Goodhart Soft Brain
Think Tank: New ideas for the 21st Century: Privacy or safety: it’s your choice
The liberty lobby conveniently forgets that the state needs our data to protect us
We are not living in a police state. Not even a remotely authoritarian one. In fact we, all of us, have never enjoyed so much liberty – personal, political and legal....
These are not normal times: the combination of new technology and the ever-rising expectations that the public have of state services means that we are unavoidably living in a new era of the database state and a cool, technocratic debate is required to establish its parameters. The shrill politicisation of the liberty lobby makes this harder...The modern social democratic state needs lots of data about us in order to fulfil the demands we make on it; not just trivial things like our bank account details to pay in pensions or tax credits but more personal things like health records – to make sure we get the right treatment at the right time.
If there is too much suspicion of the state and too many data protection rules, the state cannot give us what we want. ...
It might be useful if we started to see our data as similar to tax, something we willingly surrender to the authorities in return for various benefits....
By turning these complex debates into a story of noble defenders of liberty versus power-grabbing tyrants (whether politicians or officials), the liberty lobby reinforces the lazy antipolitics of the age – a sort of UK Independence party for the chattering classes.
And what's the weather like on the planet you live on? I only ask pretending to be interested because I never want to visit or live there. Twat.