Nuala O’Connor & Alan Henry on Privacy

We previously featured MIT PhD candidate Jean Yang and her perspectives on the subject of privacy.

Featured on the blog today are Nuala O’Connor (@privacymama / CEO of @CenDemTech) and Alan Henry (@halophonnix / Deputy Editor @LifeHacker).

Here’s their QnA on why privacy matters!

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TGD: Why are you passionate about privacy?

nuala oconnor

Nuala O’Connor | Pic from @privacymama


“It’s my children’s future that makes me truly passionate about privacy.

I’m committed to helping shape a world where we are not forced to cede all of our privacy, and where our personal thoughts, expressions, and communications are not all collected by the government.

We need private spaces to create, to grow, and to be human. Even in an always on, always connected world, I am confident we can achieve a balance both between privacy and surveillance, and between information sharing and innovation.”

Nuala O’Connor is a mom, tech diva, and CEO of The Center for Democracy & Technology. Follow her on Twitter @privacymama.

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TGD: Why are you passionate about privacy?

alan henry

Alan Henry | Pic from Lifehacker


“I’m passionate about privacy because at its core, privacy is a basic human right, but not in the way that most people think. Most people think privacy is this amorphous ability to keep your personal business to yourself without being watched, but it’s much more than that. Privacy gives us the freedom to keep our actions—from the library books we read to the things we buy online—from having any impact, positive or negative, on the rest of our lives. It gives us the freedom to grow and change our opinions, and learn new things and look back on the way we used to be without fear that what we used to say and think will haunt us. It gives us the option to choose when we’re marketed to, and when our information is marketable, rather than have that dictated to us by the people looking to make money on us, or take our money from us.

In essence, privacy is about the ability to control your own destiny, and how you interact with the world around you—from other people, to the companies you patronize, to the government you live under. It’s about being able to actively steer that destiny, without taking a backseat to it with the illusion of you having had some input.”

Alan Henry is Deputy Editor @Lifehacker and the classiest geek you’ll ever meet. He tweets @halophoenix.