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What Edward Snowden thinks privacy will mean to your kids

3 years ago

Tom Baker writer
Tom Baker Staff Writer Derby, UK
Last year saw the news that had conspiracy theorists throwing their tin foil hats up in celebration that they were right all along (before firmly replacing them to keep out the NSA spy satellites). The man who revealed the staggering invasions of privacy made by the US – and other – governments, Edward Snowden, claims ‘a child born today will grow up with no conception of privacy…they’ll never know what it means to have a private moment to themselves, an unrecorded, unanalysed thought’. Is he right, though? And is that necessarily a bad thing?

A lot of those young whippersnappers around today didn’t much care about their privacy before this network of Orwellian surveillance was uncovered, so it’s unlikely they’ll feel differently now. Oversharing is so ingrained in people’s lives that a couple of GCHQ drones sat reading your timeline isn’t much on top of your 500 Facebook friends. They’re basically rejecting their online privacy, which is a bit like quitting a job after you’ve been fired.

So far, so dystopian. That’s the glass half-empty version, though. Oversharing and the lack of privacy could – and this is gonna sound a bit contradictory – actually make us better people. We will have to think a little more before we speak (or type) since everything will be recorded, so perhaps they won’t say awful things. Crowdsourced social network data could help fight disease and/or zombies.

Privacy is going to mean something very different to our kids, if indeed it means anything at all. That doesn’t mean it can’t be harnessed for good as well as, erm, morally questionable activity.
Are you half-glass full or empty when it comes to your kids' privacy in the future? Is Edward Snowden right? Tell us in the comments below. 
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Opinion 3 years ago

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