Friday, February 26, 2016

115. Apple, Privacy, and the State (4)

There is a Gary Larson cartoon which depicts a couple awake in bed in the middle of the night and the wife holding a pillow with which she apparently hit her husband's head.  The husband is muttering, "I'm not responsible for what I do in your dreams." And I won't explain that further in order not to kill the humor, but move straight with an event I remember from our law school days. Manuel Morato, then Chair of the Movie TV Radio Classification Board, was brandishing his idea to the law school lot about his legislative proposal for his agency to have the power to approve movie scripts before they are actually made into movies. I was outraged by the proposal which explains why I still remember that incident. Censor scripts before they are made into movies, this is a proposal for mind control after the dictatorship has fallen in the Philippines. Morato's bill never made it into law, but you'll never know, as the old guard of morality is hovering around the portals of power. The point is the state should never be allowed to control the inner workings of a citizen's mind. It is the most private of a person's private domain, the last frontier where the individual can assert his individuality and humanity against the state. In the citizen's mind, the citizen and the state are equal. It is where free will resides and it is only through the exercise of the free will by citizens that a state can exist. The state does not exist by itself; it exists because citizens with free will decide that they want the state to exist. Thus, the state should not encroach on the domain where a person's free will resides -- the citizen's brain. This is the core of the right to privacy, the human brain. It should be off limits to the state, now and forever, a categorical imperative that saves the citizen and the state as well. So, Apple it's not about the customer. It's about the citizen. 

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