Bollingbroke -- I never said you were wrong. I'm not a legal scholar, but I believe the constitutional protections only apply to over-the-top government snooping.
Your example on yogurt preference is spot-on. I don't believe that anything in the constitution that prevents grocery stores or credit card companies from compiling information about how we spend our money, or prevents a company from offering us free disk space and a free email service in exhange for allowing them to examine our information/data.
I was reluctant to even write a post with the C word. Certainly not a topic I'm familiar with or even that interested in. And now my worst fears realized someone responds and challenges my statements. What to do? I could without causing a ripple just ignore it and move on. But no, I will give a half-hearted response but with the proviso and promise never to bring up the C word again on this forum and leave its use to those who are angry enough to employ it ( it does seem anytime you come across any discussion of the C word there are mostly very angry people involved ) .
Just saying that what you quoted could more easily be applied to the right of the individual to security as you mentioned rather than privacy which are not always the same thing. Let the world know my preference in Greek style yogurt rather than take residence on the shores of some dreary pond in eastern Mass. I think there are many out there protecting some very boring and unimportant details about themselves.
"For some the bottom line is always the Constitution, which contains no express right to privacy."
Generally, I agree, but doesn't the Fourth Amendment guarantee some right of privacy, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause ..."
I make a conscious choice to trade privacy for conveniences. I could go live in a Walden-Pond-like hut in the wilderness and enjoy privacy. I choose to enjoy comfort-controlled spaces, street lights on paved roads, running water, electricity, electronic financial transactions and wireless communications. Some loss of privacy is a consequence.
"One of the hidden technological impacts and laws, I believe, relates to patents. Companies have had to create intellectual property protection departments to combat the trolls who spend their time looking for patent holes and litigating for damages."
Why do you refer to is as been 'hidden'? I thought patents are as pervasive and well known as anything in the tech world that you could possibby imagine. As you rightly noted, we know there are folks out there looking to exploit weaknesses in exisiting patents. But don't you think patents laws as they relate to technology have evolve enough to minimize the activities of these trolls?
"That may not be a bad thing, in that I think we are over-lawed as a society, anyway".
It is true that we are over-lawed but what if a larger portion of theselawas no longer applicable considering the changing nature of how we consume information these days? We have had cases in the recent past in which there are no applicable laws to punish the culprits when the crime was committed online.
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