Why Privacy Might Not Be Worth Protecting
A Recent Invention, It Has Never Been a Universal Value—Nor Is It Essential to Democracy
Is privacy overrated?
The question might seem daft, given how gravely privacy is endangered in our digital age. Spies in government and the private sector routinely devour data for insights into our behavior, insights that may be used to manipulate our behavior. And privacy’s advocates contend that freedom and democracy are unthinkable without it. As philosopher Michael Lynch puts it, privacy affords us control over our thoughts and feelings, which is a “necessary condition for being in a position to make autonomous decisions, for our ability to determine who and what …