Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Compare cell phone plans using Wirefly's innovative plan comparison tool ×
Privacy The Internet Technology

Vint Cerf Thinks Privacy May Be an Anomaly 145

Nerval's Lobster writes "Vint Cerf, widely considered one of the 'founders of the Internet,' told an audience at the Federal Trade Commission's Internet of Things workshop that privacy could be considered 'an anomaly.' That workshop, held Nov. 19 in Washington, DC, explored (via speeches and panel discussions) how the proliferation of sensors on everything from cars to household devices is fundamentally changing how people live and work—while raising questions of how to best maintain privacy and security in an environment where more and more things are 'watchers.' 'The technology that we use today has far outraced our social intuition, our headlights,' he added. '[There's a] need to develop social conventions that are more respectful of people's privacy.' Current social behaviors, such as instantly posting images from smartphones to social networks, can result in a whole lot of embarrassment—and maybe even penalties, if data and media happens to catch someone in the act of doing something illegal. Cerf currently works at Google as chief Internet evangelist, which would make him uniquely positioned to comment on these sorts of issues even if he hadn't co-created the TCP/IP backbone that supports the modern Web. (Back in April, he told an audience that, if he had to do it all over again, he'd construct the Internet in the mold of Software-Defined Networking — but that's a whole different, tangled discussion.)"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Vint Cerf Thinks Privacy May Be an Anomaly

Comments Filter:
  • When... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 20, 2013 @04:33PM (#45475685)

    ...I can monitor exactly what the people in charge, whether it's government or corporations, do at any point in their life we can start talking. Until then, keep out.

    • Hear hear.
    • So why don't you start a website, collecting and publishing ahum ... 'metadata' on the
      ones in power and in charge.

      After all, 'It's only metadata' is their selling point. So what's good for the goose, etc.

    • Agreed. True privacy and/or surveillance needs to start at the top, not at the bottom.

      All of these exclusions for politicians in all sorts of surveillance and laws just helps them not have to understand even slightly how this actually affects them.

  • by Press2ToContinue ( 2424598 ) * on Wednesday November 20, 2013 @04:40PM (#45475779)

    It's the ubiquity of the observer base and indelible record of our actions that make this a new and different problem.

    Historically, people have usually had the ability to move to a location where they are in proximity to and observed by like-minded people. The internet brings all people into proximity and therefore we subject to a raft of populations who we we would have historically avoided. This is like being put into prison, where all inmates are able to see all other inmates actions and are under constant watch by authorities. It's demeaning and oppressive. Not much good comes out of it except to keep the inmates segregated and controlled.

    The other great difference is that, for the first time in human history, an indelible, incontrovertible record can be and usually is created of all that is observed, especially that which is posted to the internet. It the past, what was observed was always subject to interpretation by the observer, and it was not usually recorded, and even if it was, it was always subject to human bias. If it was not recorded, small transgressions could be forgotten, and forgiven by the small number of potential first-hand observers. Even if recorded, the scope of who would find the record was still limited, and an act of volition was usually required to read it. So the past situation was one of inherent "you could usually leave your mistakes behind", you could grow up and correct your mistakes (because we all make them) and most could be not haunted forever by a single misspoken word or misdeed. It was organic, and inherently forgiving.

    The cold, hard, oxide that records most of what is observed now is neither forgiving nor fades with time (if backups don't fail lol,) And that makes the situation different. Small misjudgements are spread to an immense population instantly, and recorded forever. This makes the impact of what used to be small, gargantuan. In short, everything is amplified, judged, and impermeable.

    This can be an unpleasant a way to live, is a lot like prison, and is very different from the past.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Historically, people have usually had the ability to move to a location where they are in proximity to and observed by like-minded people

      Historically people have live their entire lives without moving more than 100 miles from their place of birth. In most cases, within 25 miles, so I am not sure your statement is 100% accurate.

      • Whether they actually moved or not is not relevant. They usually had the ability to move if they wished, and thus choose their peer group. That is what is important. If they were happy with their peer group then they were happy with it.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          That's why people invented branding or cutting limbs so it would be harder for a person to get away with something by changing location.

        • by Nadaka ( 224565 )

          Wrong. People didn't generally have the opportunity to move about and seek a place where they can fit in.

          Serfs were tied to the land of their lord. The were not allowed to simply free themselves of those obligations.

          • Serfs did not, and there are other exceptions, but I posit that these are but motes in the eye of the vastness of the history of human civilization.

            • Serfs did not, and there are other exceptions, but I posit that these are but motes in the eye of the vastness of the history of human civilization.

