The Utility of Privacy

Huge Cajones Remailer nobody at
Mon Nov 18 11:53:40 PST 1996

At 6:55 AM 11/18/1996, Sandy Sandfort wrote:
>                          SANDY SANDFORT
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
>On Sun, 17 Nov 1996, Huge Cajones Remailer wrote:
>> >> Informally, I don't know anybody who has suffered due to a loss of
>> >> privacy.
>> >
>> >Your circle of associations must be limited.
>> Examples [of people who have suffered due to loss of privacy]?
>Phil Zimmermann often tells the story of a woman whose marriage
>was destroyed by the revelation of a long-past indiscretion. 
>After her husband divorced her, she committed suicide.

Deceiving your spouse is not a good reason to protect your privacy.

>Any number of celebrities have been stalked, attacked and even
>killed by obsessed fans who found them through public records.

Unfortunately most readers of this list do not have this problem.

>Every year, children and business executives are kidnapped for
>ransom.  The proximate cause of these kidnappings is a breach in
>privacy about the whereabouts and schedules of the victim.  

Or this problem.

>Hitler's gun registration in Germany allowed the Jews to be
>disarmed.  I'm sure you are aware of the ultimate consequences
>of that little invasion of privacy.

Not a bad example, but genocide happens rarely.

Those alert enough to protect their privacy in advance might be alert
enough to get out in time, anyway.

Subjective utility: low.

>The US Post Office co-operated in the identification and 
>imprisonment of people of Japanese ancestry during the second
>world war.

97,000 victims over a ~100 year period.  Doesn't really show up on the
scope, sorry.  (Plus downside bad, but few were murdered.)

>The problem with having a whole lot of private information about
>you floating around in public is not what damage it can do to you
>now, but rather the problems it potentially could cause in the
>future.  Just about everyone on this list has been to university.
>Not long ago, a college education was essentially a death warrant 
>in Cambodia.  Prior to that, a degree was considered a good thing
>there.  People saw no reason to hid the fact that they had been
>in school.  Trouble is, things changed.
>And the trouble today is that things can change now, too.  Think
>about the things that you have publicly done or advocated.  Even
>if they are as legal as church on Sunday NOW, how comfortable 
>will you be about them if there is extreme right or left takeover
>in the future?  Start to get the picture?

These things CAN happen.  Will they happen?  Odds are low.

BTW, are you operating under your True Name?

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