Trade-offs between privacy and security

by S&M

The first half of page 68 could be fodder for discussion of the trade-offs between privacy and security.

The Wealth Report 2017

Privacy is rapidly becoming an unattainable luxury

Most people value privacy and, understandably, prefer to keep information about their investments and assets to themselves.

The unrealistic nature of this aspiration was highlighted early last year when nearly 12 million documents, including private financial information relating to more than 200,000 individuals and entities – the so-called Panama papers – were leaked to the media. It was proof, if proof were needed, that no data can be truly secure.

However, concerted international co-operation aimed at helping governments understand and track the global movement of wealth and assets may soon render such unofficial leaks redundant. The
US started the process in 2010 with the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which led to a unilateral demand for foreign financial institutions to report details of accounts and investments held by US citizens.

Aside from prompting several thousand Americans to renounce their citizenship including, reportedly, the UK’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, and forcing the Swiss to evolve their banking secrecy rules, FATCA has prompted a global copycat move from the OECD. Its
decision to agree information sharing among 100 countries through the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) will trigger a data deluge later this year, as jurisdictions around the world begin the automatic exchange of information on their citizens’ financial information. The CRS promises a more efficient means of ensuring that appropriate tax is paid on wealth, wherever in the world it is created. Most of those affected by the new regulations will have no issues. But for some, unlimited data sharing will raise personal risk, especially if corruption enters the process.

As investment portfolios become more global and wealth moves more rapidly we should not be surprised that the direction of travel is towards “big data” capture. As Ian Bremmer notes on
page 9, governments will have to look for new metrics to accurately measure emerging wealth and economic trends which have significant political implications.

This points to an issue that runs throughout this year’s edition of The Wealth Report, which is that developed markets are seeing more politically inspired resistance to large inflows of capital from
emerging markets: witness responses in Vancouver, Hong Kong and more, as detailed on pages 18 and 19.

At the same time, emerging markets are concerned – increasingly so in the case of China – about outbound capital flows. This government desire to control wealth movements will inevitably necessitate a better understanding of where citizens hold their wealth.

Irrespective of current government initiatives, technological developments will make it increasingly difficult to hold assets and investments discreetly, even where the objective is to maintain privacy rather than to evade taxation. If the predictions on page 20 from one of our contributors, David Friedman, prove correct, technology is moving towards a future where the entire ownership of all global assets will be free to search in real time.

All this has profound implications for those jurisdictions that have built their business models around their ability to provide investment secrecy. Access to the likes of private aviation may allow the wealthy to continue enjoying a measure of personal privacy, but data privacy is set to become an increasingly rare commodity.

Advertisements

65 thoughts on “Trade-offs between privacy and security

  1. Yikes! Let’s try that again:

    The topic of balancing personal security and privacy was frequently discussed a few years ago with the idea of net neutrality. More recently, legislation allowing internet service providers to sell the content of our communications have brought it to the fore once again. This article gives some insights and starting points for a discussion of these ideas.

    Privacy is rapidly becoming an unattainable luxury

    Most people value privacy and, understandably, prefer to keep information about their investments and assets to themselves.

    The unrealistic nature of this aspiration was highlighted early last year when nearly 12 million documents, including private financial information relating to more than 200,000 individuals and entities – the so-called Panama papers – were leaked to the media. It was proof, if proof were needed, that no data can be truly secure.

    However, concerted international co-operation aimed at helping governments understand and track the global movement of wealth and assets may soon render such unofficial leaks redundant. The
    US started the process in 2010 with the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which led to a unilateral demand for foreign financial institutions to report details of accounts and investments held by US citizens.

    Aside from prompting several thousand Americans to renounce their citizenship including, reportedly, the UK’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, and forcing the Swiss to evolve their banking secrecy rules, FATCA has prompted a global copycat move from the OECD. Its
    decision to agree information sharing among 100 countries through the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) will trigger a data deluge later this year, as jurisdictions around the world begin the automatic exchange of information on their citizens’ financial information. The CRS promises a more efficient means of ensuring that appropriate tax is paid on wealth, wherever in the world it is created. Most of those affected by the new regulations will have no issues. But for some, unlimited data sharing will raise personal risk, especially if corruption enters the process.

