Category Archive: Public opinion

Why I’ve stopped caring about what the public thinks about privacy

 By Simon Davies There’s no elegant way to express the following idea, but here goes anyway. To put it bluntly, I’ve stopped worrying about whether the public cares about privacy – and I believe privacy advocates should stop worrying about it too. I’ll go even further. Unless human rights activists and their philanthropic backers abandon …

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Seven lies about privacy (and how you can debunk them)

By Simon Davies No human right has ever been subjected to as much deception and attack as privacy. I mean, no-one tries to dilute protections against torture by saying “it doesn’t really hurt anyone”. But privacy is open-season for anyone with an interest in killing it off. Here we summarise seven of the most common …

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Five actions individual citizens can take against security agencies

By Simon Davies One irony of the storm over the NSA and other security agencies is that many people hope the matter will be resolved by the very institutions that nurtured the problems in the first place. There’s a largely misplaced trust that government and judicial systems have the ability – and the will – …

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Why we shouldn’t allow government to poison the concept of radicalism

By Simon Davies We should all be on alert whenever government tries to embed a transitive verb into popular language; it usually signals an impending campaign of fear and hatred. The transitive verb of the moment is “radicalized”. The word has, in a very short time, become part of the global political and media vocabulary …

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Police militarization is not just about lethal weapons; it’s also about too much power and too much data

By Simon Davies The recent killing by US police of an unarmed teenager in the act of surrender – and the subsequent slaughter by those same police of a mentally ill man – has sparked widespread disquiet in America and elsewhere about the militarization of law enforcement agencies. At its most superficial level, this debate …

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How Britain became a dangerously cynical society with tinges of a police state

 By Simon Davies If proof was ever needed of the growing cynicism and despair of modern Britain, you need only consider the collapse of public trust in government, the systematic destruction of oversight and accountability, the rise of nationalism and the steady encroachment of a police state – all cheered on by a faltering parliament. …

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New report shows global opposition to NSA spying is based on privacy, not ideology

By Simon Davies The largest global study conducted to-date on public attitudes to communications surveillance in the post-Snowden era has revealed widespread opposition to US spying across all continents. The Pew Research Center’s “Global Attitudes Project” conducted extensive interviews with participants in 44 countries and identified heightened public concern over surveillance of citizens by the …

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Google Glass goes on sale today – but there are relatively few circumstances where you can legally and safely use it

By Simon Davies Google’s controversial Glass technology goes on sale to the public for the first time today amidst a flamboyantly promoted one-day sale across the US – but “buyer beware”. The experience might not be as rich as you imagine. Ignore for a moment the rising tide of public concern about Glass – or …

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Telegram becomes the New Cool of messaging as millions of users abandon WhatsApp over privacy concerns

 By Simon Davies In one of the most persuasive displays ever of the market power of consumer privacy, Facebook’s recent $19BN acquisition of the popular messaging app WhatsApp appears to have been given the thumbs-down by millions of users. While it may be too early to produce a conclusive analysis, there are solid indications that …

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A new audio chat show brings together privacy’s renowned friends and foe

By Simon Davies The Privacy Surgeon today launches its new audio interview series “The Privacy Channel” in which we explore a range of key issues with some of the world’s most influential leaders of thought and policy. Our aim isn’t just to discuss privacy with defenders and experts, but also to engage with those who …

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