Privacy: overrated in the USA  

sadock76 44M
139 posts
5/6/2005 11:15 pm

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

Privacy: overrated in the USA

What is this huge hangup Americans have about their "right" to privacy. Oh no not my privacy, that's protected by the 4th amendment. What, you searched w/o a warrant? Well, guess Satan Jr. the serial child can go home then. Watch out kiddies!

I realize I'm going to be in the vast minority here so if there's anyone out there who agrees with me on this, please comment so I'll know I'm not alone. I'm fully expecting a barrage of "but I need my privacy for X" replies which I welcome as well. I like hearing from everyone, regardless of whether I happen to agree with their point of view.

I used to love that America had privacy laws, but that was when I engaged in certain "illegal" activities during my college years. Those days are ancient history. If we as citizens are not breaking the law, I simply don't see a need for privacy.

I understand that everyone I know is accustomed to it and wants to keep it. But wouldn't we be better off if EVERYONE knew EVERYTHING about everyone ELSE? I'm not talking just the government here or only a few select people. Blackmail and the whole big brother concept become absolutely obsolete in an instant.

I'm not saying it should be mandatory that you know everything but that it be accessible information. Kind of a hear no evil see no evil policy if you chose not to but those who wished to hear and see would be welcome to. Take nudity for example. I certainly would not want to be forced to look at a 350 pound grandmother walking down the sidewalk naked. But I think she should have the freedom to do so if she chooses to.

One possible complication I foresee in this type of world is that many people would not be treated fairly because of one condition or another that they choose to keep secret at present (ie HIV positive, mental disorder, cancer, etc). I believe this would abate with time, but I am not certain. We would need to learn to be better people.

So, what do you think? Has privacy outlived it's usefulness? Or do we still need to hide in our closets because our neighbor is not open minded enough to accept we're different and just look away if he doesn't like what he sees?

nightstogether 56M

5/6/2005 11:39 pm

Don't you think that thge idea of everyone knowing everything about everyone else would take a great deal of the spice out oif life? It would be like living in Orwell's 1984. Perhaps you ought to read the book; perhaps you ought to reconsider what you'd be losing if you had no right to privacy.

private-intellectual (.de)

man4nooners1 46M
155 posts
5/7/2005 2:42 am

If you are claiming too many criminals get off because of stringent privacy laws, I can't really agree. Our legal system does a pretty good job as far as I can tell. The sanctity of our homes is one of the most important tenets of our constitution. Everything from gun rights, to religious freedom, to freedom of speech are tied to this.

Its nice that you pick and choose when privacy suits you. Would some jail time in your "college years" have helped you in your journey through life? Our whole legal system is set up on doing as much/little as possible without getting caught. From speeding on the roads to what we tell the IRS we owe them every April 15. Cheating is big business too. From shady stock dealings to Trump declaring bankruptcy every few years. The system is what it is.

If someone was given the right to search my home at will, they'd probably find nothing illegal. But they'd see some things I'd rather keep private. You ask a question of whether we'd be better off knowing everything about everybody. Well, maybe you'd be better off knowing everything about everybody, but you wouldn't be better off if everybody knew everything about you. And no one is better off without the privacy we enjoy.

The 350lb grandmother is a useful metaphor. All of us has that ugly part of our life which we wish to hide. Some more than others. What you are asking for is to view that ugly side with impunity. Since you have claimed to not want to view that, be careful what you wish for. Discrimination is easy. 'We would need to learn to be better people'? Good luck with that.

And even if you disagree with everything else. The fact is American's just don't care. All kinds of information is available to us, and we don't care. People don't check whether there are sex offenders in there neighborhood. I can't see them searching for more info. And I don't really want to live next door to someone who is concerned about me owning porn. Do we really need to be any more divisive?

wyvernrose 38F
3895 posts
5/7/2005 2:43 am

Privacy laws are a delicate balance to protect people from abuse through misuse of information, which is outside the scope of law enforcement and does happen, and it also provides you the right to know what information companies and the government hold in regards to yourself, for the purpose of correction and review....

you cannot completely do away with them, but nor can we allow them to become too stringent either.....

privacy applies not just to government but corporations too....

your mistaken as to what prevents police officers enter and search your private dwelling, it isn't privacy enter private property without permission is an offence under law, it is called entering, to cause damage in order to enter, this misdemenor rises to break and enter,

The use of warrants provides justification to police officer to enter your dwelling without committing an offence......


