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Chapter 8. DO THE WALLS HAVE EARS? OTHER... > What Happens When You Add It All Up?

What Happens When You Add It All Up?

Taken by themselves, these new technologies clearly have benefits as well as potential privacy threatening uses. Consumers and online users can probably deal with individual companies and their privacy policies, even though managing those many separate agreements is a hassle. However, it's the combination of services and technologies that are most worrisome.

One of Pat's colleague's recently characterized the privacy climate as being much like the story of the frog in the cooking pot. That story says that if you put a frog in a pot of cool water and gradually raise the temperature to boiling, you can cook the frog before it even notices the temperature change, because the change is so gradual. If you toss a frog into a pot of boiling water, however, it thrashes around because it definitely notices the temperature. “It's like that with privacy,” this colleague said. “We hardly noticed the temperature going up, because all these things happened so slowly and so subtly, but now we're definitely in hot water. If we don't take some action to take control of our own information, and the intrusions in our lives, we're sunk.”


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