In een in mijn optiek verbluffend eerlijke open brief reageert Mathias Döpfner (CEO Axel Springer SE) op Eric Schmidt (voormalig CEO Google) en op de dominantie en dreiging die Google vertegenwoordigd. De volledig open brief is de moeite van het lezen meer dan waard, maar wat mij enige koude rillingen bezorgde waren deze twee alinea’s:
There is a quote from you in this context that concerns me. In 2009 you said: “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.” The only sentence that is even more worrying comes from Mark Zuckerberg when he was on the podium of a conference with you and I in the audience. Someone asked what Facebook thinks of the storage of data and the protection of privacy. And Zuckerberg said: “I don’t understand your question. If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear.”
Ever since then I have thought about this sentence again and again. I find it terrible. I know that it was certainly not meant that way. Behind this statement there is a state of mind and an image of humanity that is typically cultivated in totalitarian regimes – not in liberal societies. Such a statement could also have come from the head of East Germany’s Stasi or other secret police in service of a dictatorship. The essence of freedom is precisely the fact that I am not obliged to disclose everything that I am doing, that I have a right to confidentiality and, yes, even to secrets; that I am able to determine for myself what I wish to disclose about myself. The individual right to this is what makes a democracy. Only dictatorships want transparent citizens instead of a free press.
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Met dank aan Marc de Vries voor de tweet met een link naar dit artikel