WSJ reviews Public Parts

“I’m delighted that Gordon Crovitz reviews Public Parts in the Wall Street Journal. Snippets:

“For many years, privacy has been evolving to become a right as fundamental as equal protection or free speech. But what if it comes at too high a cost? What if we have too much privacy when technology now makes sharing information so much easier and the value of shared information so much greater? …

“Mr. Jarvis argues it should be up to each person where to balance the risks and rewards of being more public. ‘When new technologies cause change and fear, government’s reflex is to regulate them to protect the past,” he says. “But in doing so, they also can cut off the opportunities for the future.’

“Congress is considering several privacy bills. But Mr. Jarvis calls it a ‘dire mistake to regulate and limit this new technology before we even know what it can do.’

“Privacy is notoriously difficult to define legally. Mr. Jarvis says we should think about privacy as a matter of ethics instead. We should respect what others intend to keep private, but publicness reflects the choices ‘made by the creator of one’s own information.’ The balance between privacy and publicness will differ from person to person in ways that laws applying to all can’t capture.”