              Posit all you like, but the majority of the population was agricultural up until about 1900. More enlightened parts of Europe might have freed the peasants from the land fairly early, but places like Russia had not.

              Then there were slaves. Who I am reliably informed were fairly numerous up to the later half of the 19th Century.

              • I posit that cheetos are like serfs, captive in their Frito bags. Free the cheetos!

              • by Luckyo ( 1726890 )

                Actually, slave trade choked down pretty badly after Roman empire collapsed and until colonization period. It existed, but it wasn't as pervasive, as massive amounts of cheap and mobile human labor wasn't needed. There's basically a threshold after which, as Romans discovered, slave revolts and institutionalized pervasive slavery become far too expensive on societal level to control.

                Explosion in slavery is usually combined with large empires that need to control wide areas of land so that costs of slavery a

          • From a "land" perspective adapted to fit "the internet" we are 100% free. Nothing ties you to being on slashdot if you disagree with people - go to another website.

        • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

          they never knew what was there to move to.
          heck most people didn't even choose who they married much less who was in their peer group! get a grip man!

          if anything, the internet has enabled people to choose their "peer group", heck what would it be if all the bronies moved to a brony city...

          however if you just see other families when you go to the church once a week then you were going to have quite a lot of privacy most of the time.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Historically, folks who didn't fit in were banished or just moved to another society on their own.

        In the new society or home, they didn't have the Internet to see who those people were. They could come in with a clean slate.

        In the movie After Porn Ends [imdb.com], a porn star (Asia) moves to Utah and tries to start a new life. When asked about here name, she gave it. The person looked her up on the Internet. Well, watch the movie to see what happened - it wasn't that bad - to me, anyway. (It's on Netflix streaming)

        Bu

    • by i kan reed ( 749298 ) on Wednesday November 20, 2013 @04:49PM (#45475891) Homepage Journal

      The idea of having a concrete and photographically provable identity is less than a century old. There was a time when leaving town, changing your name, and never speaking to anyone you knew again would effectively erase you(fame or infamy aside).

      Nowadays, you need paperwork proving who you are to move into a new place. And those with the will can identify you uniquely by your genes.

      • The idea of having a concrete and photographically provable identity is less than a century old. There was a time when leaving town, changing your name, and never speaking to anyone you knew again would effectively erase you(fame or infamy aside).

        Nowadays, you need paperwork proving who you are to move into a new place. And those with the will can identify you uniquely by your genes.

        Hey! Stop talking about my ancestors like that!

        Heck, these days you cannot even travel from one US state to another without papers unless you like being limited in your choices for mode of transportation.

      • by swillden ( 191260 ) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Thursday November 21, 2013 @04:29PM (#45484517) Homepage Journal

        The idea of having a concrete and photographically provable identity is less than a century old. There was a time when leaving town, changing your name, and never speaking to anyone you knew again would effectively erase you(fame or infamy aside).

        The flip side of that is that for most of human existence the small group of people you lived with (village, tribe, etc.) knew everything about you. Privacy was basically nonexistent. Sure, you could move and, assuming you could get another group to let you in, you could start with a blank slate. But your new fellows would soon know everything about your present self, even if they didn't know about your past. And, frankly, the fact that you'd be a blank slate to them is the biggest part of the reason they'd be unlikely to let you in.

      • Aye, and it's been downhill since. On most law books is the requirement when stopped by a peace officer "to give an accounting of oneself" - which up until recently has meant one only needed to supply minimal information. "I'm going over town." or the like was considered sufficient. Then it expanded to giving name and perhaps address. Now I believe in many jurisdictions one must show ID as well, at least as a practicality if not interpretation at court.

        There were some oddities - Virginia didn't have pho

    • Yea, it's like we're all spies now. That's what happens when you give spies carte blanche.
    • by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Wednesday November 20, 2013 @05:10PM (#45476125) Homepage Journal

      This can be an unpleasant a way to live, is a lot like prison, and is very different from the past.

      Indeed, and it's not surprising that some have used the panopticon [wikipedia.org] metaphor to describe the society that is being built.

      However, there is another possible outcome: instead of pretending that people don't make mistakes, people don't have sex, people don't use drugs, people don't say "naughty" words - perhaps society will move to stop pretending about these things and then passing around a photo showing Joe hitting a bong won't be any more scandalous than passing around a photo showing that Joe has black hair. Some day it might even be possible to admit that Joe has a penis, without yelling "SHAME!" at him.

      The "alien observer" would be humored by the degree of Puritan ethos in our society that we won't even admit to (if we can even recognize it). I think he'd be saddened, though, that we get men in black dresses to meter out revenge to people who get "caught" doing those things. If mass communication gets our society to stop doing those unkind things, perhaps it won't actually be a bad thing.