    As investment portfolios become more global and wealth moves more rapidly we should not be surprised that the direction of travel is towards “big data” capture. As Ian Bremmer notes on
    page 9, governments will have to look for new metrics to accurately measure emerging wealth and economic trends which have significant political implications.

    This points to an issue that runs throughout this year’s edition of The Wealth Report, which is that developed markets are seeing more politically inspired resistance to large inflows of capital from
    emerging markets: witness responses in Vancouver, Hong Kong and more, as detailed on pages 18 and 19.

    At the same time, emerging markets are concerned – increasingly so in the case of China – about outbound capital flows. This government desire to control wealth movements will inevitably necessitate a better understanding of where citizens hold their wealth.

    Irrespective of current government initiatives, technological developments will make it increasingly difficult to hold assets and investments discreetly, even where the objective is to maintain privacy rather than to evade taxation. If the predictions on page 20 from one of our contributors, David Friedman, prove correct, technology is moving towards a future where the entire ownership of all global assets will be free to search in real time.

    All this has profound implications for those jurisdictions that have built their business models around their ability to provide investment secrecy. Access to the likes of private aviation may allow the wealthy to continue enjoying a measure of personal privacy, but data privacy is set to become an increasingly rare commodity.
    FINAL WORD
    Privacy is rapidly becoming an unattainable luxury
    LIAM BAILEY
    GLOBAL HEAD OF RESEARCH

  2. CoC, that’s the best I can do on this end. If you would copy the text from the pdf and paste it into the top, that’d be great.

  3. As I said during the discussion of the Harvard Soccer scandal, I don’t think the world has caught up to everything being recorded and everyone having easy access to everything.

  4. Rhett – (1) Criminal records – and this permeates further down, may be not to unemployment, but to under-employment, with people who have run a foul of zero tolerance policies or have been accused of poor behavior that was either in a grey area or later found to be unfounded. I am not advocating that we tolerate dangerous or inappropriate behavior, but sometimes the penalty does not seem to match the “crime”.
    (2) Easy access – I think most people, me included, have a disconnect between how private our personal information is vs. how easy it is to get data on just about anything on the internet. Just about every entitiy you interact with – banks, other financial institutions, health care providers, insurance providers – health to home to auto, email providers, social media – collects some level of data about you. It is not possible to keep all your information private or out of electronic format.

  5. Rhett – I’ve also seen a poor credit score sink someone getting a job. I was the HR rep for my old division and a CFO candidate had a foreclosure on his record and even though he was the leading candidate we couldn’t offer him the job per HR policy.

  6. Potential employers checking candidates’ credit scores–there’s a privacy nightmare right there.

  7. I was the HR rep for my old division and a CFO candidate had a foreclosure on his record and even though he was the leading candidate we couldn’t offer him the job per HR policy.

    I saw something similar with a DUI. The top candidate didn’t get the job and the person they ended up with was a $20 million disaster. I don’t know that such criteria add a lot of value to an organization.

    The credit report issue can also be a tremendous damper on economic activity. We want people to take risks, start a business etc. but that’s not going to happen if a business or real estate deal going bust is going to render you unemployable.

  8. We periodically go to conferences for high net worth people when they talk about privacy – but there is a different focus, more on how to disclose enough to your kids that they aren’t looking up your house on Zillow, or telling them ahead of time so they don’t read about you in the WSJ when you sell your company, or whatever.

  9. telling them ahead of time so they don’t read about you in the WSJ when you sell your company, or whatever.

