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Town Square

Palo Alto as Source of Content and Search Tools For

Original post made by Bob Wenzlau on Jun 7, 2013

Opinions will abound, but once again Palo Alto is central to the debate swirling about sacrificing our personal privacy to a perceived better good established to protect from terrorist. Long suspected, the released PowerPoints show incremental loss of privacy without our consent.

Our local firms provide the content tools like Facebook, Apple, Skype and Google that collect the information to be shared, and our local firms also built the software tools that allow this same content to be searched. The permission to release and analyze our personal information is playing out in our local business meeting rooms, but not in our local civic dialogue.

Perhaps the Weekly could spend a moment to help grow this discussion, and allow a civic discussion. A local discussion would carry force as it would not be caught in the Washington DC spin, and could be more authentic to our space as the technology engines driving this ethical question.

As an aside, this ties to the importance of liberal arts in education. Many of these issues of privacy are placed on engineers. Engineers are taught to code, and may skip the broader liberal arts like philosophy and history that could inform their decisions to release hereto private information. Privacy is likely a hassle, and its importance is ambiguous. Could a liberal arts education have brought more fortitude to likely have preempted this circumstance?

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