      • I think this is absolutely right. I expect it'll be a generational change. Look at how differently we treat sex compared to sixty years ago, there is still a lot of repression around, but progress is being made.

        The other thing I believe we have to do is push hard for privacy. Until recently privacy was almost a default state, which took specific actions to unveil. We're at the point now where lack of privacy is becoming the default state. Companies and governments in particular need to be bound such that th

      • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

        However, there is another possible outcome: instead of pretending that people don't make mistakes, people don't have sex, people don't use drugs, people don't say "naughty" words - perhaps society will move to stop pretending about these things and then passing around a photo showing Joe hitting a bong won't be any more scandalous than passing around a photo showing that Joe has black hair. Some day it might even be possible to admit that Joe has a penis, without yelling "SHAME!" at him.

        True. However, the p

    • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Wednesday November 20, 2013 @05:23PM (#45476271)

      Well lets go back 50 years.
      You would go to your local store, buy supplies, and say if you asked for that magazine that is behind the desk, that store keeper would know. And you know what, I bet there may be some gossip from that. That went on. So the reason people didn't do those sorts of things, because they lived in world where there wasn't that much privacy.

      The issue now, isn't as much privacy, but longevity. You did something you didn't like, everyone knows about it... However years down the line, people will not care much, and they wouldn't be able to look it up.

      • This would have been easily solved by being able to shop online with a gift card or perhaps BitCoins and no requirement to give your name. Name the product something obscure, put it in a box and viola, privacy achieved.

        Of course it would be better if nobody cared that you purchased a pron magazine (who am I kidding it's free online), but the problem is, people with the most influence don't have those values, and through the chain that becomes your problem as well if you're trying to be employed or other
      • Growing up on a rural farm, the whole town was on the same party line. When you heard your 'ring tone' (a long and a short, and a long and a short) you picked up the receiver and heard click, click, click . . . click as your neighbors jumped on the line to hear what was going on.

    • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Wednesday November 20, 2013 @05:26PM (#45476311)

      Historically, people have usually had the ability to move to a location where they are in proximity to and observed by like-minded people. The internet brings all people into proximity and therefore we subject to a raft of populations who we we would have historically avoided. This is like being put into prison, where all inmates are able to see all other inmates actions and are under constant watch by authorities. It's demeaning and oppressive. Not much good comes out of it except to keep the inmates segregated and controlled.

      I disagree. Whether it's a negative or a positive depends on what you're doing. Yes if you want secrecy or privacy, it's a negative. But if you want collaboration and to share knowledge, it's the greatest boon mankind has ever seen. When I was growing up, I could only speak with my relatives in Korea just once every month or so because international phone calls were expensive. Now we can share photos of our daily lives with each other immediately.

      The cold, hard, oxide that records most of what is observed now is neither forgiving nor fades with time (if backups don't fail lol,) And that makes the situation different. Small misjudgements are spread to an immense population instantly, and recorded forever. This makes the impact of what used to be small, gargantuan. In short, everything is amplified, judged, and impermeable.

      To me, the obvious solution is for social norms to change. It used to be that if you committed a faux pas, it was quickly forgotten if minor. Only if it were a major transgression of social norms (e.g. child porn) did knowledge of it become widespread (because of it spreading by word of mouth) and your reputation ruined.

      Now because of what you point out, even a minor faux pas (e.g. the Star Wars kid video) can become widespread. The solution isn't to ban the distribution of a video of a minor faux pas. The solution is for society to recalibrate its norms and judge the faux pas based on the seriousness of its transgression, not based on how widely distributed it is.

      People aren't perfect. They're human, and will make dumb mistakes. If someone accidentally hits reply to all when sending out a vitriolic email, that doesn't mean they're a bitter and bad person who should be fired immediately. It means they're a human being who responds emotionally from time to time. If you expect perfect behavior from people, you'll end up with what we have in politics. Nobody is perfect, and when you require perfect behavior the only people who can qualify are those who have no qualms about lying about having perfect behavior. Consequently all our politicians are liars.

      • | Whether it's a negative or a positive depends on what you're doing

        It doesn't. It depends entirely on what is done with the information. If having such information causes no harm, then observation is benign. But information is power, and given the number of innocent people who have been executed in federal prisons, we need to acknowledge the potential for abuse of power and create safeguards for individuals. The ones who are most at risks are the weak, the poor, and those unable to defend themselves. We ne

        • by ewieling ( 90662 )
          Privacy is under assault by multiple players on multiple fronts and Privacy is getting its ass kicked. These players include various government agencies such as the NSA and the IRS. The IRS will give you your tax refund faster if you provide them with your bank account information. Large corporations like Facebook (pun intended), Google, financial companies, etc are all players in the assault on privacy. Even small companies like my optometrist and management of apartment complexes want my e-mail addre
          • The IRS will give you your tax refund faster if you provide them with your bank account information.

