Privacy is deader than we thought

At the World Economy Forum in Switzerland, Harvard professors are giving world leaders a horrifying image of  the state of privacy, both cyber and individual.

Davos (Switzerland) (AFP) – Imagine a world where mosquito-sized robots fly around stealing samples of your DNA. Or where a department store knows from your buying habits that you’re pregnant even before your family does.

Actually – that last is already happening.

Even more frightening is the lackadaisical attitude most younger generation folks have about the loss of privacy.

And at a separate session on artificial intelligence, panellists appeared to accept the limit on privacy as part of modern life.

Rodney Brooks, chairman of Rethink Robotics, an American tech firm, took the example of Google Maps guessing — usually correctly — where you want to go.

“At first, I found that spooky and kind of scary. Then I realised, actually, it’s kind of useful,” he told the forum.

Anthony Goldbloom, a young tech entrepreneur, told the same panel that what he termed the “Google generation” placed far less weight on their privacy than previous generations.

“I trade my privacy for the convenience. Privacy is not something that worries me,” he said.

“Anyway, people often behave better when they have the sense that their actions are being watched.”

What do you think?  Are you willing to trade privacy for convenience?  Do you behave better if you think you’re being watched by big brother?

To save you the time of looking up the earworm I know you’ll all have going through your minds:

You’re welcome.

2 thoughts on “Privacy is deader than we thought

  1. Gary,

    I love your show, but your web site is not very user friendly. I hope you simplify the way users can access prerecorded podcasts in the future.

    Best Regards,



    • Scott –
      Thank you for listening to the show and especially for your feedback on the website. I am very interested in hearing what problem you’re having with accessing the podcasts so I can work on fixing it within the site. I’ll be sending you an email.

      Thank you!
      Producer, An Economy of One


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