    In Europe there has been some movement toward a “right to be forgotten.” In the past if the WSJ published an article that said you sold your business for $500 million that would really only be readily available the day the article was published. If you wanted to find that info 6 months out you’d need to look through the microfiche. But now, anything that’s published stays available forever. The European idea is that things should be allowed to age off the internet.

  10. I had a colleague who was a contractor that when we tried to bring him on as an employee the more extensive background check (we went back 10 years as opposed to 7) exposed a drug conviction when he was 17. His friend was carrying enough to be charged with intent to distribute and him as an accessory since he was in the car. Even though this person had worked with us for over 2 years and Director level leadership vouched for him; he was walked off the premises that day. It sucks because companies have gone to zero tolerance to minimize their risks but in the real world they miss out on good candidates and they contribute stigmatizing those people.

    After the Wells Fargo fraud cases, NPR’s planet money did a podcast about how there is a form in banking (I’m blanking on the form) but if this gets filled out, a person will never be able to get job in that field again. You’re not even told it was filled out unless a prospective employer tells you that one exists. WF filled out this form on people who complained to leadership that WF’s policies were wrong and setting up a system that was unethical. A couple of the affected former employees were able to get the forms rescinded but I wonder how many more exist.

  11. I had a colleague who was a contractor that when we tried to bring him on as an employee the more extensive background check (we went back 10 years as opposed to 7) exposed a drug conviction when he was 17.

    There is also a huge class issue involved. If you or your parents have enough money to hire a lawyer, the outcome is often much better/more lenient that would be the case otherwise. I know of two cases were parents were a unnerved by how easy it was to buy someone out of a potentially serious issue.

  12. I completely agree with Rhett that it’s a class issue. Removing aged information from the Internet is tough (most stuff is cached) but refusing to allow businesses, government agencies, insurance companies, etc. to USE said information is more straightforward.

    This reminds me of the problem with the FDA, where drug approvals are excessively difficult, time-consuming and expensive in the U.S. (IMHO) because expectations of safety are too high.

    Risk management is one of the toughest areas in modern business, especially because competition usually requires business to skirt the line of legality.

    From a religious standpoint, this also reminds me of Revelation 13:16-17, which describes the mark of the beast being necessary to buy/sell.

  13. Along Rhett’s point – A guy I know owned his own business that had minimal success, but eventually his mental illness and drug issues got the best of him and he lost his business and his home. He also had a few domestic issues that resulted in local police knowing him all too well. He is not an upstanding citizen, however he is now trying to get a job and get back on his feet without much luck. His past financial and police troubles are preventing him from finding stable work. He recently got a warehouse job, but after a few weeks they discovered the police report his adult daughter filed on him a few years earlier, and they fired him on the spot.

  14. Around 2004, Computer World did a series on trying to remove information from the internet and the companies who could assist you in doing so. The gave three examples and paid for the people to get incorrect or damaging information off the web. The one example that has stuck with me all this time was the of grad student who couldn’t get an interview with various places. She googled herself and lo and behold an acquaintance from undergrad had posted a blog entry naming several people by name and their night of debauchery of drinks, drugs and group sex. The girl in the article had a very distinctive first and last name and this blog would come up between 1 – 3 “articles” on google depending on the day. She spent months trying to get it down before CW stepped in to help. She couldn’t find how to reach a person at the company that hosted the blog and all her emails to contact us would get the bounce back of no one monitors this inbox. It then took the company CW hired several months to get it taken down because first it was, you had to find the blogger as it belonged to her etc. They found that this blogger had several abandoned blogs all over the net with entries that named people in a similar manner. The security expert was like this blogger was a one women wrecking machine. She was a serial drunken blogger who would detail her nights and name anyone involved.

  15. A friend works with a non-profit that helps place ex-convicts into jobs. He’s had the most luck with local government and nighttime positions – janitorial, unloading trucks, etc.

