Why Privacy Is the Most Important Concept of Our Time | In Re

Source: Why Privacy Is the Most Important Concept of Our Time | In Re, by Gabriele Tomassetti

Privacy is more than the right of an individual to be left alone. It concerns the very fabric of society.

It is necessary to separate our private live, the communities we belong to and the public sphere from each other.

Privacy is about boundaries. It is not about hiding something but allowing to create a space with rules decided by its members.

without clear rules on what is private and what is public, nobody knows which stuff belongs to whom. This means chaos and often that all belong to the strongest.

Privacy is about control. Without privacy we cannot decide for ourselves how to live our lives. If there is no privacy, all become public. … When everything is subject to public scrutiny, you either control the rules and judge others or you are judged and controlled by others.

Let’s focus on one example: the ability to move great distances. In medieval times you could just hop on a horse and start moving3. Nowadays a car must be produced according to an infinite amount of rules and you also need a specific license to drive one. And yet, in practical terms, our ability to move is much higher compared to that of a medieval person. We can do it quicker and for longer distances. So, we are in some ways both more and less constrained in our movement.

The greater complexity of rules concerning transportation has actually increased our ability to move. It seems a paradox but it is true.

I think that with the right understanding of privacy we can be more safe, have a greater autonomy in our choices and more freedom.