Why Privacy Matters Even if You Have ‘Nothing to Hide’

Why is privacy important? We live in an app-ified world, where computers are turning into appliances. The curiosity of how things work is drowned out in a flurry of colourful icons and dings. It’s all too easy for people to throw their hands up and say ‘too hard’, take the easy way out and entrust the custody of your private and personal information to corporations. As you’d expect, they are all too happy to erode your privacy expectations over time, with little to no recourse.

But WE should be responsible for this and nobody else. Your privacy is valuable, often undervalued and it’s your responsibility alone to decide what you to do with your own information. We need to be more aware and proactive on where the information goes and who has control of it. The information gathered about you can (and will) eventually affect you in you in many ways (career searches, government attention, insurance premiums, etc). It’s far easier to limit your information from getting out, than to try to get the information genie back into the bottle later.

“Privacy is rarely lost in one fell swoop. It is usually eroded over time, little bits dissolving almost imperceptibly until we finally begin to notice how much is gone. When the government starts monitoring the phone numbers people call, many may shrug their shoulders and say, “Ah, it’s just numbers, that’s all.” Then the government might start monitoring some phone calls. “It’s just a few phone calls, nothing more.” The government might install more video cameras in public places. “So what? Some more cameras watching in a few more places. No big deal.” The increase in cameras might lead to a more elaborate network of video surveillance. Satellite surveillance might be added to help track people’s movements. The government might start analyzing people’s bank records. “It’s just my deposits and some of the bills I pay—no problem.” The government may then start combing through credit-card records, then expand to Internet-service providers’ records, health records, employment records, and more.”

Why Privacy Matters Even if You Have ‘Nothing to Hide’ – The Chronicle Review – The Chronicle of Higher Education


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