1. ## Privacy vs safety, please critique

Feel free to put in your own reasonable numbers.

AT&T says US citizens value their privacy at \$350/year.
My chance of being killed by some disgruntled & angry person is 30/330,000,000 per year.
The value of my life as judged by others is \$200K to \$4M.

So, the expected value of me losing my life is at most 36 cents per year.

What's wrong with this picture?

2. ## Re: Privacy vs safety, please critique

Originally Posted by Outlier
So, the expected value of me losing my life is at most 36 cents per year.
What does this mean exactly?

3. ## Re: Privacy vs safety, please critique

If the average risk is p = 30/330,000,000

And the value of life is \$4 millions.
Then the average “value lost” would be value*p, which is low.

That seems natural to me.

But is the risk of being murdered (overall) that low in the US? Isn't the number of murdered people only in the city of New York 800 (and that is considered to be low)?

4. ## Re: Privacy vs safety, please critique

This is about the tradeoff to be considered for an organization doing mass snooping on many people to prevent a few deaths each year.

Can a numerical value be put on this balance that rationally trades off the privacy of people in return for slightly increased safety? That way it becomes a matter of fact rather than a matter of debate or a matter of opinion.
Game Theory should have a way of addressing this issue.

Another thing is that the snooping organization may value a person's privacy at zero or negative values while the 'snoopee' puts a high positive value on their privacy.

5. ## Re: Privacy vs safety, please critique

Originally Posted by Outlier
So, the expected value of me losing my life [to some disgruntled & angry person] is at most 36 cents per year.
The problem may be that you are using expected values? Isn't there alternatives? I am only vaguely familiar with some, like Value at Risk, so they may not be much better. But 99.99999999% of the time you will not get killed by disgruntled & angry person, so should anyone be giving you money to live your life 99.99999999% of the time? If you do get killed, you can get up to \$4M 0.00000000001% of the time.

I'm gonna go off on a tangent here.

Generally, when you think about what the price of some things are, it seems really off. Computers -- they get better every year, and yet their price keeps going down. For you, what would you say the value of a computer is? Over \$1000?
Athletes vs Teachers, the argument that started years ago. How can athletes make millions of dollars a year providing entertainment (ultimately useless and divisive, see Yankees vs Red Sox :P), while teachers make ~\$50,000 (varies by location). Well it's because there's someone (eg the TV networks) that has the money and will pay the athletes.

Maybe the dilemma that we are faced with here is that the value of your life to someone else is \$0.36, for recall that you will not see that \$4M if you are killed. What is the value of someone else's privacy to you?

6. ## Re: Privacy vs safety, please critique

There are all kinds of problems starting with the lack of justification for the numbers. AT&T is a communication company which prefers the government not to involve itself in its data. Therefore it has a reason to distort the results to show that people value privacy more than they do. It is sort of like asking an organization to rationally decide if it should continue to exist or not. You don't expect reasonable results ....

How can you possibly know objectively if the person who killed you was angry or disgruntled....(well since you were dead you would never know that)

What your value is would be assessed differently by different groups...

7. ## Re: Privacy vs safety, please critique

Thanks for your posts. . .I think I need to dig out the books and try to make up some payoff matrices or have these guys do it.
http://people.hofstra.edu/stefan_wan...ory/games.html

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