Förderverein Informationstechnik und Gesellschaft

Dan Geer: "Privacy in the Real World "

23 May 1999. Thanks to Dan Geer senior strategist, CertCo.

[Remarks at the Smart Card Forum Symposium, "Enabling Privacy in a Virtual World"]

Privacy in the Real World

Smart Card Forum

Washington, D.C.

20 May 99

Dan Geer

Thank you for that introduction.

It is timely that we speak of privacy in the real world.

Privacy is the boundary condition between rights and privileges, a boundary evidently in dispute everywhere and forever.

If privacy is "The right to be left alone -- the most comprehensive of rights, and the right most valued by civilized men" [Brandeis] then its sanctity serves as a barometer on our civilization.

Because privacy is definitionally "the state of being free from unsanctioned intrusion" [AHD] it begs the question of by whose sanction intrusions may occur, if not merely by force.