Snippet: Ambient Privacy ☇

Shared on June 21, 2019

Mackenzie Ceglowski (via Adam Tinworth):

My own suspicion is that ambient privacy plays an important role in civic life. When all discussion takes place under the eye of software, in a for-profit medium working to shape the participants’ behavior, it may not be possible to create the consensus and shared sense of reality that is a prerequisite for self-government. If that is true, then the move away from ambient privacy will be an irreversible change, because it will remove our ability to function as a democracy. […]

That is not the conversation Facebook or Google want us to have. Their totalizing vision is of a world with no ambient privacy and strong data protections, dominated by the few companies that can manage to hoard information at a planetary scale. They correctly see the new round of privacy laws as a weapon to deploy against smaller rivals, further consolidating their control over the algorithmic panopticon.

I’ve tried to opt-out as much as I can because it creeps me out. I know it’s probably only been a drop in the bucket, but there are too many people with the philosophy of, “I have nothing to hide, so why does it matter?”

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