  16. I hear talk among parents about their fear that their child will do something without thinking that will get them “black balled” in a zero tolerance situation. A parent recently shared with me that even though she had filled out the forms for the school to dispense OTC pain relief, when her DD went to the nurse, the DD was told we don’t dispense. The parent followed up with why and was told because the kids sell it. The parent asked what the kid was to do. Nurse said ask another kid. Parent said, but it is against school policy for the kids to bring OTC meds on campus. Yes, the nurse agreed. And, no, the parent can’t send it to the nurse like you would a required prescription that needs to be dispensed. Plus, the punishment for having any meds is the same regardless of OTC or illegal.

  17. The parent followed up with why and was told because the kids sell it.

    They sell OTC pain relief as in Advil?

  18. WCE,
    Or this one “There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed or hidden that will not be made known.” (Luke 12:2).

  19. I am relieved that the nurse at my kid’s HS can now give kids otc meds like Advil at no charge. That’s a new policy this school year.

    WCE, can you explain where the mark of the beast is in this?

  20. S&M, the concept that the Beast’s international organization (government? prophecy is never clear) will be sufficiently powerful and well-organized as to be able to successfully execute limitations on financial transactions to those with permission to execute them is how I understand the concept communicated in Revelation.

  21. the Beast’s international organization (government? prophecy is never clear) will be sufficiently powerful and well-organized as to be able to successfully execute limitations on financial transactions to those with permission to execute them

    We’re almost there with Equifax, TransUnion and Fair Issac aren’t we.

  22. “I don’t know that such criteria add a lot of value to an organization.”

    Well, that’s not the point, now, is it? Those requirements are solely and exclusively corporate CYA to prevent lawsuits/firing for hiring someone with a known problem.

    Hire a guy with a past drug conviction to drive a truck, he hits someone under the influence, massive lawsuits and you are out of business. Hire someone with a clean record, implement a periodic drug testing policy, guy hits someone under the influence, well, whaddryagonnado?

    Hire CFO with a bankruptcy/foreclosure on his personal record, company runs into financial problems, what were you thinking, you’re fired. Hire a CFO with a clean record, he costs the company $20MM, well, he was the best-qualified candidate we could find, wow, he really schnookered us.

  23. Hire a guy with a past drug conviction to drive a truck, he hits someone under the influence, massive lawsuits and you are out of business.

    Wouldn’t that be paid by the insurer?

  24. The Commonwealth of Mass has affirmed the concept that a criminal can “pay his debt to society.” This is one of the times I am proud to be a MA citizen.

    Massachusetts has among the strongest protections for applicants with criminal records. Some of these protections have been in place for a while; some just went into effect in 2012.
    Massachusetts recently enacted a “ban the box” provision, which prohibits employers from asking about any kind of criminal record information on their initial written applications. If an employer wants to ask an applicant about his or her criminal history (for example, in an interview), the following rules apply:
    Employers may not ask about arrests that did not lead to conviction.
    Employers may not ask about first-time convictions for drunkenness, simple assault, speeding, minor traffic violations, affray, or disturbing the peace.
    Employers may not ask about misdemeanor convictions that are at least five years old, unless the applicant has another conviction in the last five years.
    An employer that asks about criminal history must include a statement that an applicant whose record has been sealed is entitled to answer that he or she has no criminal record.

    From the mass dot gov site.
    2. Sealing Records of Convictions

    The conviction sealing process is governed by MGL c. 276, s. 100A

    You may ask the OCP to seal some criminal convictions. The OCP is the Office of the Commissioner of Probation. You can ask to seal a CORI as follows:

    Misdemeanor: 5 years after you were found guilty OR after any jail or prison time. The count starts from the later date.
    Felony: 10 years after you were found guilty OR after any jail or prison time. The count starts from the later date.
    Sex offense: 15 years after you were found guilty OR after any jail or prison time OR after you no longer need to register as a sex offender. The count starts from the later date. Sex offenders that are Level 2 or Level 3 can’t seal their convictions.

  25. Those requirements are solely and exclusively corporate CYA to prevent lawsuits/firing for hiring someone with a known problem.