            At this point, I can only assume the IRS has gotten everybody's bank account information straight from the bank.

      • It depends on what you're doing? Maybe what your doing is simply exercising your right to free speech:

        http://tech.slashdot.org/story/13/11/20/2218252/bp-hired-company-to-troll-users-who-left-critical-comments [slashdot.org]

    • by kheldan ( 1460303 ) on Wednesday November 20, 2013 @05:33PM (#45476387) Journal

      The internet brings all people into proximity

      No, it doesn't. The text and images that people post on the internet, like on Facebook, have about as much to do with who and what they are as the speeches that a political candidate gives during their election campaign; it's a carefully crafted, edited, imaginary-ideal version of that person. Who and what they are in real life, in person is something different from that. Furthermore for all anyone knows, what you see posted on someone's Facebook page, unless you know them personally, may as well be some computer-generated fantasy character and not a real person. The Internet hasn't "brought people together", it's provided another layer of separation that masquerades as something bringing them together.

      • No, it doesn't. Communications that people use in person, like on airplanes, or in their home have about as much to do with who and what they are as the speeches that a political candidate gives during their election campaign;...

        FTFY

        They are all actions of an actor. You only ever know someone by what they are willing to present whether that's in snail mail letters, internet Facebook, in person, in a diary or even in a 20+ year long close and loving marriage.

        • Wow, someone more profoundly cynical than I am! Maybe even projecting a bit? Did you have a 20+ year long close and loving marriage that ended when you found out she wasn't at all the person you thought she was? Or was it you?

          In any event you're missing the point, perhaps intentionally. Unless you're really going to try to press the idea that the average person is such a good actor that they can totally misrepresent themselves in person day after day and never have anyone suspect they're a total fraud -- a
      • it's the nearness, not the ability to determine how accurate or encompassing the information is. But I'm glad you pointed that out, since it make the situation worse because it distorts and skews the viewer's perspective.

      • by fatphil ( 181876 )
        > The text and images that people post on the internet [are] a carefully crafted

        Lolwut!!!!! ;-p
      • it's a carefully crafted, edited, imaginary-ideal version of that person

        Well, it may be a carefully crafted image. In practice, though, fairly few people bother to edit themselves that way, at least not any more (and often less!) than they edit themselves in face-to-face communication.

    • Yes, it's new, but there have been a few technologies over the history of mankind that have created fundamental changes in the way we think, behave and structure society. We not only survived with these technologies, we flourished with them. And yes, these paradigm changes mean that there is often a period of adjustment where people don't know how to act "responsibly" and lots of nasty things happen. When humankind originally started mastering fire, I'm sure there were lots of "mistakes" (there still are)!
    • I disagree entirely - life is not like a prison, because you get to choose directly what populations you interact with on the internet. That is to say "baddies", or "idiots" or whatever? You have the freedom to choose your engagements.

      If you happen to see it as a prison, that is your choice. I see it as an infinite fountain of wisdom with some garbage to sift through in order to find said wisdom. However, considering that you only have to sift once and can sip infinitely, I would completely disagree with y

      • I held this opinion too until I realized the extent of government surveillance. All that you said is fine until you add in that element. Ubiquitous surveillance by a controlling authority changes everything, because we are all massed together by their dragnet, against our will. In prison, not every prisoner comes into contact with every other prisoner, but they are grouped together by the controlling authority which watches them all. That is the analogy I presented. Increase the size of the prison and you h

  • Simple... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TWX ( 665546 ) on Wednesday November 20, 2013 @04:44PM (#45475823)
    ...those that avoid publicly screwing up will end up doing better than those whose mistakes are documented for all to find.

    This is not a new problem, it's simply a bigger problem than it used to be as communications have allowed one party to find out about another party more quickly and easily, and our collective narcissism has meant that we're constantly publishing our "accomplishments" for any random person to see, whether they're actually worth noting or not. A lot of people simply do not understand that moments or situations special to them are not special or important to anyone else.

    Unfortunately the only way to really curtail this is to tell people that they're not special. To tell them that most people, even likely their friends, do not care about Johnny's part in the school play or Suzie's piano recital, let alone Ricky's first steps or Adrienne's first words. They really don't care about what you had for lunch unless you're eating something that most wouldn't consider food, and they don't care how you looked snockered at that party unless you're showing them something of prurient interest.

