Quotations about   privacy

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Lesson to the Indiscreet: They who say all they think, and tell all they know, put others on their guard and prevent themselves from being told anything of consequence.

Horace Walpole (1717-1797) English novelist, letter writer
A Note Book of Horace Walpole, “1781” (1927)
Added on 12-Apr-17 | Last updated 12-Apr-17
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Trading privacy for security is stupid enough; not getting any actual security in the bargain is even more stupid.

Cory Doctorow (b. 1971) Canadian-British blogger, journalist, activist, author
Little Brother (2008)
Added on 17-Sep-15 | Last updated 17-Sep-15
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Privacy is as necessary as company; you can drive a man crazy by depriving him of either.

Robert A. Heinlein (1909-1988) American writer
Time Enough For Love [Lazarus Long] (1973)
Added on 19-May-15 | Last updated 19-May-15
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HARKEN: [In an interrogation room] You fought with Captain Reynolds in the war?
ZOE: Fought with a lot of people in the war.
HARKEN: And your husband?
ZOE: Fight with him sometimes, too.
HARKEN: Is there any particular reason you don’t wish to discuss your marriage?
ZOE: Don’t see that it’s any of your business, is all. We’re very private people.
WASH: [In a different interrogation room] The legs! [Laughs] Oh yeah, definitely have to say it was her legs. You can put that down. Her legs, and right where her legs — meet her back. That — actually, that whole area. That, and — and above it. […] Have you seen what she wears? Forget about it. Have you ever been with a warrior woman?

Tim Minear (b. 1963) American screenwriter and director
Firefly, 1X03 “Bushwhacked” (27 Sep 2002)
Added on 30-Apr-15 | Last updated 30-Apr-15
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INARA: What did I say to you about barging into my shuttle?

MAL: That it was manly and impulsive?

INARA: Yes, precisely. Only the exact phrase I used was, “Don’t.”

Joss Whedon (b. 1964) American screenwriter, author, producer [Joseph Hill Whedon]
Firefly, 1×02 “The Train Job” [with Tim Minear] (20 Sep 2002)
Added on 19-Mar-15 | Last updated 19-Mar-15
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“My dear young lady,” said the Professor, suddenly looking up with a very sharp expression at both of them, “there is one plan which no one has yet suggested and which is well worth trying.”

“What’s that?” said Susan.

“We might all try minding our own business,” said he. And that was the end of that conversation.

C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) English writer and scholar [Clive Staples Lewis]
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (1950)
Added on 28-Nov-14 | Last updated 28-Nov-14
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You need not tell all the truth, unless to those who have a right to know it all. But let all you tell be truth.

James Burgh (1714-1775) British politician and writer
The Dignity of Human Nature, Sec. 5 “Miscellaneous Thoughts on Prudence in Conversation” (1754)
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Added on 12-Jun-14 | Last updated 12-Jun-14
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The makers of our Constitution undertook to secure conditions favorable to the pursuit of happiness. They recognized the significance of man’s spiritual nature, of his feelings and of his intellect. They knew that only a part of the pain, pleasure and satisfactions of life are to be found in material things. They sought to protect Americans in their beliefs, their thoughts, their emotions and their sensations. They conferred, as against the government, the right to be let alone — the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men.

Louis Brandeis (1856-1941) American lawyer, activist, Supreme Court Justice (1916-39)
Olmstead v. United States, 277 U.S. 438 (1928) [Dissent]
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Added on 13-Jun-11 | Last updated 16-Jun-14
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“Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

The Bible (14th C BC - 2nd C AD) Christian sacred scripture
Matthew 6:1-6 (NIV)
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KJV:  "Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. "Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. "And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly."
Added on 11-Mar-10 | Last updated 8-Jul-16
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If the First Amendment means anything, it means that a State has no business telling a man, sitting alone in his own house, what books he may read or what films he may watch.

Thurgood Marshall (1908-1993) American lawyer, US Supreme Court Justice (1967-1991)
Stanley v. Georgia 394 U.S. 557 (1969) [Unanimous Opinion]
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 14-Jun-16
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Does it really matter what these affectionate people do — so long as they don’t do it in the streets and frighten the horses!

Beatrice Campbell (1865-1940) English actress [Mrs. Patrick Campbell, née Beatrice Stella Tanner]
(Attributed) (c. 1910)

Apocryphally a rebuke to a young actress who criticized an older actor who seemed too affectionate toward the leading man in the production. Most famously given in this form in Alan Dent, Mrs. Patrick Campbell (1961). Variants (without or with variant attribution) can be found as far back at 1929 (see here for more discussion).
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 4-Apr-18
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