Monday, January 3rd, 2011

I just published a privacy policy for Since I suspect my policy may be a bit unorthodox, I thought I’d post about it.

I, Benjamin Smedberg, will try to do what I think is appropriate with any information collected by this website. I believe that privacy is a tool which should be used to limit the powerful, not a fundamental right. To the extent that I don’t have much power, I don’t feel the need to provide any guarantee of privacy. Any information, including names, email addresses, and other identifying information, may be shared with others or even made public if I believe that is the correct thing to do.

I may make changes to my beliefs or this policy at any time. Please feel free to contact me if you want to ask questions, or change by beliefs.

I get the feeling that I value privacy differently than most of my Mozilla colleagues. I do not think that privacy is a fundamental right of mankind. Privacy is a tool to keep the powerful in check, by limiting how they may use information they have. To the extent that the government has vast information about and power over its citizens, it should be forced to respect their privacy as a counter to its power. This is the true purpose of the fourth amendment to the U.S. constitution.

I do believe that corporations which have information and power should also be limited, especially as they grow in size and scope. But I think that any proposals which treat privacy as a fundamental right instead of a system of checks and balances are ultimately doomed to failure.