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LISTEN: 5 Ideas That May Change How You Think About Privacy

NPR and TEDWeekends have teamed up to explore the state of privacy today. It it worth fighting for? Or should we accept that sharing information, willingly (on social media, for example) or unwillingly (through government surveillance) is the wave of the future? An artist, a lawyer, a hacker, an economist and an entrepreneur share their ideas on the meaning of privacy in the 21st century.
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TED, NPR and The Huffington Post are teaming up to explore the state of privacy today.

Hear an artist, a lawyer, a hacker, an economist, and an entrepreneur share their ideas on the meaning of privacy in the 21st century in NPR's TED Radio Hour above.

And make sure to watch the five TED talks that inspired this project below:

Why this artist was followed by the FBI... and what he did about it:

See the creepy thing this economist learned by studying people's faces:

What if sacrificing your privacy is good for your health?:

This former White House staffer thinks government should be less secretive:

A hacker offers chilling conclusions about the 'surveillance state:'

After watching the video above, many of you wrote in to share your views. Here are some of the comments we received, and a response from Mikko himself:

What you said:

People's privacy is in danger because they stand in a crowded public place and talk at the top of their lungs on their phones. Because they take photos of themselves in compromising situations on post it on the internet. Because they post all of their most personal information online in the hopes of finding a date--- Please- don't tell me people care about their privacy

That is voluntary disclosure of private information and it doesn't violate the constitution. If anyone other than the person does it without their consent, it violates the law. Additionally, many of us don't do the things you mentioned and have no desire for our privacy to be violated. The constitution protects that right.

Mikko Hypponen's Response:

“Yes, some people seem to be sharing everything about their lives with no worries. They tweet their breakfasts, Foursquare their location, Facebook their dating patterns and Instagram their friends and family. For some, this is not a problem -- at least, it's not a problem at the moment. And this is what all these services encourage you to do, as that's how they make all their money.

Sharing pictures of your drunken partying might not matter much if you are nobody in particular. It might matter more a decade later, if you've become a public figure, a teacher or a politician. And then it might be too late to take anything back. In fact, it's going to be interesting to watch presidential elections in around 2040, when voters can dig up candidates’ teenage angst pics and posts from old social media and discussion forum archives.

But governmental surveillance is not about the government collecting the information you're sharing publicly and willingly; it’s about collecting the information you don't think you're sharing at all, such as the online searches you do on search engines…or private emails or text messages…or the location of your mobile phone at any time. Surveillance like this has only been possible for a couple of years. The Internet and mobile phones made it possible. And now it's being done for that exact reason: because it can be done.

Laws and regulations are supposed to restrict the kind of surveillance governments do. In fact, the U.S. government is quite restricted in what kind of surveillance they can do on U.S. citizens. The problem is that 96 percent of the planet is not U.S. citizens. And foreigners like me have no privacy rights whatsoever. Yet we keep using U.S.-based services all the time, making us a legal target for gathering and storing our private information. Other countries do surveillance as well. But nobody has the global visibility that United States does.

Just because it can technically be done doesn't make it right."

Also, be sure to check out the HuffPost Live segment, where TED speakers Alessandro Acquisti, John Wilbanks, Hasan Elahi and NPR host Guy Raz delved deeper into the themes raised in the TED Radio Hour episode.

Ideas are not set in stone. When exposed to thoughtful people, they morph and adapt into their most potent form. TEDWeekends will highlight some of today's most intriguing ideas and allow them to develop in real time through your voice! Tweet #TEDWeekends to share your perspective or email to learn about future weekend's ideas to contribute as a writer.