Wednesday, June 21, 2023

If You Care About Privacy...

If you care about privacy, please stop referring to "privacy advocates." This reflexive phrase implies that certain individuals are trying to increase privacy or otherwise change the status quo--an uphill battle regardless of the issue at hand because most people instinctively distrust and even fear change.

In fact, privacy is under increasing assault by government and corporate deployment of new technologies. So the far more accurate--and tactically useful--phrase would be "privacy defenders."

Sadly, when it comes to nomenclature, rulers tend to be much more clever than the ruled. Renaming the War Department the Defense Department was genius in this regard. Now even otherwise excellent journalists reflexively refer to "defense" spending, a phrase far less likely to trouble the citizenry than "war" spending or even "military" spending.

The government understands that "defense" makes good marketing. I wish whoever came up with "privacy advocates" were half as effective.

More such own-goals here.

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