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Why Fuss Over Privacy If We Have Nothing to Hide?

Updated on September 20, 2018
ValKaras profile image

Val is a life-long practically oriented student of effective emotional and attitudinal responses to the many challenges of life.

In Some Suspicious Moods Our Phone May Not Look Like Ours Alone.
In Some Suspicious Moods Our Phone May Not Look Like Ours Alone.

That Sweet Paranoia

Sabotaging our own happiness---and directly or indirectly the one of others---seems like one of the mankind's favorite pastimes. What makes it somewhat ridiculous is the fact that otherwise we seem to be doing so well at all those many aspects of survival within a social arrangement.

I mean education, profession, career, relationships, entertainment, all that; except that for a mysterious reason or a bunch of them we are on a life mission to spoil every attempt of feeling "at home" in our world.

Indeed, like wolves in a pack people are watchful for any realistic or only imagined signal meaning that they might get bitten at any unguarded moment. Everybody seems to be after our precious ass, from a too pushy salesmen to our government.

A possible violation of our civil rights and freedoms is driving us additionally crazy, after we are already doing everything in our might to keep an unrest in our souls while in this unholy "pursuit of unhappiness" guaranteed by our paranoid attitudes.

Privacy is one of those monumental words which makes us wonder how much and in what ways our governments might be spying on us. It brings a revolutionary spirit in us to even think how those "up there" might hurt us by tapping our phones and so learning all details about "our cousin's daughter having just delivered a healthy baby-girl".

Yes, after all, whose business is it to stick their big nose into out private affairs---so we reason. To so many folks it feels like being naked to the public eyes, with all fat, warts, and every lousy sexual experience being a laughing stock to someone there pointing a mocking finger at us. Terrible, isn't it?

Luckily, Einstein's Legacy Has More to Do with His Mind Than with All Those Stories about Him as a Person
Luckily, Einstein's Legacy Has More to Do with His Mind Than with All Those Stories about Him as a Person

Double Standards in Privacy

And yet, everyone seems to cheer over those juicy stories about celebrities' private lives, including those compromising photos provided by the paparazzi. With all those concerns about our privacy it doesn't bother us a bit to gossip about our friends, bosses, co-workers, neighbors---and especially about our presidents' family who are not in any imaginable way included in any state's decision making.

Hey, we don't even spare those historical personages from our passion for depriving others of their privacy. How else would I know it if I didn't read about Alexander the Great being gay; about czarina Maria Theresa enjoying a long line of "secret" lovers; about king Louis XVI keeping his royal concubine Madam Pompadour in his royal bedroom.

All the way to the super-genius Albert Einstein stuttering and otherwise being an odd-ball; or Sigmund Freud, father of psychoanalysis fainting in every slightly bigger stressful situation.

Doesn't it make you wonder, how come that there hasn't been a known case of a scholar who publicly protested and demanded that private lives of those folks don't matter, only their legacy and their place in history?

When we say in a chorus with every journalist in the world: "Public has the right to know"---why are we exempting ourselves from it? What special secrecy privileges do we enjoy as citizens over one Brad Pitt or Charley Sheen? This double standard can't be justified by the fact that they are "public figures", because only their public activities are defining them as "public figures", not their private lives. Agree or not?

So Many Folks Are Like This Egg---Just Waiting to Be Hit Hard by a Force from Above
So Many Folks Are Like This Egg---Just Waiting to Be Hit Hard by a Force from Above

Insecurity in Disguise

All this goes much deeper, because that need for privacy is merely a tip of an iceberg called "insecurity".

Now, before we go any further, of course I am not talking about those things that we simply have to keep private for obvious reasons, like our bank account numbers, pin numbers, our passwords, or any other information which, if made public, would hurt us financially or otherwise.

Rather, it's about the privacy of our telephone calls, the people we are associating with, places we go and how frequently, our sudden big jumps in material possessions, our employment and driving record, our level of education, that stuff.

It's basically the information that we might casually mention to our friends and acquaintances about ourselves and our life. Indeed, it doesn't take a genius to figure how this kind of information, private as it sounds, can't possibly hurt us by becoming accessible to the government.

And please note that I am talking strictly about government spying on us and our privacy being somehow violated by them. I am not talking about your becoming a victim of gossiping, where some people may abuse information about you. It's up to each one of us to protect ourselves from that kind of malevolent use of our information---nothing to do with the government.

So, at this point let's be aware that the title of this article is not covering "all" aspects of our privacy.

Well, you may call me any name you like, but I don't really give a rat's ass about government checking on any of the above features of my social activities. For sake of my own sanity, I refuse to spend my life in this paranoid spell.

