Online private versus public conversations


From the awesome movie shortbus

Someone just asked me on email:

WHY do you put private messages out in public like this??

First of all, there's no such thing as 100% private messages online. You've digitized something and put it online, it's already a shade of public. Copies were already made, many computers already got them.

Granted, an email might still be as private as any conventional and simple thing online can be, but short of a true encrypted algorithm shared only by 2 ends, nothing online is really private and even that can be broken.

I'm with Google on this, and I don't really get what privacy even means.

When you're talking with someone in a public place, and there's nobody else listening, is this private?

When you're just at your home, alone, with your window open, are you in privacy? And with all walls closed?

What's even the need for privacy? Where it comes from?

As a kid, I didn't like being filmed, photographed, playing at school's play, etc. I don't know where my feeling came from, but I know I was ashamed of coming out in public. I also know before that, I wasn't. No baby is ashamed of anything.

Is shame the sole driver for this perceived need?

Some argue there's politics security. For one instance, an spy's life depends on nobody knowing what he's doing. And looks like countries do need spies to be able to communicate with each other, oddly enough.

Well, none of those cases apply to me.

The only reason I keep using emails for conversations now (that I've got these forums here) is convenience. There's also a bit of respect for some people choices, who feel safer with emails even if they shouldn't, but that's not why I still use email so much as those are edge cases. Most people don't care or don't know. Hence, most people will use facebook without any issues. You think there is any kind of privacy there? Think again.


Not to say it's a different concern for privacy, I still call this shame: people will say companies can harm you with your data if it's not private.

Health insurance might refuse giving you service if you simply search for a disease concerning a family member, for instance. So, basically, minorities might be picked up even by government which would select who gets benefits depending on their public profile, regardless of how accurate it is.

I'm a big minority, by the way. I've got my credit score below zero for over a decade thanks to literally a couple of things I never really did. Also thanks to the uncanny amount of stupid bureaucracy required to prove I didn't. And, I do take some fault, thanks as well that I had signed up some papers about 15 years ago. I also have had my USA tourist visa denied 3 times, again mostly due to inaccurate public profiling. Just to name a few.

So I do know very well how it is to be victim of wrong people getting the wrong impression from me, even before I can present myself.

And, yet, I still think 100% transparency benefits extremely overwhelms all those issues.

In fact, if my profile data have ever been misinterpreted, it was due to lack of data and not excess of it. And, sure, bad analysis might also play a role there, but then who's really to blame? Rhetorical question, of course.

We shouldn't be afraid of giving out information about ourselves just because other people might misjudge us, just because we feel ashamed.

Bank security doors.

I hate every single time have to empty my pockets (for one, because I have many pockets with gadgets) just to go in and ask for a simple information. But the issue for me isn't exposing myself. In fact, I'd love they already knew I have nothing wrong. If all my data was easily available and I could opt into that, just to have a free pass on those doors, I sure would.

What I hate there is how much of a child's play that security really is. There's nothing secure there. Unless you really use costs versus benefits for securing out anything, it won't work. There will be someone willing to exploit it, and pay the costs, to get a profit. So, they're just wasting our time and patience with that freaking security boring theater.

Picture an utopian world in which whoever opts in to be fully transparent get such "benefits". The huge majority. The benefits would not even be seeing so much as good, as they'd be average. And whoever wants to hide something will be considered a threat. Sure, we'll still give them the benefit of the doubt, it could be something else going wrong, like being ashamed, but that would be what's frowned upon instead of looking down on who wants to share every piece of data (as it is today).

Hard to imagine, but I find it beautiful.

And all this text certainly became too confusing... Oh well, something for me to eventually read in the future and see once again how much I still had to polish to become whatever I became. stuck_out_tongue