Privacy: the Anti-Human "Human Right"
As the reach of the surveillance state grows, the call for the "right to privacy" grows louder all the time. How should we as Christians think about this? The answer is not what you might think.
I am trying something new with this piece: writing a Substack on my phone rather that at the keyboard. Hopefully, this will force me into a space somewhere between a Twitter thread and some of the very long form pieces I am capable of writing, especially when discussing a book. I am at the mall, sipping on a coffee in the food court, while my teenage daughter and her friends are shopping.
Privacy. It seems like the “right to privacy” is a no brainer in the age of big data and the emerging surveillance state. The fact that we are discussing this at all is indicative of the state of our society and the degree to which the influence Christian teaching has declined, as well as the amount of social decay with which we live. The right to privacy is little more than the right to social dissolution, alienation and loneliness.
I started thinking about this while watching the Netflix original Anon (Warning: it contains nudity and a couple of fairly graphic sex scenes. It’s ponderously paced, so you will have time to avert your eyes).
The movie is set in what I assume is supposed to be a dystopian future, although that is never clear. In this future, a decision was made: what society needed was complete “openness.” Everything everyone sees is recorded through their eyes and can be played back by the authorities. Suspect your spouse of cheating? Demand they show you their feed. Think housekeeping stole something while cleaning your hotel room? Demand to see their feeds. There are no physical computers. All computing happens within your head through your eyes. The tech is never discussed and you don’t ever see it. It’s seamless and invisible. You are connected to the “ether” full time and there is no escape, no opting out.
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