You will care about your privacy when you lose yours
Nov 10, 2017
Privacy concerns rise as societal implications of Facebook and digital oversharing come to light, with potential for authoritarianism in Brazil.
"When Facebook was starting and someone told me they weren't on it, I said 'Ok, you know you will be'. I had no idea of the consequences of what I was saying. [Facebook] changes everything in your relationship with society, with people. It interferes with productivity in bizarre ways. God only knows what it does to children's brains."
The above quote is not from a counterculture individual who is desperate to smoke some weed and melt into Santo Daime. It was made by Sean "Napster" Parker, the man who brought the music and film industry into the wrestling ring of torrents (through Napster) and who later decided to invest some money in a promising start-up from a Jewish boy outside of Harvard's curve called Facebook. The most surefire investment of his life made him (and his successors) never have to work again, but even so, he is not grateful. He is afraid and knows what he fears.
Parker publicly states that Facebook is far from harmless. "Our obsession was: 'How can we consume as much of your time as possible?'". This is what led to the creation of the "Like" button, according to Parker, the equivalent of another dose of dopamine in the vein, an addiction to get people to share more and more things. Who hasn't wondered if they are oversharing? Well, that's the problem. Almost no one realizes they are exposing even the back of their pancreas on the networks and keep taking their digital paranoia behavior to the extreme trying to solve a self-love problem that should be on a therapist's couch instead of the cell phone of 2 billion people in the world.
There is consistent concern in the most developed countries about the size of the potential problem, but for now, the extent of the damage is still only intellectual. Scholars and activists call society to the problem, but it still doesn't make anyone lose money and the relatively few harmed by the problem are not enough to lead to deeper reflection.
Last May, the Internet Lab (an entity similar in nature to the Electronic Frontier Foundation), released a study that led to two (quite obvious) conclusions. The first is that, after we originated the Civil Rights Framework of the Internet (a progressive document compared to the average and reasonable in relation to the ideal), we did not demand from the congressional kleptocracy to adequately legislate our privacy protection. The second is that, as always in Brazil, if there is no law, anything goes (despite a healthy interpretation of the Civil Code would already be enough to protect rights that are not protected). In the case of "anything goes", just see how your internet service provider rigorously doesn't care about following the law.
Today, if it so wishes, a serious state entity could create an almost Kafkaesque surveillance regime. It may sound like a plot of Stranger Things, but probably in your home there are already devices capable of putting you in a realistic Big Brother. TVs with networked services, electronic babysitters and, of course, mobile phones, almost never have security protocols that are difficult to break for a simple reason: no one cares. Since the 50s the cars that circulated in Brazil already had safety devices, but until Mayor Paulo Maluf (yes, him, the pre-Car Wash political antichrist) decided to fine people who did not wear seat belts, 95% of people did not wear them. Only when confronted with their own losses of possessions or rights do people react. Curiously or not, individualism always prevails over solidarity, as philosophy widely observes.
Brazil is heading for a historic moment of authoritarianism and as always this happens with most of the manipulated mass co-opted by the populists walking smiling to the scaffold. For each lunatic outburst of one of the candidates who are at the top in the polls (from either side), another herd of electoral cattle walks to the extremes. Today, the police state still only harasses the poor and blacks in Brazil, but the current legal state of things leaves the perfect environment for any disaster in the future.