Surrendering on surveillance might be the least bad option – of all likely civil liberty encroachments, this seemed the less damaging and hardest to resist. But that’s an overly defensive way of phrasing it – if ubiquitous surveillance and lack of privacy are the trends of the future, we shouldn’t just begrudgingly accept them, but demand that society gets the most possible out of them.
Surveillance is harmful because it can chill the exercise of our civil liberties, especially our intellectual privacy. It also gives the watcher power over the watched, creating the the risk of a variety of other harms, such as discrimination, coercion, and the threat of selective enforcement, where critics of the government can be prosecuted or blackmailed for wrongdoing unrelated to the purpose of the surveillance.David Brin: Accelerating Dangers And Opportunities From Transparency
Britney’s conundrum, however, is less an exception than an extreme depiction of what social media and surveillance bring everyone. And our response to this has been equally contradictory. Though the pressure falls unevenly on people according to gender and other factors, we are all now under similar forms of surveillance, which technological innovation seems geared toward intensifying.
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