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Tom Toles
Posted at 07:15 AM ET, 04/22/2013

Private eyes

Here’s one of those things that everybody assumes is rather clear and all worked out, but never was clear, either in law or logic, and is getting less so by the second.

Before I explain, let me check the latest video of you from yesterday, so I know what you look like since your haircut and what you’ve been up to lately. Yes, the topic is privacy. Maybe we no longer have to debate the meaning and contours of that word because it is rapidly ceasing to have any meaning whatsoever.

Let’s face it, it took a heroic effort of conceptual willpower to consider any downside of all the video and photos from the Boston Marathon that identified the bombers. MORE, was what my instincts shouted. MORE video. MORE pictures. I even found myself sympathetic to the dicey project of civilian amateurs combing through the data and spinning out very thinly backed theories involving, as it turns out more than a few innocent individuals. But whether or not I like it, and whether or not you like it, here we are.

But before we finish our slide into permanent Everything You Do Is Now Public and Online, let’s cast a quick, final backwards glance at Privacy, the soon-to-be mysterious and quaint Old Way, like The Typewriter. Why did we value it so highly? Nobody, apparently, remembers. My prediction? If we ever do remember, by then your privacy will be owned by a corporation, which will offer to sell it back to you. No, make that lease, with a complicated payment systems and terms you cannot actually understand.

By  |  07:15 AM ET, 04/22/2013

 
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