They say how a "brave man dies only once, while a coward dies thousand deaths". I don't think of myself as a hero, but neither do I want to spend my life in a constant worry over "how others might destroy my precious ass". That includes those concerns over "who is listening to my telephone conversations".

Let them listen, I've got nothing to hide which could potentially either put me behind bars, or to a morgue.

Who Is Really to Be Trusted There?
Who Is Really to Be Trusted There?

A Mutual Distrust

I may stray a bit from the main topic by pointing at other aspects of our mistrust for our governments---which are actually the same cluster of fears where our need for privacy belongs.

Let's face it folks---trust is not a right word, no matter how much we are patriotically waving that little flag with our president's motorcade passing by. We don't really trust him---just like he really doesn't trust us, judging by that bullet-proof limo.

I don't want to bust anyone's colorful soap bubble, but the whole idea of democracy is not based on a trust between the people and the government. As someone who is decently informed in matters of suggestive influence, I can assure you that the efficiency of every suggestive séance depends mostly on how much you have convinced the person that "they are in control at all times".

That's why the name was so cleverly chosen: "demos" is Greek for nation, and "cracy" is a suffix denoting "rule". Have you ever watched a good fisherman how he at first gives some space to the fish that got caught before he slowly pulls the fish over. Democracy works the same way---you get "some" taste of freedom and ruling power, but the government generally does whatever they want.

I am just trying here to make a point---it's useless to lose your sleep over your "freedoms" and "rights"; you get to call your president names, to demonstrate, even to burn some cars and smash some shop windows in the name of that freedom---and, whether you see it or not, it's all about that fish being allowed to get tired before it gets pulled to the dry land to become food.

There is that old saying: "Dog doesn't bark for the safety of the village, but for his own". Those who have the most to lose will make an impression like they are taking all those national security measures "for you".

Well, just enjoy the ride, like that minnow enjoys the security of a swim over the back of a shark.

Our One and Only True Freedom
Our One and Only True Freedom

The Only Privacy and Freedom We Have

Someone with a distaste for anarchism might accuse me of degrading the importance of our leadership. No, I am not. Leaders are a necessary evil, we can't do without them---at least not at this stage of our consciousness evolution.

Moreover, I totally agree with their sniffing around for all potentially hostile elements in society---which includes listening to my phone conversations and checking me out in any other way they find necessary to eliminate me from their list of possible shit disturbers. This is how they are protecting us, and I won't go paranoid over it.

Just as I won't feel like I am being treated as a possible criminal at the airport while having to go through all that security procedure. It's good and it's necessary, and I don't feel one bit like my "rights and freedoms are being violated".

I hope I am not the only one here seeing it as an unhealthy suspiciousness. For it is highly unhealthy to go through life always watching over our shoulder for a possible threat. Being "street-wise" will always be a good idea, but here we are talking about its exaggerated extent.

Once that paranoia creeps up into our way of living, it's hard to get rid of it, because it becomes an addiction. Then we suspect everyone and everything in our life, and even our faithful dog may look at times like he has a secret agenda of his own.

What becomes a ridiculous paradox in our life is that we are apparently fighting for our freedom---while enslaving ourselves into this constant fear of being spied on.

Well folks, there is only one true freedom and one true privacy---it's in our heads and in our hearts, and no government in the world can either "guarantee" it to us or take it away from us.

So, we are free only inasmuch as we are making it so.


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    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      18 months ago from Canada

      Ptosis---I have never been in Russia in my life. How is it over there---from your personal experience? My name is obviously fooling you. Once I worked with a Canadian born woman with absolutely no Latin background named Juanita who couldn't say one word in Spanish.

      As for the rest of your comment---I can't express my views having in mind everybody's intellectual preferences. It's perfectly fine that you don't agree with me. When I look in the mirror, I see myself. not you. I don't know why but I am getting some additional reasons to like it that way.

    • ptosis profile image


      18 months ago from Arizona

      Asserting your right to privacy is not in itself suspicious.Go back to Russia Val

    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      18 months ago from Canada

      Eleanore---Again, it's futile for me to keep explaining if you refuse to see the context in which "privacy" was talked about in this article.

      I was NOT talking about hacking and other forms of violating the privacy of important personal information. Again (and I hope this time you see it clearly) I DID MENTION THAT SUCH INFORMATION SHOULD BE KEPT PRIVATE.

      But I will not explain here the whole context of my article---read it ALL if you care, but don't disagree with something that doesn't exist in the article which you never read whole.

