Privacy is a very difficult issue — there is always a balance between giving people privacy and keeping people safe and healthy. I think we always need to be trying to respect people’s privacy, but there will also be situations where that isn’t possible or there are more urgent issues to deal with. Also, as technology becomes more advanced, new questions about privacy are coming up. I think the most important thing is to keep talking about privacy and for people to find out as much as they can about how their data is being used. In an ideal world, we’d hit exactly the right balance between privacy and security, but for now we need to educate ourselves and make sure privacy is always on people’s minds.
I think Sarah is right. I also think we have to figure out what we mean now by ‘privacy’. What I mean is that even the most private people might be happy to share more stuff now than they would have been in the past. For example, you can be on Facebook and still be a private person, which probably means that you don’t post every day, you only put things up there that you would be happy for anyone to know, and maybe you use it more to find out what other people are doing than to say what you are doing yourself. But even that private person is still happy to be on Facebook. Before the internet existed, a person who was as private as that might have been horrified by the very idea of Facebook, but now it’s pretty normal, so that people (in our society) who are not on Facebook are the unusual ones, not people who are on there. So, as a society, we probably accept less privacy as the norm than we used to.