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Tuesday, July 01, 2014

4 Ways that Mass Surveillance Destroys the Economy

Privacy is a prerequisite for a prosperous economy. Even the White House admits:

People must have confidence that data will travel to its destination without disruption. Assuring the free flow of information, the security and privacy of data, and the integrity of the interconnected networks themselves are all essential to American and global economic prosperity, security, and the promotion of universal rights.

Here are four ways mass surveillance hurts our economy ...
1. Creativity – A Prime Driver of Prosperity – Requires Privacy

The Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, Canada – Ann Cavoukian, Ph.D. – noted last month:

Privacy is Essential to … Prosperity and Well-Being

• Innovation, creativity and the resultant prosperity of a society requires freedom;

• Privacy is the essence of freedom: Without privacy, individual human rights, property rights and civil liberties – the conceptual engines of innovation and creativity, could not exist in a meaningful manner;

• Surveillance is the antithesis of privacy: A negative consequence of surveillance is the usurpation of a person’s limited cognitive bandwidth, away from innovation and creativity.

The Financial Post reported in February: “Big Brother culture will have adverse effect on creativity, productivity“.

Christopher Lingle – visiting professor of economics at ESEADE, Universidad Francisco MarroquĂ­n – agrees that creativity is a key to economic prosperity.

Edward Snowden said last year:

The success of economies in developed nations relies increasingly on their creative output, and if that success is to continue we must remember that creativity is the product of curiosity, which in turn is the product of privacy.

Silicon Valley is currently one of the largest drivers of the U.S. economy. Do you think Bill Gates and Steve Jobs could have tinkered so creatively in their garages if the government had been watching everything they do?

Everyone who has every done anything creative knows that you need a little privacy to try different things before you’re ready to go public with it. If your bench model, rough sketch or initial melody is being dissected in real time by an intrusive audience … you’re not going to be very creative.

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