    Personally, I think it mostly comes down to HR trying to justify their budget. Sort of like MM and the IRB. There is what the actual laws are and there are the laws as interpreted by the IRB whose existence and funding hinges on their strict interpretation. Same with the background checks, there is the real risk to the company and the risk as interpreted by those whose paycheck hinges on their wildly inflated view of the risk.

  26. “Same with the background checks, there is the real risk to the company and the risk as interpreted by those whose paycheck hinges on their wildly inflated view of the risk.”

    Eh, I’d say more like “there’s real risk to the company and there is risk as interpreted by those whose paycheck hinges on minimizing risk.” You get what you measure.

  27. “That’s a generous interpretation.”

    Why? That’s basically my entire career.

    Not that I am taking that as a personal insult or anything; I see my job as laying out the risks and benefits of each approach and letting the client choose (yes, I have once in a great while told a client they flat-out can’t do something, but very, very rarely). But part of that job is to draw people’s attention to all the bad stuff that could happen, and then letting them decide how much they care.

    And, usually, since the in-house lawyers are almost always specifically tasked with minimizing risks to the company,* they typically take the conservative approach.

    *I have one client who views its attorneys’ job as *managing* risks, but that is rare.

  28. Sex offense: 15 years after you were found guilty

    With the internet, things like this remain public for a long time. I was googling the high school of the daughter of DH’s cousin (the kid got into state flagship and I was looking her up in Totebag fashion). Out of the blue, up pops her father’s picture and I was shocked to discover that he was a registered sex offender for trying to contact minor girls online. We were told that he was displaced during the Great Recession and had subsequent heart problems so he had started his own business. His previous and long term employer was a well known financial firm and he was a risk manager there.

  29. Not that I am taking that as a personal insult or anything

    Everyone does it. I certainly do. That being the case, I’m surprised so many people accept various self interested parades of horribles as fact, when a healthy percentage of it is just naked self interest.

  30. “when a healthy percentage of it is just naked self interest.”

    See, I view this as a systems problem. I just assume that everyone is going to act in their own naked self-interest — certainly with respect to their employer, on whose good opinion their economic stability rests. I mean, isn’t that the very founding assumption of capitalism, that when we all act in our own naked self-interest, we’re all better off? It is the job of the company to figure out how to channel those individual self-interests in ways that benefit the company, and to establish metrics for measuring individual performance that are aligned with the company’s best interest.

    IOW, the problem isn’t that people who are tasked with avoiding risk act in ways that avoid risk. The problem is that they were tasked only with avoiding risk in the first place. If you could find a way to measure “opportunities lost because you were stupidly conservative,” and hold your employees equally responsible on that metric, you’d end up with much more logical corporate decisionmaking.

  31. I mean, isn’t that the very founding assumption of capitalism, that when we all act in our own naked self-interest, we’re all better off?

    Being a bit facetious there? Clearly, when people have enough wealth to avoid the direct negative consequences, such as dead streams, and have the power to do so, they will take actions, such as legalizing the dumping of coal mine wastes in waterways, that are in their own self-interest but do not make us “all better off”.

  32. If we’re posting random off-topic stuff before the morning new topic, here’s one:

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/records-found-in-dusty-basement-undermine-decades-of-dietary-advice/

    “Records Found in Dusty Basement Undermine Decades of Dietary Advice
    Raw data from a 40-year-old study raises new questions about fats”

    Proving once again that making food into a religion, as leftists and nutrition scientists have done for decades or more, doesn’t really result in good advice.

  33. RMS,

    The most interesting part:

    The Frantz children always felt fortunate that their father brought his work home, his beliefs about the dangers of saturated fat shaping what the family ate. “Other kids would have ice cream; we had ice milk,” recalled Ivan Frantz. Bob said they were “reared on margarine,” foreswearing butter’s saturated fat.
    It’s possible, Bob Frantz said, that his father’s team was discouraged by the failure to find a heart benefit from replacing saturated fats with vegetable oils. “My feeling is, when the overall objective of decreasing deaths by decreasing cholesterol wasn’t met, everything else became less compelling,” he said. “I suspect there was a lot of consternation about why” they couldn’t find a benefit.

