‘What’s the Big Deal About Privacy?’ NPR Writer Asks

“What have we got to hide? What have we got to protect?” asks NPR writer Alva Noe in a Friday post titled “What’s the Big Deal about Privacy?”

The Homeland Security Department’s Control System Security Program facilities are intended to protect the nation’s power grid, water and communications systems. (Photo: AP/Mark J. Terrill, File) 

Taking a stance not-so-subtly opposed to those who vehemently take issue with the ongoing NSA spying revelations, Noe says the “striking thing about privacy, it seems to me, is it may not even be something that people want.”

The writer illustrates this point by bringing up the American obsession with Facebook and other forms of social media, noting “we seem, as a culture…to be reverting to our natural state of openness.”

More from the NPR post:

These days we keep our diaries in public. We’ve replaced “Dear Diary” with “hey, fb friends!” We’re less Anne Frank than we are PT Barnum, presenting our lives online and in real-time. Each of us runs a media empire devoted to our own exhibition. Millions of us, at minimum, are the authors of fan magazines devoted to ourselves.

And that powerful, vain impulse to broadcast ourselves is just the tip of the iceberg. We use phones that literally map our every move. Our credit cards leave a permanent and transmittable record of our every purchase. And you can’t walk down the street, or drive anywhere, without being photographically recorded.

As individuals, and as members of our cultural group, it seems, we tear down the walls and open ourselves up to near constant observation.

Do you remember ? Well, for millions of us, it’s all JenniCam, all the time.

Is this a bad thing?

Noe concludes by declaring that media and technology “are opening us up the way we have, for most of our history, been open to other people and the world around us. No man is an island. And most of us have no desire to be isolated.”

Where do you stand?

(H/T: NPR)