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Arkady Grudzinsky

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Do we need privacy?

privacy

Noun

1. The state or condition of being free from being observed or disturbed by other people.
2. The state of being free from public attention.

So, it's a form of freedom. I find it deeply controversial.

Does it mean that we should not pay attention to each other? There are stories on internet of people dying in subway from heart attack in the midst of a crowd passing by.

Is it possible? We leave traces behind us every minute - online, when we use credit cards to buy something, even by walking in the street with a cell phone in our pocket. Why are we outraged or feel threatened when we find out that someone "is watching"? Perhaps, it goes deeper in our psyche that we think or can explain.

What is the difference between privacy and secrecy? When and why do we need them?

Some people put their whole life online. Some are cautious about giving any personal information to anyone. Ironically, we can protect ourselves from oppression and crime both ways.

What's your attitude towards privacy? I would appreciate the links to videos and sources on this topic.

Topics: privacy secrecy
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        Jun 23 2013: Hi Time Traveler,

        I see you're addressing some of the issues of surveillance mentioned in a different comment that I reacted to, but I'll allow myself to reiterate as it can add to the discussion:

        http://bigthink.com/neurobonkers/is-big-brother-watching-you

        As you say - "Privacy, if it is in terms to the greater good of society or to an individual, in my opinion does as such warrant intervention." - I agree, but the analysis and means of intervention should be well thought-out to prevent the following AI mistakes:

        Quote (again, sorry, not trying to spam or anything) "We learn of the case of a French man whose home was raided and who still remains on a terrorist watch list eight years later because algorithms in software analysing his movements determined he spent too much time looking at his surroundings..."

        You're also mentioning isolation as being a symptom of being afflicted. I'll juxtapose this with the following: writers, poets, painters, scientists, inventors, philosophers, musicians all needed their isolation to have mental space to be able to think and/or create. Had anyone considered Mozart, Newton, Plato to be afflicted and in need of intervention we would probably would not be able to enjoy their work and we would know less about the world today.

        You may also see these powerful, insightful and thought-provoking talks, much related to the contents of your comment:

        http://www.ted.com/talks/joshua_walters_on_being_just_crazy_enough.html

        http://www.ted.com/talks/jd_schramm.html

        I'm pasting those links partly to respond, partly because I cannot, in any way possible, put the speakers above, or the contents or the talks above, into a basket labelled "atrocious behaviours", as you did.

        And welcome to TED (I really shouldn't have said that, I've been here for less than 6 months, but I do enjoy the dialogue :-)).
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          Jun 24 2013: Thanks Anna for your welcome and for your thoughts. I was careful to temper my remarks in order to frame a view that would not marginalise the innocents and so worded my thoughts accordingly.

          To expand upon my general thrust of the concept, it is more to do with working smarter and utilising technology more effectively.

          Youth suicide is a real and genuine societal concern, by way of one example.No doubt there would be statistically typified behaviours that are by and large common to this particular group and dare I say part of these would also be reflected in the online digital world (FB posts etc).

          If AI triggers (human instigated perhaps) were put into play when a code red typical type behaviour had been triggered, then perhaps a system could be devised with the help of professionals like psychologists who could then enable a rehabilative/help path for the sufferer.
          I don't pretend to have all the answers, however, I'd suggest perhaps some sort of covert online counselling sessions whether they be via online (random chat) or posts/links to beneficial sites/messages/pictures etc could be displayed on their web surfed pages, or in/on their posts!

          Solitude is a good thing and we all need it from time to time and as you highlighted Anna, some may need it more than others. However it is when things are very wrong, as in criminally or in a self harm sort of way that I believe technology can be better utilised for the greater good.

          Notwithstanding, no system is going to be perfect and no doubt there would be those wrongly caught up in the processes potentially, however as long as there is a much bigger benefit for having done it, then surely it is worth considering.

