Texas / IBM Data Center Project Failure
A Conversation With Mary Gentile, Author of The Book: Giving Voice To Values

Change, Staying Informed, and Participation In A Democracy

As a consumer advocate, I get inspiration from several areas. One source has been Ralph Nader. Long before he was a presidential candidate in the 2000 election, he was a tireless consumer advocate. I remember seeing Corvair cars on New York City streets in the 1960's. Recently, Maria Hinojosa interviewed Nader on the One On One program:

Some interesting comments by Nader:

"We have a great Freedom of Information Act to get information, which is the currency of a democracy."

"Corporations have become fewer and bigger... they never stop concentrating power. They have to -- to get their way -- control government."

I found his comments about change surprising. Nader said that change requires both the wealthy and a grass-roots movement. Here's why:

"Justice requires money. It requires money for lawyers, for organizers in the communities. It requires money for transportation. It requires money to constantly reach people directly."

Nader on why our democracy needs continual citizen participation:

"[It's] simple. Corporations have no vote. People have the vote."

Nader emphasized that citizens must stay engaged in our democracy and not give up when politicians don't deliver on the changes promised:

"That's exactly what the power structure wants you to do. In other words, it wants you to quit, to withdraw."

This is why I blog about identity theft, data breaches, privacy, and corporate responsibility. We consumers cannot cast informed votes if we aren't aware of the issues. And, the issues about identity theft, privacy, and corporate responsibility change quickly and are often complex. This places a premium on staying informed. For me, traditional (corporate-owned) news sources aren't always the best source of information.

This blog is all about informing and empowering consumers. My goals with this blog are to bring about change with:

  • Stronger laws and consequences for company executives who do not adequately protect sensitive consumer data,
  • Increased consumer awareness and skills with protecting their sensitive personal data, and
  • Improved credit monitoring services that truly meet consumers' needs

If we citizens voters don't vote and don't participate in our democracy, then a corporatocracy could easily result. (Some would argue that we are well on our way to one.) That could impede our access to news, a truly free Internet, and elections of officials that act according to voters' needs and not corporations' needs.

Some pundits and corporate executives say there is no more privacy. If so, then there is no choice. Privacy means choice. You choose what to make public or keep private.

And if there is no choice, then control over your personal information become irrelevant. When consumers have lost control over their personal information, then corporations are free to do whatever they want with it.

You do want to control over who, when, and where your personal information goes, don't you?


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

The comments to this entry are closed.