If you want privacy, start by being private

Derek BluntDerek Blunt is ranting again...

Alexis de Tocqueville said:

"In a Democracy, the people get the government they deserve."

Maybe the same applies to privacy? People seem to be upset about the so-called lack of privacy these days, or about private information going missing, but I don't notice people being that worried about such matters in their everyday lives. In a (definitely not) highly scientific survey I witnessed the following on a recent train journey in which the carriage was packed (that is to say, there was a large audience):

  • Someone yawned, and treated us all to a first class view of his tonsils.
  • Someone was discussing his company's business plan with his business partner on his phone at the top of his voice.
  • Someone else was making her personal arrangements at the top of her voice.
  • Someone else let his friend -- and all of us -- know exactly what he told his boss to do with his job.
  • Someone else spent the entire journey putting her make-up on.
  • Someone else picked his nose without bothering with such niceties as a tissue.

Was I just unlucky in my choice of fellow travellers? Or does all this signify a deeper malaise in our society, characterised by an absence of any sense of what is appropriate behaviour in public?

If enough 'ordinary' people don't care about maintaining their privacy and a sense of decorum, why should any government?

Derek Blunt: Blunt by name, blunt by nature.