The sixty-second guide to understanding the true meaning of privacy

ws_2_cars_1440x900By Simon Davies

Many people are confused about privacy. They hear lots of conflicting stories about what’s secure and what isn’t, and then as soon as they think they know what’s private, along comes another newspaper story to blow their perception. In an effort to help clarify everything, here’s the Privacy Surgeon’s sixty-second guide to understanding one of the great issues of our age.

A customer walks into a shop in the hope of getting some privacy.

Customer: “I was interested in some privacy”.

The standard model comes with no privacy features

The standard model comes with no privacy features

Sales guy: “Certainly sir. Would you like the standard or the sports model?”

Customer: “Well I don’t want to use it all the time, so the standard will be fine.”

Sales guy: “Hmm, well we haven’t really had privacy in the standard model since around 1948. You’ll need the sports model for that.”

Customer: “Why do you advertise that the standard model has privacy when it doesn’t have privacy? I’m confused.”

Sales guy:Well the standard model sort of does have privacy, but only if, like, you’re a granny who uses it only to go to church every Sunday. If you’re serious you’ll need to buy the sports model with extras.”

Customer: “Hang on, all I want is basic privacy for day-to-day use. Why doesn’t that come as standard?”

Sales guy: “Because we live in a dangerous age sir. The government needs to have access to your logs to make sure you’re legally compliant. Our engineers need access to your engine to ensure everything’s working properly. And if there are any concerns about you, the police need to have a copy of your keys.”

Customer: “But I’m not doing anything wrong! I never have done anything wrong.”

The sports model comes equipped with this generous privacy feature

The sports model comes equipped with this generous privacy feature

Sales guy: “I know sir. But this is for your own good. There are bad people out there.

Customer: “This is silly. So you want me to pay more for the sports model even though it doesn’t get me better privacy. But what if I was a bad guy? Doesn’t that kind of defeat the object of having all that snooping?”

Sales guy: “You’d think so wouldn’t you, but they’ve got that covered. There are special agencies that have master keys to every model, so they can get in anyway.”

Customer: “Great. So I pay the extra for the sports model and end up getting infiltrated anyway.”

Sales guy: “Exactly. Now you’re getting it.”

Customer: “OK, here’s what I want to do. I’ll buy the standard model and then soup it up. I’ll instal my own locks and put a secure housing over the engine. That way they won’t get in and I can just go about my business.”

Sales guy: “Well if you want to become a person of interest to them, be my guest sir. You can’t just go around installing your own security and expect the authorities to ignore the fact. Anyway, they’ve got tools to force your locks. You won’t even know it’s happened. At least with the sports model you buy a good feeling that you have privacy – and good feelings are priceless.”

Customer: (Looking dejected). OK, I’ll buy the sports model. Does it come in stealth black?”

Sales guy: “Of course sir. See! You’re feeling better already.”