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DiscussionsPrivacyWhat is the state of our privacy today.

What is the state of our privacy today.

By B. Slowik 2006-03-25 07:15:45 PM

“Okay Michael” you say, “you can feel that way, but what about our privacy?” Well everyone, does it even exist as our parents knew it? Or the way we perceive of it in our minds? Can we go backwards from here and reverse the current trend of data collection in this, the information age? Do we really want to? Or is it just that a lot of people are afraid that their information will catch up with them, or be available for anyone to peruse? Isn’t it really more of a security (Or insecurity) issue? I personally look forward to the integration of all of my data should it occur in my lifetime. It will make our world as a whole a lot more “user friendly”.
If there is, or ever was a conspiracy issue here, it is a moot point. Has anyone seen the campy cult movie “They live”? I guess the way people are crying here that they must have been totally out to lunch, asleep or worshiping the almighty dollar while the information age replaced the industrial age. Who could miss it? Our connectivity and need to be connected has been growing at an exponential rate. I see the day rapidly approaching that our need to be “technologically advanced” and want of everything at our fingertips will out way the negative spin on this product/idea, and drive the high-end state of the art sub-dermal RFID’s to be every bit as viable and popular of a product as cell phones are today.
In truth privacy as we like to think of it is dead. At any time, the authorities can come in and question the state of a home because of information, an informant or a “suspicious report”. This has been going on with welfare recipients for years here in the US. Or look at my situation; in 1997 an “Anonymous watchdog” saw me posting a question in the wrong newsgroup, and bang, 27 months of incarceration, and three of years of supervised probation. It was a real eye opener, and I’m glad its over. It taught me a lot about America, the “Information Superhighway”, privacy, and especially prisons and prisoners. Everyone should see it. Military men have a fairly good idea of what its like, structured, marked, watched and logged lives, all a matter of record. Same thing. Not much difference really. They just have better leave and a benefit package.
Let’s see now, the government is admittedly monitoring and profiling any and all “activist” groups seen as potentially extreme, and that includes religious activist. I met during my incarceration, a wonderfully mature and civilized eighty-six year old pastor from Minnesota who we, (the people) had felonized and sentenced to six months with the rest of the mugwort jisms for protesting (trespassing) at the School of the Americas training grounds. What about our movements today? A man can get in his car in California and drive to Washington DC, unless he has taken back roads and has paid cash the whole way, his movements are matter of record. Cameras have been going up in a lot of Cities and on major Interstates for years now, so you’re seen on your route, and most people don’t even realize how much information the CC card companies can harvest off them. It is a veritable smorgasbord of the purchasing power and migratory habits of their users, all tied with age, race, locality and employment/employer status. There are also those great rewards cards they get you to sign up for that tell the store chain what you buy, how often, and the usual quantity purchased. Then there’s web habits, unless you stay away from sites that collect data, (lol) and flush your cookies and history often, your subject to being sifted out into the data collection bin. Now with agents and intelligent applications it’s only going to up the data ante. There really is a lot more to be said about the subject of privacy or our lack of it, and I hope this post stirs it up a bit. Yes, it used to be a sacred thing to us, but people have given up so much of themselves already in their everyday acceptance of the technological and informational advancements of today, that to try and pull the plug on the information age now would be nearly impossible at this stage. It really boils down to a security/reliability issue people, way more than privacy issue. And now for those who missed it, I would like to quote from an earlier post/reply of mine in regards to my paper, The Electronic Accountability Act, and its rejection and removal at the RFID Tribe Web site, and my privacy in general. Thank you again for allowing me at this forum.

“All I can really see wrong with my initial paper is the note that the Christian right would be up in arms. It just so happens that the RFIDTribe site is located in Texas, and statistically they are big on religion, incarceration and execution there. I had made slight modifications for the posting from the original hard copy that I mailed out while incarcerated in 99-01, but left intact its senatorial/congressional act format. Maybe I will tone it down or rewrite it. It is just a proposal, a challenge to the industry, and to America. That’s all. It’s a bit extreme for some I'm sure, but no apologies here.
In 1999 I came to the sudden and great realization that it could just as easily become a Technotopian world, as the Orwellian nightmare that the religious/conspiracy minded have proposed. Besides Mukund, tell me, have you ever heard of an ancient prophecy that was stopped or averted by someone, or something? I sure haven’t. It's always been " so it is written, so shall it be" kind of like a weather forecast, set in stone only until it is reinterpreted by the next generation. So it is bound to happen by their own admission and beliefs.
So, if what I’m asking for out here is a discussion and debate of their “mark of the beast” So be it. One mans poison is another mans pleasure, and it just so happens that after having been with them, it would please me greatly to have the majority of our current nonviolent prison population released and back with their families, contributing to our economy and themselves versus being a negative impact, or having the “great privilege” of working for 12 cents an hour for some UNICOR prison labor camp. No pension, retirement or workman’s compensation there! And I myself would enjoy the great benefit of freedom offered me by being tracked via satellite and computer, versus having to fill out all the same forms annually and paying the $10.00+ a year to be registered, published, and harassed by the local goon squads.
I have nothing to hide. I have been striped bare. I have found thru the experience that being under scrutiny IS being under scrutiny. These days with our lightning fast electronic data collection, storage and transmission, once you have been spotted, labeled and profiled, it’s over. Done. And the more interaction we have with these modern data mining sources, the more of our character habits and traits are available for profiling and analysis. Or abuse. It’s a forward moving trend in the world with no signs of letting up. Only the matter of creating a common centralized global database for all of the data to be acquired and the laws to govern it remain unsolved. Possibly it could be broken down into divisions, i.e. global health and immunization, global criminal database, global education, global economics, etc, etc.
At forty-two years of age, and with four children, I’m just a little sick and tired of having to constantly dig out records of proof for one purpose or another, school, work, income, immunization. I was at the Doctors a while back, and I had to fill out my medical history. What a real pain. This will all become a thing of the past with centralized data. Does anyone realize the extent that crime, identity theft, and fraud would decrease? Not to mention the potential medical benefit that could come about? Would these all not be capital gains? It may take us another ten years, but I truly believe that this will be the greatest technological boon in our lives and a highly marketable product to the next generation. You know, if I were a prophet in archaic times, I most certainly would have viewed and thought of what was going on here today as “barbaric” and against mankind, and would have seen anyone who was dead and returned to life as “the dead walking” and against God. Look, I have a good friend who was dead ten years ago when he received a heart transplant, doesn’t he qualify as “the dead walking”? In my mind he sure does. But we see it differently. This is now. Views and acceptance change continual over time, that is the beauty of our world, change and our ability to adapt to it. And yes, to answer some, of course there is the potentiality and probability of abuse, but is that not the case with anything in this world? Because of all that has passed in my life to date, I have made it my personal mission to see relevant and intelligent debate occur on sub-dermal implantation of RFID, and to see it implemented in the population within the remainder of my lifetime. Good luck to me!”

Well World, that’s some of it. Come on, meet the challenge. Lets debate the possibilities.
I’m ready. Are you?

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What is the state of our privacy today.
By B. Slowik

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