Erasing David


In the film, we see David talking to a number of experts on privacy – including Toon Vanagt and Frank Ahearn. Frank in particular shows David that living a ‘normal’ life means sacrificing your privacy – using a mobile phone can give away your location. Toon notes that using new media such as Twitter, people are becoming more careless about their privacy – letting people know their whereabouts much more freely than they would have done in the past.

This problem has even spawned an internet site,, which trawls Twitter posts to give away people’s locations. Are we too careless with our location on the internet?

More fundamentally, Toon argues that privacy is about ‘what you reveal about yourself to whom, and for what purpose’. This means how much of your identity will you reveal, and how much of your liberty are you willing to compromise.

Legally, privacy law is still catching up with the internet – and it’s not clear if it will be able to do so. The issue of a privacy law in the UK (which does not exist at present) has raised much controversy – doesn’t the idea of a privacy law actually limit others too (in terms of freedom of speech). Do people have an absolute right to privacy?

  • Do we have an absolute right to privacy? If a high-profile celebrity privately held racist beliefs, would ‘we’ have a right to know?

  • Should the UK have a privacy law? And if so, how would it deal with the amount of information individuals now make freely available over the internet?

  • Conservative leader David Cameron famously responded to questions about drugs by saying all politicians have a right to a private life outside of politics. Do they have the right to a private life after entering into politics?

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