I read this article today, and to say the least, I reacted. Privacy is a term used far too loosely, and I think people might not really know what they are defining. Whatever privacy is to you, you need to consider how privacy exists in the real world.

A ghostly voice:

Consumer privacy issues are a “red herring.” — “‘You have zero privacy anyway,’ Scott McNealy told a group of reporters and analysts Monday night at an event to launch his company’s new Jini technology. Get over it.’”

That was in 1999.

Subsquently…. resultingly….. These privacy conversations kill me. If one wishes for privacy, one shouldn’t leave the house, nor ever go online.

It is completely within the best interests of a hotel to protect a guest’s privacy… we go to significant lengths to do so. To suggest otherwise is misinformed and ignorant.  It is the hallmark of our success, among other things.

This issue isn’t about a hotel’s sensitivity to privacy. The issue is our current preoccupation with the concept of privacy. No one has any idea what “privacy” means. We have relative freedom, and our lives are relatively unobstructed and we are able to do as we please. But leaving the house – you are subjected to the largest shift in communication history, coupled with modern technological achievements that have, together, completely negated the concept of privacy. It doesn’t exist anymore. In fact… younger generations shed it as a by-product of the lifestyle they seek… a reminder that, shortly, it simply isn’t going to be an issue for people that will be controlling the world soon. How can we really expect any privacy, anyway?

It’s a fun conversation about a word few people really understand…. but whether or not we need to be sensitive (hotels, in fact, are sensitive) is moot. The point is that privacy is ending, and to some extent we are willfully giving it up as a biproduct of being able to access these amazing tools of the internet age.

Think about apps…. how much did you think about all the permissions you granted those people to access your app for free? Sorry to say, that app isn’t free:  you are releasing your privacy as payment. It’s happening at an increasing rate, and it’s soon going to be an arcane conversation for future pondering. It really makes me laugh that these people are on Facebook, posting constant information, and worried about privacy. They worry some professional acquaintance will see something off color, when they have completely given their entire lives worth of information to facebook…. talk about a crisis of perception.

Hello Nero, your fiddle is lovely. I think it’s a lyre, but history is vague. Also, Rome is burning.

Facebook isn’t free. Privacy doesn’t exist there… there’s equity in your information. Why else would it be valued at 50B? So we give up privacy constantly. In exchange for ESP like connection to friends and supercomputer like access to facts and answers…. I give up much, happily.

When the concept of privacy was far more quaint.

When the concept of privacy was far more quaint.

But if I can go to a website and spend $30 and know someone’s address, info, etc… I just can’t imagine anyone really taking privacy seriously. Mcnealy was right in 1999. It’s the nature of our culture cannibalizing itself. It’s not a hotel that people have to worry about.

It’s not big brother. It’s us. We are what we fear. Big Brother is every single one of us with a camera and being in the right place at the right time. What reasonable expectation of privacy would one have when everyone is connected to a camera that immediately uploads online? Our police cameras can’t compete with the aggregate real world social net that is taking down people, and corporations, and governments and nations.

Hotels, arguably, are among the most sensitive organizations in the world when it comes to respecting all levels of it’s guest’s / patron’s privacy. It’s not our responsibility, however, to be blamed for the growing pains involved with the greatest shift in human communication’s history.  Unfortunately, until we resolve these issues…. everyone will grimly fantasize about being important enough to be stalked. It’s not that I am that cynical, it’s just that I know we may not be *that* interesting.

(But we just don't realize it yet)

It's not big brother, it's us - the sea of anonymous watchers.

Until we realize this, we impede the advancement of a more ethical, and humane, human population.  I am sorry your petty, arrogant privacies feel threatened.  I already mentioned, unfortunately, that in the grand scheme of things… none of us really matter. In light of that, let’s celebrate our connections and stop babbling about meaningless issues of ego.  Let’s advance….  see you there.  Until then, you are stuck arguing about lost concepts from vestiges past.  Evolve.