    • Ewent profile image

      Eleanore Ferranti Whitaker 

      18 months ago from Old Bridge, New Jersey

      There is right and then, there is wrong. Most of us are taught from birth to know the difference. I am fed up with individuals who try to soft sell that which we were taught is wrong so they can always be "right."

      No one has the right to know private business. When you hack into someone's private business with a criminal intent, is that not WRONG?

    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      18 months ago from Canada

      Eleanore---I don't consider it my problem that those commenting my article don't read anything past its title. If they did, they would easily come to the place where I mentioned bank information, passwords, and pins HAVING TO BE KEPT PRIVATE.

      It's so easy, maybe even fun to call someone "wrong" without even knowing what the person was talking about and going selective in their interpretation of that partially perceived reading material.

      This is what's generally happening in the American public life these days---everyone is interpreting things through the lenses of their particular political favoritism---with no attempt to find a common ground, or at least try to see things with others' eyes ---- and so possibly make the nation less divided.

      As long as there is a "disagreement" possible --- everyone is "happy". Well, "happy" means something else to me.

    • Ewent profile image

      Eleanore Ferranti Whitaker 

      18 months ago from Old Bridge, New Jersey

      When I worked for 2 international companies, I learned just why it is some things MUST remain private. In the world's largest data processing company I worked for, passwords to get into computer systems was a must. It was a matter of privacy of SS numbers, bank routing numbers and other personal information being bought by foreigners in Thailand who sold that information on the street for what was equal to a month's income.

      Val is wrong. We already know that whenever private information is stolen, it can mean your identity is as well. The cost of identity theft is horrendous.

      It took three of my friends nearly 7 years to regain use of their identity which was stolen by Nigerians who somehow managed to get into their credit card information.

      I hide my personal information by not posting anything online I don't want others to sell so their kids can eat.

      Not to mention that you can go bankrupt trying to clean your credit when your identity is stolen.

      So Val..How about it? Will you allow us to have your credit card number? You bet you won't.

    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      18 months ago from Canada

      Larry---You are a good and considerate man.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      18 months ago from Oklahoma

      I cherish my privacy and try to respect everyone else's.

    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      18 months ago from Canada

      John---It always feel good when people agree with you in their comments; and I am happy to see that you share some of my views in this article. They are not easy to agree with, because most of the folks' priorities are not gravitating around their own well being but rather around things that are beyond their power to change anything.

    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      18 months ago from Canada

      MizBejabbers---In this world of futile public concerns over things that we can't control, I am bound to turn out an odd-ball. I could only rephrase or repeat something from my article, but---I honestly don't care who is eavesdropping on my conversations with anybody, or reading my emails, or collecting information about my medical and employment records.

      It goes without saying, my pin numbers, bank accounts, and my passwords are an exception.

      But as far as government's spying on me goes, I don't give it a thought. It's simply a part of my stress management not to fuss over crazy issues, and in my book this matter of privacy from government is a crazy one.

      Simply because they will do whatever they want to---whether you like it or you get a stomach ulcer, a high blood pressure, or an insomnia over it. So what's the gain?

    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      18 months ago from Canada

      Clive---I was not kidding at all. Of course, feel free to write your own article about your concerns over privacy---I did not suggest to anybody to feel the way I do about it. Not lecturing, just sharing does it.

      Needless to say, I don't agree with you on this one. Not one bit.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      18 months ago from Beautiful South

      We’ve had to give up some of our privacy in the interest of safety, but it still is a serious matter. When I was a kid, there was no such thing as privacy on the old rural party lines. If Suzy told her best friend over the phone that she was pregnant, then the whole community knew about it within five minutes. I think the government wire tapping became an issue during the Cold War. Today with wireless phones, why do they bother? Anyone can listen in to these glorified radios.

      But you’re right. In today’s world, freedom and privacy are like trying to have your cake and eat it too.

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 

      18 months ago from Jamaica

      You are kidding right? Privacy is a serious matter. Not all of us see things that way though. I don't know about you, but I always have something to hide. Like my nude body, my passwords, my bank account number, my medical records. My kids health records, all the people I assassinated (just kidding on the last one). Look, when government listens your phone conversations they don't and will never strike you off any list. You are and will always be the next Terrorist in their deceiving eyes.

      Oh...and when you are a public figure, so is everything around you...even your bathroom visits!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      18 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Plenty of truths within your words here, Val. People are always aspiring for "freedom" and privacy. Your comparison between celebrities and us average Joes is a good one. Why should we have any more right to privacy in our private lives than them? Some people are never happy unless they have something to complain or stress about.


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