wyvernrose 38F
3895 posts
5/7/2005 2:47 am

I know in Australia Privacy falls under Freedom of information and the privacy Acts in each state,

the laws which prevent someone entering your home will be found in the criminal code in each state,

I have read Privacy laws which apply in the US and it is a similar set up law wise....


wyvernrose 38F
3895 posts
5/7/2005 2:53 am

Oh same in regards to the 350 pound grandma also criminal code it isn't in any way related to Privacy, it isn't privacy your gripping about it is the laws which determine what is and isn't a criminal activity


wyvernrose 38F
3895 posts
5/7/2005 2:57 am

Ahhhhhhhh your a Fire Fighter no wonder! ok I thought it was a uniform for a different department, I was kind of baffled why you had even written that actually.....

sorry we wear uniforms at this end too, (both of us at some stages in the past) and have both had to study and know the criminal code for work......


rm_xx23x3 44M
51 posts
5/7/2005 3:48 am

America without privacy wouldn't be America.Society is not ready for total openess yet,it may never be.I do agree that people that are convicted of sex crimes,murder and released should lose all privacy.

sadock76 44M

5/8/2005 12:45 am

Wow, thanks for all the feedback. I'm impressed I only received "hate" commentary from one person. And looking at their spelling and grasp of the English language, I'm not all that concerned about their opinion.

Nightstogether, it might take some of the mystique out of life if people were omniscient, but we're not. We would still have to discover everything about one another. But thank you for recommending 1984, that was a classic that I never read. I picked it up at Bookmans today and will start it tonight.

Man4nooners, thanks for the well thought out reply. I did not want to write a full fledged dissertation because then no one would read it. I recognize that many of my claims are unsubstantiated and may perhaps be untrue. In regards to the illegal activities in my college years and speeding, I'm actually in favor of across the board legalization and doing away with speed limits. I'd say I'm a liberatarian politically.

You are completely correct about the system being what it is and Americans not caring. Unfortunate but still TRUE. As much as I might wish it were different, it doesn't change the facts. And the simple fact is that we as Americans are simply not responsible enough to handle life without restricive laws. I wish the populous as a whole was, but it's not. If we were responsible and could respect one another then the divisiveness issue would be irrelevant. But again, we're not, so it's not.

The point you raise about cheating is particularly insightful in this respect. If we had no privacy and less laws who would benefit the most? The people who cheat. ANY system is only as strong as it's weakest members. The world just isn't ready for the type of reform I'd like to see. It is a wonderful idealistic concept but there is NO way in HELL it could ever be practically applied. In order for it to succeed everyone would need to have integrity and possess a high level of self responsibility, not to mention respect others' right to be different.

wyvernrose 38F
3895 posts
5/8/2005 6:57 am

I hope you enjoy it sadcock it's a good book, following that you may wish to read Animal Farm Also by George Orwell


MILFGoddess 44F

5/8/2005 10:22 am

"People don't check whether there are sex offenders in there neighborhood. I can't see them searching for more info." - man4nooners1


I have 2 small children and even though I am certain that some of the convicted sex offenders do not register like they should (even though it's a felony probation violation not to!) and they slip through the cracks, there are still the ones the do, and I make sure that I stay up to date on where these people are in my neighborhood.

I know I can't be everywhere @ all time, but I can actively do a big part in protecting my children when they go outside to play.

I actually check up on a lot things through public records. It's not that I am nosey or want that information to harm people; I just like to know who and what I am dealing with in certain situations.

I guess you could say I am a VERY aware person. And that's a good thing.

But the only other reason I can think of for strict privacy laws is in cases of identity theft and the financial RUIN it can cause an innocent person. Yep--I've been there and done that! It really is too easy to steal someone's identity. I know they are making it more difficult, but the bad guys are just like us - they have a motive to do it, so THEY will build a better mousetrap. It's unfortunate that there are so many crooks, cheats, liars and scammers in the world that are so self-absorbed and enslaved to that almighty dollar that they have such little regard for their fellow human being. VERY sad.

sadock76 44M

5/8/2005 7:49 pm

btw for anyone wondering where the hate commentary went, it got deleted when I banned that person. Didn't realize it would do that. *DOH* Would've let them be if they'd actually had something to add to the discussion but they just kept being abusive to no positive purpose. Cest la vie, shit happens. I actually would've liked their posts to stay up because they were a good example of how far we have to mature before we can live in a utopian society.

sadock76 44M

5/8/2005 7:52 pm

MILF goddess, you bring up another subject I'm planning on blogging about soon- God Money and how americans are addicted to worshiping it.

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