    Stop oversharing and mind who's watching what you do, or expect to have less opportunity as those in positions of authority choose to turn you down in favor of someone that will embarrass them less.
    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      Once the 1st generation of people who spent there youth screwing around in the public eye get ole enough, no one is going to care about tour screwing around when you where a teen because everyone does it to some degree.

      • by TWX ( 665546 )

        Once the 1st generation of people who spent there youth screwing around in the public eye get ole enough, no one is going to care about tour screwing around when you where a teen because everyone does it to some degree.

        I don't believe that. If that attitude really was the case, it already wouldn't be a problem.

        Or do you pretend that your parents, and their parents, weren't interested in sex and parties and drinking and having fun when they were youths, regardless of later political affiliation or later

        • by geekoid ( 135745 )

          This is the first time it's really public, as in everyone can see it not jut the people involved.
          And the first generation to be raised with that isn't exactly old enough to be hiring, in most cases.

          So until now people have been able to pretend they are above that sort of behavior and that when they where kids everyone went to school, studied hard, and was above average.

          • by epyT-R ( 613989 )

            Or worse, that nosybody generation becomes old enough to start hiring and then filters out people who DON'T have their entire lives laid bare online..

        • by Anonymous Coward

          I think the meaning (discerned from between the spelling errors) is that a population who has all their mistakes recorded for anyone to see may finally accept that most people are impulsive narcissists, and thus they will not judge others by standards that they themselves will fail. Of course, if you knew anything about humanity, it is a long tale of people holding others to standards that they themselves cannot achieve.

          So the end result will be that people will be divided into two categories. The ones wh

          • by Jiro ( 131519 )

            I think the meaning (discerned from between the spelling errors) is that a population who has all their mistakes recorded for anyone to see may finally accept that most people are impulsive narcissists, and thus they will not judge others by standards that they themselves will fail. Of course, if you knew anything about humanity, it is a long tale of people holding others to standards that they themselves cannot achieve.

            To disprove the idea that people who know they fail will accept that others fail, consid

            • I think the meaning (discerned from between the spelling errors) is that a population who has all their mistakes recorded for anyone to see may finally accept that most people are impulsive narcissists, and thus they will not judge others by standards that they themselves will fail. Of course, if you knew anything about humanity, it is a long tale of people holding others to standards that they themselves cannot achieve.

              To disprove the idea that people who know they fail will accept that others fail, consider:

              1) At how many job interviews are you asked "what is your biggest weakness"?
              2) At how many of those would the person who asks you this have gotten hired if he truthfully described his biggest weakness?

              Its easy to get through a job interview answering a question like that truthfully by a positive spin on it in the form of a STAR formatted story. Thats 'Interview technique 101'. And you keep it to work related weaknesses as well not "I've got a weakness for blondes with big tits" type of weakness.

      • I'm inclined to agree, loath though I am to agree with you on anything. I think we're on the cusp of another sexual revolution, since I think the manic cognitive dissonance that society currently displays toward overt and private sexuality and norms is unsustainable. Pretty much the only things keeping the lid on is the cultural momentum of the Boomers and an unholy alliance between traditionalists (usually but not exclusively religious) and feminists (generally speaking, since even that isn't a monolith an
        • Re:Simple... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by ebno-10db ( 1459097 ) on Wednesday November 20, 2013 @05:58PM (#45476629)

          I think we're on the cusp of another sexual revolution

          Historically ignorant much? To pick just the most recent example, ever hear of the 70's? (hint: it's not just a TV show). Ever hear of AIDS? Sexual mores have gone back and forth throughout history. Oh, I forgot, this time it's different, your generation is unique in history, we're approaching the singularity, or the end of history, or whatever crap you prefer.

          • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

            Which part of "another" didn't you get? I might further add that I probably know more about historical patterns of social changes relating to sexuality in multiple different cultures. If you have to look up 'kisang', 'hetaira', or 'ningxing' this is probably true. The fact is that after the end of antiquity civilization began a tailspin of sexual repression due to a combination of Roman monogamy (which was arguably the most important element of Roman pagan society that was grafted into Christianity and cons
            • Which part of "another" didn't you get?

              Which effect of your poor reading comprehension explains why you thought I didn't understand "another"?

              I might further add that I probably know more about historical patterns of social changes relating to sexuality in multiple different cultures [blah, blah, blah]

              Then I apologize for mistaking you for someone who is historically ignorant. You obviously can't use that as an excuse. Which makes it even more difficult to explain why you think you are able to predict such trends, especially using such pulled from your posterior explanations as "the only things keeping the lid on is the cultural momentum of the Boomers and an unholy alliance between traditionalists [bla

            • when the Victorian prudes started digging around in Egypt, they uncovered and subsequently defaced a lot of murals of Boner

              The ancient Egyptians watched Growing Pains? Truly, they were a society advanced beyond measure!

