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Chapter: 

We are all trying to solve the same problem

In modern societies, the dynamics between privacy and security are certainly complex.  Previously we only saw the 'balanced' relationship in that security and privacy are mutually exclusive.  So governments called for decreased privacy to enhance national security; and privacy proponents were nearly compelled to ask that criminality be permitted in order to advance the cause of liberty. 

The world is far more sophisticated now, as we have learned much from history.  Increasingly, with the rise of security breaches and identity fraud, and with abuses in security investigations, personal security may actually be enabled through privacy.  And when the personal information of a community or a nation is placed at risk through over-centralisation and made accessible wrongly to others, we may perceive privacy as a necessary component of security.  Only when we consider all of these dynamics when assessing a new technology or a new policy can we truly appreciate the risks and challenges we are about to face.

This is why privacy requires extensive public discourse.  A country needs to understand the risks of introducing new laws and systems, but these are not always apparent particularly when they are seeking only to implement the systems that they are sold, and systems that they are told exist in other countries around the world.  Capacity building on privacy is therefore essential so that key stakeholders are equipped to understand the nature of the problems, the challenges, the opportunities, and the risks.  When we understand that privacy is a human rights issue as much as it is an economic issue, and a consumer rights issue, a political issue, a technological issue, and a cultural issue, then we are well on our way to a richer public discourse.