Earlier today I walked into my local library.  A sign on the door proudly announced that there were video cameras in use for the patron’s protection. I have a problem with that.
Actually, I don’t have a problem with video cameras for patron’s protection.  So if someone is assaulted, robbed, or worse I want there to be a camera to find out who did it.
If someone takes my laptop while I wander through the stacks, I want to be able to track their movements to the parking lot where I can look up their license plate number and find out who they are (or at least the police can).  I want the cameras to be in high definition and color, with pan and zoom. Maybe facial recognition too.
But what I DON’T want is for the cameras to capture the pictures and identities of everyone who takes books out of the library, or chooses to read a particular book at the library.
Just as the NSA thinks that using TOR or specific OS’s makes you a suspect, other law enforcement agencies might consider the reading of certain “subversive” books makes you an Enemy of the State.  While federal law may protect the records of the library about who takes books out and returns them, the same law probably doesn’t protect video surveillance records at the same library.
We have a patchwork quilt of privacy laws.  Actually, more like a jigsaw puzzle – with lots and lots of pieces missing.  We protect video rental records (remember Blockbuster?) but not  video streaming records (say WHAT, NetFlix?)
While we have no “expectation of privacy” in what we do in the public (e.g., walking into the library) neither do we expect there to be a permanent record of it.  Both online and off we collect, store, and use more information – and in ways that the public is not aware.
While the principle of “right to be forgotten” is laudable, the way it is being implemented in Europe is impractical and haphazard.
Certain data deserves permanence.  Others are intended to be ephemeral.  Some should be attributable.  Others anonymous.  We are rapidly getting to the point where third parties can know just about everything about us—what we eat, where we are, who we talk to, what we read and more.  With the Internet of things and big data (not to mention security issues) things will only get worse.  We can abandon hope or try to get a consensus on what should happen to data about us and who should keep it. For how long.
Maybe then I get take off this itchy gorilla costumer here at the library.   It’s getting hot in here.

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