Father of Internet wants to give up privacy

Vint Cerf is nick-named “father of the internet”, as he managed the US defense research program “DARPA” that did the first research in the 1960’s on the communication technology that became the internet. Cerf is the “Chief Internet Evangelist” at Google. The other day, Cerf spoke at a US Federal Trade Commission event on The Internet of Things, saying that “privacy may actually be an anomaly” (according to this report in The Verge), comparing with the lack of privacy in a smaller village and suggesting that privacy is an idea that came with technology and that may now be going away.

It’s funny he would say that, because I read something like this:

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

… oh, wait! That’s Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. So it may be that privacy is not something that technology invented after all, but something we are entitled to from birth. Funny how Google wants to mess with this. In this day and age of NSA, Prism, Xkeyscore, GCHQ etc it would make more sense for internet services to make a case that they protect privacy as best they can.

Also, a small community like Vint Cerf’s childhood village is completely different from cloud services, there is a social contract that everybody knows (almost) everything about one another – it goes two-ways. Internet surveillance is the cloud looking at the people, without the people looking back.