Anonymity

We often assume we are anonymous. Every time I drive my nondescript car, I assume that no one knows who I am. When I am shopping, I rarely meet anyone I know, including the clerks. Even at work, when I walk down a crowded hall, I often see no one I know, and assume they don’t know me.

If we look at human history, this is not normal. Until about two hundred years ago, with more than ninety percent of the population in agriculture, most people spent almost all their time with people who knew them. Until the invention of the bicycle, an average person couldn’t go far enough away from home to be anonymous, at least not very often.

With privacy considerations in mind, people have criticized facial recognition software and license plate recognition software when used by the government. Apparently, people think people have an innate right to move with anonymity. It is a very narrow window when this was normal for most people. The rich, with their horses and carriages could do it. There were traders and sailors who moved around, but most people were rarely in a place they weren’t known.

I have no problem with the government tracking the movements of people. I don’t think I have a constitutional right to hide where I am.

.

Advertisements

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: