Wed, 18 June 2014
The government is reading this. They can hear your thoughts; they have hidden microphones in all American homes. They track your every move. They've been doing this for decades...
Some people actually believe this, even though the closest thing to truth in these lines is that all Internet traffic passes through government systems. That's a lot of data, and the vast majority of it is not even actually read. Google and Facebook know more about you than the government, and many find that unsettling. (Especially when companies are so willing to turn data over to the government.) It's not as bad as those in tinfoil hats make it sound. Still, we do not have as much privacy as we once did, and that's the topic this week.
We begin the episode with two simple questions:
The need for privacy, or even a feeling of privacy, differs from person to person. Find out how much privacy we feel like we need in the physical world. What things do we need absolute privacy to do? (The episode kind of degrades into poop talk, here.)
But back to privacy. With the rise of the Internet, is privacy eroding or going away entirely? Is that a good or bad thing? Is anything one puts online fair game for the general public? Many people go to great lengths maintaining a physical persona and an online persona. Find out if there's a big difference in what we share in real life vs. what we're comfortable sharing online.
Conspiracy theorist or not, the NSA monitors phone calls, text messages, and email. Find out if it bothers us that the government is invading our privacy. Find out if Google, Apple, and Facebook tracking as much as they can about people bothers us.
After that, we move on to where the line is crossed when it comes to the government or companies going too far in needing to know our personal information. Have we crossed that line yet?
We wrap the episode up with this question: What's the future of privacy -- both online and in the real world?
As always, feel free to chime in about privacy in the comments below. The government and Google already know your thoughts -- there's nothing to hide...