          Without knowing all the facts re the French national wrongly accused as a terrorist, we do not know how many the same system had uncovered who were and then as a consequence, how much death, destruction and human misery had accordingly been averted! : D
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        Jun 25 2013: "Without knowing all the facts re the French national wrongly accused as a terrorist, we do not know how many the same system had uncovered who were and then as a consequence, how much death, destruction and human misery had accordingly been averted! : D"

        Yes, that's true. But such cases also mean that the system should be perfected. You can get the same discussion on belts in cars, airbags and so on - they can save you from hitting your head hard but can actually be dangerous in certain cases, that is why they need constant development and perfecting. This should be based on experience - carefully recording all the mistakes, analysing them to prevent them from happening in the future while keeping in mind that the goal is to help people, not only the car users in this case but everybody (as virtually everybody is observed by somebody while out there or on the web - security cameras are everywhere, companies record clicks and visits, the big brother IS watching, as we all here know well.)
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          Jun 25 2013: Yes Anna, this the key to enhancing humanity via technological advances. It is why I had made reference to conducting activities in a global knights of the round table kind of way, incorporating a moralistic and honourable code of conduct!

          We all should learn from our mistakes and then consequently avoid repeating them! It is in this way that mankind can help those that need it the most without standing on the toes of the innocent, learn more about human interactions and our complicated species. : D
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      Jun 23 2013: I've just stumbled upon this short post, addresses some of the things you are proposing in a way:

      http://bigthink.com/neurobonkers/is-big-brother-watching-you

      Surveillance can indeed help in tracking down criminal activity, but tracking down is one thing, identifying intention is another.

      QUOTE (about a documentary): "We learn of the case of a French man whose home was raided and who still remains on a terrorist watch list eight years later because algorithms in software analysing his movements determined he spent too much time looking at his surroundings..."
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          Jun 23 2013: Hi again,

          I've just posted another comment on this, but let me post this too, just to clarify what I meant by personality - I meant being strong and having opinions and defending them. Having a 'gut'. In my view, most people that participate in these conversation have it, otherwise there would be no conversations and no posts.

          First impressions made when it comes to a person, if not validated by experience and dialogue, remain what they are, just first impressions, that tend to be superficial and, well, personal and often wrong. I focus on what the person is saying, trying to show or point out and filter out unnecessary distractions such as preconceptions about the person. I must say that it ails me that people focus on their impressions instead of what I am saying at times, but I can deal with that (if it doesn't get too ugly or to the point where rules/laws are broken) as I think that thinking, learning and discussing should not be about rearranging previous preconceptions, but getting new knowledge. Knowledge not necessarily about people, but generally.

          Please see my other comments as well.

          I could ramble/expand on this forever, but that's not the topic of the discussion :)

          Back to NSA/privacy :)
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          Jun 24 2013: Agreed, with some more comments, not completely irrelevant to the topic (privacy and if we really need it):

          - I do not think people post on TED because they feel sorry for themselves.
          - I am warned about others being unsympathetic but, since this is not necessarily a support group, but a forum for discussion, do not worry about my liking, their liking, giving me feedback to ... and so on, I've made my point, I believe. Challenge and food for thought may not be liked in the beginning, defending oneself against food for thought/challenge/new information is no way to go. Sometimes going 'hmmm' might be enough, sometimes not.
          - I've seen and heard my fair share of things as well
          - I respect people because they are people, I respect them even more if they know that, although they're people, they're still animals, and that they can move beyond both if they try and use the frontal lobe for something more than just themselves and their groups/interests. You don't have to agree.
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          Jun 24 2013: Re: "I expect to earn my respect and respect does not mean you agree with the person but that the person has demonstrated they have a reasonableness for having that opinion."

          When I disagree with someone, chances are, I simply misunderstood the person. Very often, when I ask an additional question or two, I may see the point and, actually, agree with the person or get another perspective on the subject. But if my first reaction is derogatory, I simply get the same in response and never get a chance to find out the rationale behind the other person's opinion. At other times, I realize that the discussion regresses into a chicken-egg argument. That's usually a sign to stop.

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