Simson Garfinkel has written a commentary on the state of privacy and security in Technology Review. Here’s a bit from his conclusion:
For more than 100 years, American jurisprudence has recognized privacy as a requirement for democracy, social relations, and human dignity. For nearly 50, we’ve understood that protecting privacy takes more than just controlling intrusions into your home; it also requires being able to control information about you that’s available to businesses, government, and society at large. Even though Americans were told after 9/11 that we needed to choose between security and privacy, it’s increasingly clear that without one we will never have the other.
We need to learn how to protect privacy by intention, not by accident. Although technology can help, my belief is that such protections need to start with clearly articulated polices. Just as Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency to protect our environment, we need some kind of Privacy Protection Agency to give our rights a fighting chance. Our piecemeal approach is no longer acceptable.