April 01, 2014

Sua Sponte: A Judge Comments

A judge urges us all to debate, discuss, and define privacy rights in the contemporary world.

Hon. Linda Quinn

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Circa 2008 Trial Judges’ Meeting First Agenda Item: Anonymity

Discussion: “What the heck is Spokeo?” Amid the gasps and OMGs as the horrors of Spokeo were revealed came the voice of one judge: “Hey, privacy is dead. Get over it and let’s move to the next agenda item before my calendar starts.”

In addition to the foreboding sense of loss of personal anonymity as I knew it, the niggling concern about privacy as a greater world concept kept pushing my consciousness, only to be ignored as I eagerly awaited the dramatic unveiling of each new generation of smartphone. I continue to be atwitter over the miracles each back-ordered device promises, and experience personal “aha!” moments when I can show a twentysomething a new function or app I’ve discovered. After a rough start to our relationship, I have declared Siri my new bestie (albeit privately until this publication).

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