Slip of the Tongue or Truth Revealed: You Have Zero Privacy Anyway – Get Over It

There was a furor when Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy told reporters “privacy issues are a red herring; you have zero privacy anyway…get over it!” Many could not believe he would say that; however, he was simply stating the truth – an obvious truth to those with access to the many databases that contain your life – and more problematic – things that did not actually happen but got recorded as though they did.

Still believe we have privacy? Oracle CEO Larry Ellison said “The privacy you’re concerned about is largely an illusion. All you have to give up is your illusions, not any of your privacy.” They have both known about the erosion of our privacy for so long they apparently didn’t even realize their comments would be a surprise.

Why do they say we have no privacy? Do you know what information you think is private can be easily accessed? The one that surprised me the most is who has access to your medical records. If anything should be private you would think your health would be.

Even that is not what is really threatening to our lives. Linking more and more databases together and using data mining programs to extract personal information makes it available to far too many untrustworthy individuals, companies, and government agencies.

Once you understand how data mining works you will never take privacy for granted again and more importantly, you will have a better idea what you can do to protect yourself.


[WARNING: One of the easiest ways to track someone is to offer them a way to opt out of tracking. Many groups that claim or appear to protect us actually hurt us. Telling the difference is extremely difficult; however, checking to see who the members are often reveals their true purpose. Don’t be in any hurry to use these types of sites.]



ADDITIONAL RESOURCES (2007 and earlier):

What if profit is the real red herring? Maybe it isn’t all about money. Maybe it is all about control.


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Gail Gardner

Small Business Marketing Strategist at GrowMap
Creator and owner of, Gail is primarily known for mentoring small businesses and encouraging bloggers to join collaborations to share skills and support small business.


  1. So we have no privacy. But what about this part “and more problematic – things that did not actually happen but got recorded as though they did.” What is this about? If they are going to profile me, then they better do it right.
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  2. great resources Growmap! im glad you decided to write on this topic..lots to ponder upon with regards to what we decide to share online
    wny glass block windows would love you to read ..Glass Block Window ShowersMy Profile

  3. From my experience, I have nothing but good things to say about the FBI. Naturally there are exceptions but I haven’t run into any. Certainly had far worse experiences with the CIA. I don’t want to go into details but my case is similair to this mans Ex CIA Agent Boris Korczak

  4. @Paul Your post on what data is routinely collected as you visit Web sites is correct. The issue for me is not that anyone knows what browser I use. My concern is that they’re creating and storing enormous profiles on everyone – profiles that can be used to target anyone.

  5. You know I did a blog post about this on my site:

    And yes no one has any privacy on the net. I am quite certain every one has some carbon foot prints on the sand(google sand). I tell you most people don’t know they are being watched.

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