Phoenix resident Noah Dyer has an idea: Let's do without privacy.
Dyer thinks a society with no privacy might be best, and he's offering to go first, by planning to live his life without any privacy at all, with every moment being live-streamed 24 hours a day for a year.
"I'm putting this forward as an actual line of thinking that could improve society," Dyer tells New Times. "If you consider information a weapon, [big data companies and the government] vastly outgun the people."
There are plenty of privacy activists who argue for more privacy for individuals. Dyer, a professor of mobile app and game programming at the University of Advancing Technology in Tempe, thinks a complete lack of privacy would put everyone on a level playing field.
Watch Dyer's promotional video:
Yes, that means watching him go to the bathroom, or teaching his classes, or whatever else he does with his time. Although he's the only one participating in his experiment, Dyer says this is an opportunity to shine a light on a third option in the discussion on privacy in the U.S.
"It's definitely a stunt, but its also a stunt that will have the effect of furthering my thoughts about, is this possible, or is this stupid?" he says.
For his experiment, Dyer's trying to raise $300,000, mostly for eight full-time employees to document his life. Dyer says the alternative is documenting it himself, which would require him to spend a lot of his time doing that documenting instead of living his life.
Dyer's trying to raise the funds through a Kickstarter page. He says he's seen some apprehension to donate to the project because, as you can imagine, people think he's wrong.
"I feel like most people don't like the idea of the society I'm proposing," he says. "If people want to prove me wrong, then give me the bucks and prove me wrong."
If anything else, it would be the world's purest form of reality television.
Got a tip? Send it to: Matthew Hendley.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.