The recent revelations that Western Governments (particularly the US and UK?) are involved in widespread monitoring of digital communications challenges what many think of as the’ right’ to privacy.

Many of us are moderately happy to give up data to Google and Facebook in return for free services.

What do we get from the government in return for our lack of privacy? They would argue we get security.

However, with Google and Facebook, we can read their privacy policies and take a rational decision to be bound by them or opt out. With the government we get no such option.

Why am I writing this in a blog about productivity? Because some firms might be put off doing business in countries that ‘snoop’ excessively. There might be long-term issues for online trading. We have uncovered something which will have unintended consequences. Only time will tell what those consequences are. But ‘down the line’ we might all suffer from those consequences.