Sunday letters: Do you want privacy or safety?

June 23, 2013 

I do not understand the furor over the NSA’s collection and use of personal data. I am all for the agency getting what it needs to protect us from terrorism. How is that we think that our lives were so private even before the NSA started its snooping?

Your credit card company knows where you buy, when you buy, and how much you spend. If you have a store loyalty card, they know all of that plus what you buy as well. Your doctor knows all of your ailments and physical profile. Your pharmacist knows what medications you are taking. Your bank knows what your finances are all about, and so do the credit reporting agencies. And, your tax preparer knows how much you make and with whom.

And so you think you have privacy? The recent surge in social media shows just how many people are willing to share even the most intimate and personal things about themselves. And it makes me wonder just what those who are excessively concerned about the NSA’s snooping are doing. Do they have something they are hiding, something they are ashamed of? Are they doing something illegal?

In today’s world we have to accept the trade-off between the desire for privacy and the need for security. The only real concern should be how the information is being used, and that’s what needs to be monitored.

W.R. Thomas


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