possible. This leads to a certain degree of paranoia.

Concerning religion: Greenwald says that religions are also based on surveillance by God. However, the difference is that God knows everything about us, sees the context and why we do things. He understands our errors and forgives if we repent. HE loves us. This makes a difference! Secret services do not love us. (Well, OK, maybe they love me because my e-mails are funny reading material which they read aloud to each other?)

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