On the topic of #privacy and #surveillance, I often seen arguments that can be phrased as: "if someone you loved were lost, wouldn't you do everything you could to find them?"

Of course I would. I have two young children. They mean more to me than anything, and that includes my principles. I can't imagine the desperation I would feel if they were lost, and I would do almost anything to find them.

And that's part of the problem. We have these pervasive surveillance systems---be it government or civilian (like Ring)---that produce enormous amounts of data. We have mobile devices, cars, ALPRs, and such tracking most every person's moves. We have services analyzing DNA for family history being used for other uses. So on and so fourth.

And it doesn't matter what those data are collected for---maybe it's for certain purposes now, but once enough people become desperate enough, they'll be used for other things too. Even if those people think it's wrong to do so.

We need to avoid putting these systems in place to begin with. That's the only way we can't be tempted by them in difficult times.

And when something does happen, people say, "but if we had X, I wouldn't have lost the person I love". The problem is: it's impossible to satisfy that argument. You can never have enough. And as a consequence, the lives of everyone are affected, not just those who are in that terrible situation.

These aren't easy decisions to make. I say that as both an activist for user privacy, and as a father.

@mikegerwitz Also I assume every anti-privacy means of achieving something like that could have its privacy-respecting counterpart.

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