Is nothing private anymore?

In this second taster video from the Battle of Ideas festival, a panel discusses society's declining interest in privacy.

The private sphere provides a space for self-exploration and reflection – for organisations as well as individuals – and intimate relationships certainly require privacy. Yet the line between private and public has become ever more fuzzy. For example, are comments made to ‘friends’ on Facebook public pronouncements or private mutterings?

In this riveting debate taster, filmed at the Battle of Ideas festival on 19 October 2013, a panel of high-profile speakers help us understand what’s going on. spiked writer Frank Furedi explains that the destruction of the private sphere leads to the implosion of the public sphere. We know how to deal with the old forms of state interference and surveillance, he argues, but if it involves the private sphere - especially children - ‘we roll over’. Everything in the public sphere is then blamed on the private, as UK prime minister David Cameron illustrates with his claim that ‘dysfunctional families’ apparently cause every social ill.

The other speakers in this debate, chaired by Claire Fox of the Institute of Ideas, are David Aaronovitch, columnist for The Times; entrepreneur and author Andrew Keen; writer and cabaret artiste Ursula Martinez; and Christine Rosen of the New America Foundation.


The full debate is available on WORLDbytes, both as a video and an audio podcast.

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