Privacy is an illusion, but it makes us happy

yesthattom posted this in his LJ:

Privacy 10 years ago and today

Ten years ago: Caller ID? Hell no! I’m gonna get it blocked! This is a total invasion of privacy!

Today: I refuse to order pizza delivery from that place until they get a caller-id system so I don’t have to repeat my address to them every time I call in an order.

This commonplace anti-technology sentiment is remarkably funny to me. I decided to follow-up with this comment of my own:

Today: I don’t want companies collecting my shopping preferences! This is a total invasion of privacy!

Ten years from now: I refuse to shop at a place that doesn’t already know what I want ahead of time based on my past shopping experiences! I don’t want to have to wait in line: I want it delivered to my living compartment in near-realtime as I want and need it!

Brave. New. World.

Remember when E-Z Pass was first introduced? People still resist it because they don’t want the government to track them. (Hint: don’t commit crimes, then.) There will come a day when only criminals won’t have E-Z Pass, which will make it even easier for the government to single them out and know who to track with other means.

Refusing to take advantage of technology doesn’t make your privacy any more private. It’s an illusion. But, it seems to make people happy to delude themselves into believing it. I guess, in the end, that’s all that matters, right?

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