A few parties have come out against selling the private history of people. These are good, first steps, but a wider expansion would be a positive development. Hopefully, we can see a positive change in the direction of more privacy.
- Minnesota Senate Votes To Bar Selling ISP Data
- Verizon, AT&T, Comcast Say They Will Not Sell Customer Browsing Histories
Privacy is important because humanity is a social network. I don’t mean that in the technological sense, but that human life is literally a social network. The connection between children and parents. The connection between families and communities. The connection between communities and states and so on. At an individual level, the connection between each person and every other person they encounter. All those connections form a network. Some of those connections are more durable or of emphasis than others, but a network forms nonetheless. Privacy is a necessary mechanism to allow each person to self-determine the rights they have in the network.
- Achieve quiet (physical, social, and identity) when needed
- Rebuild an identity as you grow, learn, and understand more
- Change your mind and be able to move forward on new thoughts
- Come to terms with your mistakes and errors
- Exit regression into less optimal modes of inner thought and outward perception
Others have more details on the value of privacy. For example:
- Kim-Mai Cutler on Why is privacy important to people?
- Julie E. Cohen from Georgetown University Law Center writes What Privacy Is For?
- The Atlantic as a good article on Obscurity.
- Daniel Solove’s 10 Reasons Why Privacy is Important.