          • The world has changed in many fundamental ways over the last century. Thinking that historical cycles will continue the way they have is as dumb and unreasonable as thinking that things will just go on like this forever.

    • or expect to have less opportunity as those in positions of authority choose to turn you down in favor of someone that will embarrass them less.

      "Turn me down" from what? I would never associate myself, business wise or socially, with someone who is a strong believer in nepotism. I will go to great lengths to avoid being judged by people.

      • by epyT-R ( 613989 )

        Good luck finding employment in the future.. It sucks, but most employers do engage in nepotism.

  • by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Wednesday November 20, 2013 @04:48PM (#45475875) Homepage Journal

    Really just about anything you do in public is public. That is the way it has been for a long time. What the Internet has done is made the planet a small town.
    Smoke a joint at a party? You are doing it in public. This is not new. There was always a chance that someone would tell your boss, wife, or parents you where doing something that they would not approve of. The difference is it is just more likely.

    • by CanHasDIY ( 1672858 ) on Wednesday November 20, 2013 @04:52PM (#45475923) Homepage Journal

      Really just about anything you do in public is public. That is the way it has been for a long time. What the Internet has done is made the planet a small town.
      Smoke a joint at a party? You are doing it in public. This is not new. There was always a chance that someone would tell your boss, wife, or parents you where doing something that they would not approve of. The difference is it is just more likely.

      The difference is culpable deniability; using your example, if someone tells your boss they saw you smoking pot at a party, you can easily deny the charge, as well as turn it back on the person making it ("Don't know what he's talking about, but why was he at a pot-smoking party to begin with, hmmmm?")

      As Micheal Phelps found out, a picture some asshole posts online is a lot harder to deny.

      That's not even mentioning the can of worms that things like internet access in the home and automotive telemetric monitoring equipment create.

      • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

        So without the internet someone just mails pictures to your boss. You're in public so the act never was private. Let's just move from pot to crack. You smoke crack at a party. You know that it is illegal so you know that you could get into trouble by doing it. This is not a new idea or event.

        • So without the internet someone just mails pictures to your boss.

          That could be considered libel, defamation, and/or blackmail if they're making a demand in exchange for not sending the pictures. In other words, you would have legal recourse against a person who tried to ruin you in such a way. ... which is treated completely differently than Joe Moron uploading pictures of Underage Drug Party XI to his facebook page, presumably because Joe Moron isn't intentionally trying to screw anyone's life up.

          You're in public so the act never was private.

          So, having guests automagically transforms a private residence into a publ

          • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

            "That could be considered libel, defamation, and/or blackmail if they're making a demand in exchange for not sending the pictures" If you make no demand and it is true it is not libel or defamation because it is true.
            Well if you have people over are you in private? If you are at someone else's home are you in private? You are at the mercy of judgment of others at that point so yes you are in public. A party is a classic example because their will be people you do not know and should not trust them. That is

            • "That could be considered libel, defamation, and/or blackmail if they're making a demand in exchange for not sending the pictures" If you make no demand and it is true it is not libel or defamation because it is true.

              You very much can be sued for libel and defamation, even if what you said is 100% true and verifiable.

              Granted, the person suing you probably won't even take it to court, but nothing stops them from forcing you to spend time and money defending your own words.

              I know this from personal experience.

              Well if you have people over are you in private? If you are at someone else's home are you in private? You are at the mercy of judgment of others at that point so yes you are in public.

              Ah, I see the problem - you're not thinking about those terms in the legal sense, which is the only sense that matters in issues of law. Sure, when I have someone over, it's not as private as when I'm sitting on the

              • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

                True but when you are at a friends house you are in public. You do not have a legal expectation of privacy. But as you said you do not have the same expectation of privacy when you have a guest over and even less if you have a party. In legal terms you are in a private residence but you are not in private. There is no law saying that must keep what you see and hear when you are a guest private. AKA you have no legal protection from revelation from a guest.

    • I think a lot of people use the term "privacy" to mean "without a persistent source of worldwide evidence showing irrefutable proof otherwise".

      The guy at your party has to pit his word against mine. He has to know my boss, wife, or parents to be able to tell them, and even then I still have the ability for that to be forgotten about, and can go back to living my life. Contrast that with the picture someone snapped of the hypothetical me that insta-uploaded itself to facebook, all privacy settings turned off. Or the 'viral' video that becomes an internet meme hobbling my odds of getting a job, because I'm "the (whatever) guy from the video".

