More seriously, the internet allows a teen who thinks she's pregnant to do research without alerting her parents. It allows victims of abuse or those with suicidal thoughts or closeted LGBT people to seek out semi anonymous support groups. When I was a teenager, it allowed me to seek out and try virtually every acne cure or remedy ever devised without forcing me to talk about it with my mom."Many new technologies whose privacy impacts we fear as a society actually bring great privacy boons to users, as well as significant costs. Society tends to pocket these benefits without much thought, while carefully tallying and wringing its hands about the costs," Wittes and Liu wrote."The result is a ledger in which we worry obsessively about the possibility that users' internet searches can be tracked, without considering the privacy benefits that accrue to users because of the underlying ability … to acquire sensitive material without facing another human, without asking permission, and without being judged by the people around us," they continue.
"We care about privacy as it relates to the people from whom we want to keep certain pieces of information secret."
Even when something high profile and highly embarrassing like AdultFriendFinder does get hacked, there's no guarantee that you, personally, are going to face any real consequences from the fact that anyone, in theory, can now find out you are into some weird sex thing.When you're lost in a sea of 4 million other people who have also been hacked, you need a specific bad actor, or a specific person who is particularly interested in you to actually expose your secrets.Consider the chances that someone cheating on her husband on AdultFriendFinder has a spouse who A) suspects she might be on the site; B) knows how to access hacked databases of information (or wants to pay $17,000); and C) actually searches for her (or actually knows her username). It seems like a longshot, compared to the chances of some parent from your daughter's softball game seeing you cruising for discreet hookups at a bar."People often throw around the term 'privacy' as though everyone were trying to shield the same things about themselves and shield them from the same groups of people. But privacy is not an abstract value," Wittes and Liu wrote. "We care about privacy as it relates to the people from whom we want to keep certain pieces of information secret."The authors note that government surveillance "threats feel highly theoretical."
If the alternative is real-life awkwardness or a real-life, immediate loss of privacy, people will take their chances with the NSA