Future privacy

The more I think about it, the more I am convinced that “privacy” in a world where XR glasses replace SmartPhones will be contextual. There won’t be a single concept of privacy, but rather multiple concepts, depending on where you are.

In particular, it might become illegal to walk around in public without your XR glasses — or even to remove them momentarily.

We already have this in many ways. For example, when you are home, you are free to walk around without any clothing. But don’t try that nearly anywhere else.

In a similar spirit, I think there will be situations where it will be considered inappropriate — or even illegal — to remove your XR glasses in public. In some contexts, people will start to assert their right to not be seen as they really are. You will only be allowed to see them through the filter of XR glasses. This is something I have been thinking about for a while.

I know this doesn’t sound natural. On the other hand, there is nothing natural about social constructs around privacy.

It is, after all, perfectly “natural” to walk around without clothing in public. It is also illegal, and liable to get you locked up.

Social norms form around whatever allows a society to function. And a society that relies on the power of “XR glasses for everyone” will inevitably develop different social norms.

The future concept of privacy might end up being startling different from our concept of privacy today.

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