Privacy Is the Right to Be Imperfect

If everything is public or under surveillance, actions could have negative externalities. This puts more pressure on people to be perfect and project the values of the in-group. Privacy is a solution by providing space free from judgement individually or as small groups to explore ideas and take certain actions without fear of judgment.

See also:

  • Never Share Your Desktop When Screen Sharing

    When screen sharing, never share your whole screen. There is too much information that will be viewable on your desktop and infinite ways to accidentally leak private stuff. I can’t count the number of times someone screen sharing over Zoom accidentally had their personal chat messages showing or a browser tab with something embarrassing.

  • Legitimized Client-Side Scanning

    The reaction to the recent announcement that Apple would begin scanning iCloud photos for CSAM was not just because of privacy concerns, but because it legitimizes other service providers to do the same.

  • Social Cooling

    The idea that, as a result of mass surveillance, data collection and social media are leading to behavioral changes. People are filtering more of what they say and are less likely to engage with novel ideas or be wrong for fear of negative effects (everything from getting a job to a loan or even proper health care).

  • A Data Dividend Law Would Undermine Privacy and Encourage Acceptance of Exploitative Behavior

    In order to share some of the captured value from data collection, a monetary value would need to be determined. This is problematic because data collection practices are synonymous with privacy—assigning a value to privacy undermines the notion of privacy altogether.

  • An Epistemic Status Sets Expectations About Content

    A trait of digital gardening is to include metadata in a post to indicate how confident the author is in the post. This is a neat way of making space for half-finished ideas and works-in-progress.