      The societal issue here is that we're all a little too happy to self-righteously crucify the guy who has a picture of him smoking a substance of dubious nature online, and then go over to fuck the BSDM mistress while the wife is out of town... at least, until those pictures leak, and then the guy who does coke off the bathroom sink at work is crucifying you, and the circle-jerk continues.
    • It's not impossible to build these devices for security. The problem is that we can't take out the battery and all of these apps trying to report every activity to a cloud somewhere. We had camera phones before, and it worked just fine. Until the information sales went totally out of control and it became common practice for even your wallpaper to upload your pictures, along with the NSA where the Internet became centralized. We need laws which strictly warn users what information is being sold on the m
    • Begging the question that it is substantially more likely. As the volume of data increases, the signal to noise ratio decreases. Lots of data is being generated that no one is looking at. As the volume increases, it becomes that much harder to search despite the fact that something 'incriminating' is more likely to be in there to find. The practical outcome of this, I think, is that most indiscretions will still go unnoticed, but if someone is really looking for something to bust your ass, they'll find

    • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Wednesday November 20, 2013 @07:13PM (#45477267) Homepage

      So basically if a girl shows her boyfriend her boobies and he covertly snaps a photo and posts it on the Internet linked to her name for all to see it's the same thing? After all if you showed one, you showed the world right? Or someone accidentally walked in on her because she forgot to lock the door or she had a wardrobe malfunction or whatever, same thing right? One accidental exposure to one person and you're just supposed to accept it being posted all over the Internet? And I guess you think it's perfectly okay if the sex toy store to tell everyone what you bought, after all they know so why not the world? You're creating a completely ridiculous standard of privacy where the only thing that's private are secrets, which don't need any protection because nobody knows about them. You reduce the "right to privacy" to "right to try keeping a secret, and if you fail tough luck".

  • So if I told you, we're doing an intelligence reform, and we are creating a new industry standard in management and security. You might be interested. However if I told you I'm proposing a new system where I can see everything you do as the superior and you can't see anything I do, it would sound a bit more like what I'm proposing is to install cameras around the office, cameras you can't see.

    The idea really is making management impersonal, manage everything like a facebook page, click a button to fire
  • I don't care or have any interest in the private fact of the others, a long as there facts is not in the public interest.
    If we now need to protect our privacy, this is because some wants it. Who are there and for what purpose ?

    • Eeeeexactly! Privacy is not this difficult concept to explain, it's simply "things I don't want to communicate", and I do believe that to be a right and just a basic function of sanity in a society with laws.
    • I don't care or have any interest in the private fact of the others

      Really? Not even a rival, like a coworker with whom you were competing for a promotion or a political opponent? Not somebody who wronged you, and against whom you want revenge? Not someone holding beliefs with which you disagreed, who therefore "deserves" to be punished? None of those things?

      Well in that case, congratulations! You're not a sociopath.

      But some people are.

      You don't need privacy because you're wrong and you want to hide your g

      • by jcdr ( 178250 )

        I don't care or have any interest in the private fact of the others

        Really? Not even a rival, like a coworker with whom you were competing for a promotion or a political opponent? Not somebody who wronged you, and against whom you want revenge? Not someone holding beliefs with which you disagreed, who therefore "deserves" to be punished? None of those things?

        I have learned in my life that using those methods bring nothing positive in the long term. I have a couple of persons that conflict with me since years, I have now a lawyer that moderate them and keep me more calm. Nothing in the process involve there privacy. In fact I prefer to ignore them a much as possible.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    or only the rich will have privacy. They can afford to live in gated communities, on big plots where even their rich neighbors would have to go out of their way to catch a glimpse of what they're doing. They can afford to shun insurance that records their driving. One particular rich guy was famous for not having license plates and just paying the fines. The rich don't show up on passenger lists if they don't want to.

  • by ebno-10db ( 1459097 ) on Wednesday November 20, 2013 @05:52PM (#45476581)

    Scott McNealy (oops, I meant Vint Cerf) is saying that if his pet technology causes problems, then there is nothing wrong with the tech, and people's expectations should change. I call that bad engineering (and politics). In the 19th and early 20th century the choking smoke from everything from locomotives to smelters was just the "price of progress". Similarly, there used to be a cold calculation that every $1M in construction would result in one construction worker's death. Can't be avoided. Bull. Those problems were the result of bad engineering and bad politics, as improvements since have demonstrated. Claiming that "privacy is an anomaly" and society should change to support the Internet is just a half-assed excuse. This man has clearly run out of new ideas, and is just resting on his laurels.

