Edward Snowden used his alternative Christmas message to highlight the death of privacy, and he’s right that privacy as we’ve all known it will die. But he’s wrong to focus on what governments are doing. Governments aren’t the ones that are going to kill privacy.
Neither are corporations the ones to blame. Google, Amazon and the like will know more about us than any company has ever known about its customers, but they aren’t the ones who will kill privacy.
No: the ones responsible for the death of privacy will be you and me.
What happens when the technology of surveillance – surreptitious cameras, tiny drones, spyware – becomes available to every individual on the planet? What happens when every parent can follow their children’s activities 24/7, online and offline?
History tells us that technology starts off expensive and big, the domain of governments and corporations, and ends up small and cheap, available to every individual. Surveillance tech is going to follow the same pattern. And that, not corporations and governments, will be what kills privacy.