    What about the hypothesis was so appealing that the lack of evidence didn’t get him to change his mind?

  34. RMS – you’re totally right. First saturated fat was the enemy and now it’s sugar. And we glom onto single vitamins as some sort of cure all in pill form.

  35. There was also an article talking about how Vitamin D became a craze. Not that the NYT is a reliable medical journal, but I found it interesting because I wondered why all of a sudden there were dire warnings that 99% of Americans were Vit D deficient.

  36. Much of the medical establishment thought that was the culprit, and now many think sugar is. However, mainstream medicine is rarely promoting single vitamin supplementation. OK, I guess there’s vitamin D (sorry about that). Anyway, Dr. Atkins reported his ideas in the 70s. There has been a small but growing contingent of medical and nutritional professionals who have encouraged fat consumption for 40 years. Ideas change over time, but that does not mean there is not good science, and general consensus.

  37. The evidence is really compelling for all kinds of correlations between low vitamin D levels and bad things. There’s also a ton of evidence that correlates high vitamin D levels and good outcomes. The problem, and it’s taking a long time to sort out is that changing peoples vitamin D levels doesn’t seem to change any of that. I suspect the people who get lots of sunshine have better outcomes for other reasons. And being white helps too.

  38. And being white helps too.

    While true, it’s also true that many of those disease incidents decline the closer you get to the equator. But again, the exact casual mechanism is hard to tease out.

  39. There’s growing evidence that improving people’s “numbers” doesn’t correlate with improved outcomes (longer lifespans, etc.). Another example is blood pressure in the elderly. They are finding that giving BP meds to lower their pressures are just resulting in people dying with lower BPs, it’s not actually extending their lives.

    Per Ada’s comment above, many of the correlations between the various numbers and outcomes don’t seem to be causative relationships. Giving meds to improve the numbers doesn’t address the underlying issues.

  40. They are finding that giving BP meds to lower their pressures are just resulting in people dying with lower BPs, it’s not actually extending their lives.

    Haven’t that attributed better BP management to the unexpected decline in dementia?

  41. Vitamin D pills don’t replace the sun and can be toxic in high levels. I’ve also read that some people have problems absorbing the vitamin D from the sun due to poor health. I think Jack Kruse has some interesting ideas about sunlight and how that controls your circadian rhythm and his warnings about EMF exposure may have some truth to them. I’m guessing that mothers with low Vitamin D are having children with low Vitamin D which is probably causing health issues (we know autistic kids have very low Vitamin D levels and I’m guessing those with autoimmune diseases do too) but that those health issues can’t be solved with a vitamin.

  42. My son’s pediatrician told us he had a vitamin D deficiency when he was 15, and prescribed a pretty large dose of Vitamin D. He started taking the supplement the July before sophomore year. All of a sudden this unusually cheerful and even keeled kid became moody and sad, and even tearful. We never imagined it was the D. There are so many variables- start of school, end of summer and, hello– 15 years old! I’ve always read that deficiency is associated with depression. Also I have an older son who has depression (it was terrible until his meds were balanced- so I have Rhett’s feeling of wow- medicine can do wonderful things.) Anyway, one day I just remembered it seemed to coincide with the D supplements, and I told him to stop taking it. Two days later he was back to his cheerful self. My husband says he thinks there must have been a third variable, but I’m certain it was the D.

  43. I would think lots of people don’t go outside at all. My DH for example pretty much goes from home to work and back without going outside. Even exercise is inside. OTOH, there are people who do go outside to exercise, run errands, are in their yards or like my parents sit on the patio in the morning or evening light.

  44. “While true, it’s also true that many of those disease incidents decline the closer you get to the equator. But again, the exact casual mechanism is hard to tease out.”

