People are going to tell you a whole bunch of things about how you should protect your privacy.
They tend to be of two types:
Neither is really rational. You can’t hide when multiple data streams measure you at all times. You walked past an ATM on your way somewhere? You’re tagged. You bought something? It’s going to be RFID tagged. And because these technologies save money and time, shopping at places that don’t use them and living in places that don’t use them will not be an option — at least in the cities.
Further, trying to insist on more freedoms is going to bring a surveillance society even faster. More freedoms mean more divergence, in a civilization (didn’t you ever play Civ?). That means in turn, more chaos and crime, and so you’re either going to end up being one of those voices crying out for more enforcement, or a victim. Don’t count on your sidearms to do much against angry mobs, either.
Google makes a really good point here, and one that all mature people should own up to:
Google (NSDQ: GOOG) is being sued by a Pittsburgh couple for posting images of its house on the Internet in Google’s Street Views pages. Google responded, in court no less, that complete privacy simply doesn’t exist in today’s world and the couple should stop crying about it.
Google may be right, in theory. It said in papers filed with the court, “Today’s satellite image technology means that even in today’s desert, complete privacy does not exist.” That’s partially true. With satellites, cameras and other monitoring devices all being tied together by the Internet, it is becoming more and more difficult to completely isolate yourself from view.
I guess that leaves the interesting question: if you cannot escape the power, and you cannot hide from the power, isn’t it time to start talking about finding more responsible power?