Mark Hurrell.


Luxury communism

23 November 2015

032c There is such a longstanding connection between privacy and aspiration luxury. Take for example the way a tinted limousine window works as a luxury apparatus. It revolves around this idea of being able to see out, but having no one be able to see in.

Metahaven The Blackberry, as the first smartphone, was famed for its secure messaging system. It was sort of a parallel to that tinted window. And then Blackberry of course has the word “black” in it, which connotes both luxury and opacity. And now you have Apple becoming more of a product that brands privacy and encryption as part of its design aesthetic. But at the same time, it’s a mainstream product for millions of people.

032c Privacy is then transformed into a standard bourgeois privilege.

Metahaven Even the assertion ‘If you have nothinbg to hide, you have nothing to fear’ is a class proposition. It plays on people’s self-perception, of the way in which their thoughts and actions matter or not. People who say that they have nothing to hide are being unnecessarily humble with regard to the wider importance of the things they have in their lives and the people to whom they relate. It can even be true that you have nothing to hide, but what if you gave me your PIN number, your email accounts, and your whole money-data map? Almost no one would do that.

032c, Coup de Net: METAHAVEN’s Black Transparency

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