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On Privacy and Reading “Unplugged”


By:  Dr. Katherine Albrecht, Ed. D.

Fort Fairfield Journal, February 1, 2017


I've been a privacy advocate for seventeen years now.  It seems to have taken that long for the privacy movement to get a significant amount of traction.  Thank you to all of the people who worked in the trenches quietly - and not so quietly - and sacrificed and sweated over all these years to try to bring this issue to the foreground.  It's finally happening.  I'm excited about it.  I think this is one of the most positive and optimistic times for privacy I have ever experienced since I first started thinking about it back in 1999. 

   Let me encourage you that when you become aware of more problems it doesn't mean that there are more problems - these problems have been around for a long time.  It just means that there's now more awareness.  You've got to distinguish between those two things.  It's really important that we separate those out in our mind.

   I would say 2013 was the turning point year for privacy.  It was the year that the public finally, after all the years of effort that so many of us have put into this issue, seems to be ready to hear about it and also the lawmakers.

   With today's internet and the majority of people reading material online, as well as the explosion of social media where people tend to give away all of their family secrets, habits and schedules, privacy has nearly vanished. Government and private companies are able to troll, discover, catalog and collate everything you are reading and doing online and they do it continuously in real time.  One of the best ways to maintain your privacy in what you read is to read offline out of a real, hard copy paper book.  There is currently no way some CIA or NSA bureaucrat in Langley, Virginia can monitor what your are reading in real time when you're reading “unplugged” out of a real book.

   If it's been a while since you've picked up a good book you may want to consider it.  It's a nice alternative to all of this electronic media that we're drowning in.  I have about 6,000 books and I'm planning on hanging on to them.  I got to tell you there's something really amazing about the smell of a book and the feel and texture of the paper.  I hope we never give that up and I hope that you parents out there instead of just giving your kids electronic devices to spend their time with, make it a point to take them to the library or take them to the book store and introduce them to the joys of reading out of real books.








This editorial was transcribed and adapted for print from a recent Katherine Albrecht radio program, by David Deschesne, with her permission. Dr. Katherine Albrecht, Ed. D. is a syndicated radio talk show host on the Genesis Communication Network. Listen to her program live daily, or download her podcast for listening at any time at Katherine’s website is: 


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