    I’ve seen it theorized that it’s because humans evolved near the equator so we are supposed to have a lot more sunlight than we’re getting. I also have seen all of these articles about how north of a certain point you just can’t get enough Vitamin D during the winter, but it’s always been the case and I know a lot of perfectly healthy older people from New England. The incidence of melanoma is also higher in office workers than those that work outside.

    Louise – I think you’re right too, a lot of people don’t go outside enough. And parents are encouraged to slather their kids in sunscreen all of the time. I put sunscreen on my kids at the beach in the afternoons if we’re going to be outside for a while, but I think I was the only parent during the daycare years whose kids did not have sunscreen in their cubbies. Their playground was really shaded and they only went out for 30 minutes.

  45. Haven’t that attributed better BP management to the unexpected decline in dementia?

    They don’t know what has caused the decline in dementia. There might be a correlation with BP management but, again, that doesn’t mean causation.

  46. And parents are encouraged to slather their kids in sunscreen all of the time.

    Under real world conditions, sunscreen generally doesn’t inhibit vitamin D production.

  47. I just saw some study that showed no correlation between sunscreen use and lower melanoma rates.

  48. “Under real world conditions, sunscreen generally doesn’t inhibit vitamin D production.”

    The things you learn on The Totebag. I should get CME for showing up here every day.

    We use very little sunscreen at our house. I am wary of the ingredients and try to control overall sun exposure as well. We have yet to have a burn, despite a fair complexion. And melanoma is correlated with burns, not with sun exposure (which may explain why office workers have more melanoma than people who work outside.)

  49. Another area where Ada and I are similar, though I’d use more sunscreen if we lived in Australia and not the Pacific NW. (I monitored the UV index for a few months and assumed the scale was 1-3…)

  50. My kids use sunscreen in the summer when they are at camp, pool or beach. All other times of year, they are outside a fair bit without sunscreen. We are darker skinned but I am careful, take care not to fry myself in the sun.
    In the home country, going outside in the mid day hours was kept to a minimum.

  51. Not much sunscreen around here. I do have DS use it when he’s going to be in the sun for long periods, and I should use it more too. As my little darling innocently observed when he was three or four “Mama, the sun makes me brown, but it makes you red.”

  52. We use sunscreen to avoid sunburn, but not to avoid sun exposure. So we only put it on when we are going to be outside for long periods of time in the sunniest part of the day. I apply and reapply religiously when at the beach on vacation because I am fair-skinned and burn easily. But I don’t wear it everyday or even close to everyday, even on sunny days. Same for DS and DH. DS wears it for summer camp when he is spending hours a day outside, but not for regular school when he has 30-45 minutes of time outside at lunchtime.

  53. I’ve seen it theorized that it’s because humans evolved near the equator so we are supposed to have a lot more sunlight than we’re getting.

    That resulted in humans turning white the farther north they migrated as evolution selected against high melanin levels due to reduced vitamine D production.

  54. The other reason for sunscreen is vanity- the sun ages people horribly, including us dark skinned people.

  55. “And parents are encouraged to slather their kids in sunscreen all of the time.”

    And there have been articles on a study indicating a sunscreen ingredient can exacerbate coral bleaching.

    Around here, the trend among locals has been toward rashguards and hats in lieu of sunscreen.

  56. My kids have discovered that asking the Echo to play “Queen of the Night” results in a track from the Florence Foster Jenkins soundtrack. It is terrible. They keep playing it.

    Why is Amazon doing this to me?!

  57. “like my parents sit on the patio in the morning or evening light.”

    I’m wondering if that sort of indirect sun exposure (I’m assuming the patio provides shade from direct sunlight) can increase vitamin D levels. I would think that it would, although that suggests the next question, which is, is the increase enough to generate health benefits (or detriments).

  58. I also wonder if it’s the light that’s really important. You see all of these people raving about red light therapy to fix various ailments.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s