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    Most humans living throughout history had little concept of privacy in their tiny communities. Sex, breastfeeding, and bathing were shamelessly performed in front of friends and family.

    Even if this is true, note that these individuals chose whether and in front of whom they were exposed. Privacy is about choosing what you reveal to whom.

    For most of history, you generally knew if someone was observing you, and observation was not scalable. If you wanted to speak privately, you could go to a remote place. If you wanted to be left alone, you could move and change your name.

    If you met your ancestor and told them you didn’t want people to watch you bathe, perhaps they’d be amused. But if you told them you didn’t want powerful entities tracking your movements and conversations your whole life, they might be horrified that such a thing is possible.

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      That’s the key fallacy of this article: that some people choose to share information means that privacy is dying.

      The problem people have is with organisations like the NSA that can spy on you whether you like it or not.

      This is like saying not saying anything because you haven’t really thought about the issue means that freedom of speech is dying.

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        On the other hand, they might equate that to religion. People were, have been, more religious throughout the ages. Being seen by the most high (or whatever) is good for endorsing morality. This panopticon-style thinking is of course beneficial to the authorities. Acts of NSA are easier to prove than acts of God, so it’s not exactly religion.

        Choosing is key anyway. I could see myself wearing a health tracker for insurance. Maybe one of those for-fun activity trackers. Not joining Facebook. That’s pretty much my creep scale.

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        “When AT&T offered a $30 premium service that allowed user to opt-out of browser tracking for ad targeting, few users took it. This portends a future where most people will increasingly choose ever more invasive tracking in exchange for money, health advice, and entertainment”

        No. This says that few people want to pay $X for internet + $30 for the same company to also respect their privacy. It says nothing of customers that:
        a) Leave
        b) Didn’t hear of this policy change, didn’t know what the implications are, or didn’t care
        c) Join after this policy change and didn’t read the fine print
        d) Don’t believe anything will change for that $30

        Sure it says something about customers that don’t think their privacy is worth $30 and still stay, but we have no idea which customers those were.
        I would say $30 is too much for a basic right such as privacy. Why not build a basic right to privacy into our laws and require an opt-in. We could also require that no extra payment can be charged to provide privacy over their basic service.

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          Agree. It also doesn’t scale for most people. 30$ per month is 360$ per year for ONE service. If this was common approach, most people would quickly run out of funds to protect their privacy even if this actually worked on every service.

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            If people cared enough to have these made into law, they could as well support and endorse privacy-aware competition, like DDG.

            Problem is, online presence isn’t something as obvious as having sex in front of your kids or even enveloped mail. The financial abuse of users-as-the-product is enough to lobby politicians. These things are hard to oversee. And in the end, people find it more convenient than creepy that Facebook runs diaper ads for her before she knew she got pregnant.

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              If people cared enough to have these made into law

              Well, they did, with telephone conversations and post. And I don’t really know why these laws weren’t automatically applied to computer networks.

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                Because there is no generalizing in a world dominated by statute law.

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              Why not build a basic right to privacy into our laws and require an opt-in. We could also require that no extra payment can be charged to provide privacy over their basic service.

              So basic service now costs $30 more with a $30 rebate if you let them provide you with ‘beneficial offers from our valued partners’.

              Not to mention you have to actually define what privacy actually is and then build a giant mechanism to verify if ISPs are compliant or not. So good luck trying to start a competing ISP on the basis of being a freedom respecting provider.