Privacy And Privilege – Anil Dash Nails It

September 13, 2010 at 2:16 PM (Uncategorized) ()

Go read this. Read all of it. When you’re done, scroll up and read it again.

If you are twenty-six years old, you’ve been a golden child, you’ve been wealthy all your life, you’ve been privileged all your life, you’ve been successful your whole life, of course you don’t think anybody would ever have anything to hide.

The Facebook Reckoning


I’ve been trying to put that same message out there for years. The sort of people who say “I have nothing to hide” tend to belong to groups with all the privileges. Usually white, usually Christian, usually straight, usually wealthy (or far from being poor anyway), usually mainstream in nearly every way.

They are surrounded by people who think like they do, believe the same things they do and behave as they do. That sort of homogenized existence blinds them to the fact that a large number of people put a very high value on privacy and do so for very good reasons.

  • Ask a woman how comfortable she feels announcing her gender while playing any MMORPG.
  • Ask an atheist how comfortable he is announcing his lack of faith in God while living in the Bible Belt.
  • Ask a homosexual teenager how comfortable he is announcing his sexual orientation to his devoutly religious parents.

You get the idea. There is a very real need for privacy to be protected. Only the privileged believe that everyone is in favor of full transparency. Only the privileged would say “if you don’t want anyone to know what you’re doing, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.”

That kind of ignorance about privacy, from people with the influence to impose their ignorance on the rest of us, needs to be confronted, refuted and debunked for the nonsense it is.

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