Date: July 28th, 2012

Privacy Extremism

The Philosophy of Privacy Extremism emphasizes that privacy should be maintained in all situations; that if in question, privacy should be given preference, unless sufficient arguments to the contrary apply to the specific context.

Privacy is a necessary condition under which a person can develop his self and embrace individual responsibility for decisions and actions – it is the prerequisite for individual liberty.

As such it is not granted but must be taken and protected vigilantly.

Furthermore privacy proves to be essential when engaging in meaningful and truthfrul interpersonal relationships by making the social mask unnecessary and removing the need to keep up appearances, but instead maintaining an environment of trust.

A denial of privacy to the contrary establishes and enforces a lack and loss of esteem, respect and value in and for things and other persons.

Privacy should therefor be the strong standard for personal behavior, normative for those that thrive towards personal human positive development.

However, privacy is under constant attack. Digital surveillance, data tracking, big data analysis, biometrics and cameras augmented with facial recognition represent just the edges of a massive trend towards deep surveillance and control structures.
Opponents of surveillance are faced with only a few options to deal with this trend:

  • Aggressive and violent destruction of surveillance installations and technology, which is not an option for peaceful and respectful individuals.
  • The political process, which however promises only slow and incomplete change towards more privacy – if any. It also requires the impression of the individual will of the privacy defenders on the collective will of the political body – constituting a means of rulership which is not an acceptable choice for people that embrace individual liberty.
  • Self-abandonment, while often the option realized through endless compromise, cannot be the goal of anyone conscious of his self-worth.

This only leaves methods of self-protection to minimize data collection and surveillance without exclusively relying on third parties for protection. It is the privacy extremists choice to reduce data available on him.

Through the choiceful self-protection the individual enables himself to choose whose observation, judgement and social memory he wants to become part of and who to exclude from relationships. Instead of a purely negative defense of privacy it becomes a positive means to shape relationships and express appreciation for others.

Applied privacy extremism allows for the new ways to emphasise relationships, esteem and openness in a selective and meaningful way by supporting the individualization of both the privacy extremist himself and the counterparts in his relationships.

Lastly privacy extremism constitutes a well-mannered and unobstrusive behavior by which the usual shallow grasp for attention is minimized.


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