Is there such a place where real privacy truly exists or is privacy something which needs to be created? We are sewn to our national identity numbers like never ending stories, be it the SSN, DNI, SIN, CURP or HKID we need one to exist. When you think about it, they are as much a part of us as we are of them. So the question is, in the quest for privacy, are we trying to escape a government, an attachment to an identity number or the boundaries of land?
Harry D. Schultz suggested the idea known as the Three Flag Theory. Which is owning a second passport, living in a tax haven and keeping your assets in another country. This is simplistic and is not really an ideal of privacy because it is just tools not a way of life. Nor does these acts protect one against government intrusion. Governments today have long arms and are shaking hands with one another.
Privacy could be as simple as being an expat in Lichtenstein or Padua. Or that of a couch surfer traveling one living room at a time. Privacy is not solely about disappearing or hiding your information but about redefining your world in a digital age.
In addition, privacy is not always about not creating digital footprints. There are those who are Digital Nomads and choose where they live and how they work. They embrace technology recognizing that giving up a little privacy leads to real personal freedom. Sometimes one must give something up to gain independence.
As time goes on I am beginning to wonder what all the fear is about when it comes to surrendering information. Perhaps I am becoming a dinosaur in the digital age, perhaps I need to give up a little more to find more of my own freedom. Maybe digital foot prints are not always a bad thing, maybe it is a question of who you give the footprints to. When you think about privacy, do not think of it as an absolute, think of it more as a give and take.
Frank M. Ahearn
Author of: The Art of Disappearing: 199 Essential Privacy and Disappearing Tips