Privacy is dead—deal with it

Privacy advocates are chirping about Facebook’s new search function, but the author says privacy is a long-dead illusion. He offers five reasons why.

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Every once in a while, one of my Facebook friends posts a notice that they want to remain friends with me, but they do not wish to have their updates and photos shared with everyone else. If I would just highlight and click his or her name, and then politely uncheck a box, everything will be hunky dory.

I wonder how they’ll feel about Facebook’s new search function, Graph Search, which combs through your friends’ information to find answers to queries. Facebook has vowed that privacy is a chief concern, but the promises haven’t quieted opponents who question Mark Zuckerberg’s claims.

To these people, and all within the sound of my digital voice, let me be super duper clear: Privacy is dead.

It has been dead all of my life—since 1970—and probably long before that, but let’s talk about privacy today. Here are reasons why privacy is dead:

1. Cameras document everything

Between satellites, video surveillance, and personal smartphones, there are millions of cameras everywhere. A recent study showed that the average American is photographed in some way (with or without knowledge) about eight times per day.

2. Big data collects everything you do online

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