    • by Jiro ( 131519 )

      Notice that he currently works at Google, and Google's business is collecting your information. He's not exactly a disinterested party in this, creator of the Internet or not.

  • by MpVpRb ( 1423381 ) on Wednesday November 20, 2013 @06:01PM (#45476647)

    We are living in the transition time where some people have private lives and some are more public

    If current trends continue, everybody will have embarrassing pictures on the internet and nobody will care

    • by TeknoHog ( 164938 ) on Wednesday November 20, 2013 @07:02PM (#45477197) Homepage Journal

      If current trends continue, everybody will have embarrassing pictures on the internet and nobody will care

      I try not to judge people from their drunken party photos. On the other hand, I try to be somewhat careful when posting something about myself. I'm sure there are lots of people like me on Slashdot, who like to keep things reasonably private, and don't use Facebook, for example. This might be a problem if social media exhibitionism becomes too much of a norm, if it becomes suspicious to try and stay private.

  • by nitehawk214 ( 222219 ) on Wednesday November 20, 2013 @06:03PM (#45476669)

    Anytime someone makes this argument I read it as: "Other people's privacy is an anomaly and should be abolished, my privacy should be secured."

    If you believe you do not think this way, you are lying to yourself.

    • Anytime I read about someone giving a Seminar to people WITH POWER AND MONEY, I immediately read it as; "Someone is getting PAID to tell the rich and powerful what they want to hear."

      You'll probably be forgiven for not finding the highly paid pundits promoting privacy, transparency, and respecting people without large bank accounts.

  • I thought he made some interesting points: sgcollins on privacy [youtube.com]

  • by wcrowe ( 94389 ) on Wednesday November 20, 2013 @06:55PM (#45477123)

    I know privacy is a serious issue, but I have to relate something funny that happened to me last week.

    I was in the checkout line at the supermarket, and the first thing the checkout clerk said to me was, "I need your date of birth".
    I thought to myself, Hmmph! What the hell do they need my date of birth for? So I said, "No you don't."
    "Yes I do," she said.
    "What do you need my date of birth for!" I said, my voice rising.
    "It won't let me go on unless you give me your date of birth," she said, meekly.
    "You guys always want too much information. You don't need my date of birth," I argued.
    "Can't you just give me a hint?" she said. She was actually being quite sweet about it. I gave her a year and she punched in a date.

    It was at that point that I realized that the first item to be checked out was a case of beer. Their system wouldn't allow it to be purchased without adding the date of birth. I sheepishly apologized for giving her a hard time. What I thought was an invasion of privacy was a reasonable request for valid ID. Except she wasn't a very bright woman, and instead of asking me for my ID, and then punching in the date of birth, she just asked me for the relevant information.

    I think my initial reaction was indicative of our sensitivity to privacy issues these days.

  • by gmuslera ( 3436 ) on Wednesday November 20, 2013 @08:11PM (#45477675) Homepage Journal
    Maybe the rest of the human rights [un.org] are anomalies too. Cant we start stripping them from the people that affirms that privacy should not need to be respected?
  • I mean, if we want to protect kids from these intrusions, should we send them summer camp for spies? Establishing False identities the first week. Using proxies and establishing a list of nearby open wifi routers the second week. Is the perfect Christmas gift for your kids now a burn phone with a scrambler?
    Remember son, never use the same route back home twice in a week; vary your patterns!

  • [There's a] need to develop social conventions that are more respectful of people's privacy.

    Why is there a need? "Need" is a very strong word, that really goes along with things like food, water and shelter. No one "needs' privacy in the same way as the most basic elements of survival.

    But even at a higher level, to claim people "need" privacy is obviously false, because if people needed privacy they wold not continually make choices that involved less privacy. If people "need" privacy Facebook would not

  • For a high-ranking Google employee to make such comments is downright stupid; it's not an argument he's going to win, and it's not an argument Google has to win either.

    It's also wrong. How and what information we share is a combination of both how information works and choices we make as individuals and society. There are many choices that are ineffective or logically impossible; much of the so-called "data protection" in the EU falls into that category. But there are privacy choices that we can make and en

  • All the other apes exhibit behaviors whereby some degree of secrecy is important to them. Nietzsche talked about privacy at length as a human need -- Living for oneself rather than the other.

    However, I am a cyberneticist. I have studied the actual mathematic principals and implications of emergent behaviors with and without privacy. In short: Privacy is the default state because lack of awareness of other entities is the default state. You can actually keep to yourself and be alone, and thus private. T

Promising costs nothing, it's the delivering that kills you.

Working...