Why should I care about data privacy?

Six reasons why.

by Exeami

Data Privacy

Recently when I was speaking about data privacy to a friend, he said "How do I get affected if my data is collected, in a way I am getting personal suggestions, so it seems to be good, as I have nothing to hide?"

We usually listen to this in various forms, from many people around us, so I want to bring this up to you.

The way we think about privacy is misleading.

You might say, how can I watch a song of my favourite singer last night can possibly affect me? Or things I search for my academic project will harm me? It's not the bits of data, but the complete profile of you, collected from different sources. All of it combined can provide a detailed profile of you that even you didn't know of.

Why is it harmful?

  1. Protect your freedom of thought
  2. Have you ever heard of "Hawthorne Effect"? Let me tell you, people behave differently if they know they are being watched. If I say, "you are exploring things about your sexuality or religious beliefs or medical problems today may cause you to lose your dream job after 10 years or a maybe physical threat to you or your family by unacceptable society, will you do that?"

    This is not hoaxed, your employer with your profile in hand with opposite beliefs can target you and your comment on some social media might keep your life at risk by the mob. The point is, if you don't have the privacy to do this kind of self-exploration, you aren't free.

  3. Price Discrimination
  4. "Relevant ads are nice, at least I am not seeing some lipstick ad which I am least interested to watch", says one of my friends. It would be fine if you decided to give up this information for tangible benefits, right? If I say these exciting bargains are everything personal about you: your age, income, family's ages, and income, medical history, dietary habits, favourite websites, your birthday...the list goes on and may never see a benefit aside from this ad, and no ones including you in the decision.

  5. Identity theft
  6. Identity theft is usually done for financial gain, but it will be possible to steal your sensitive data from your accounts as well as those belonging to your family, friends and can use your credentials to harm your reputation or cause online public humiliation.

  7. Privacy is a Human right
  8. Not caring about it shows little knowledge about the history and the importance of it. It's a human right just like the right to equality, to justice, freedom, a nationality, the right to religion, etc. It's your Data, it exists because you exist, and you have complete right on every byte of it, playing around psychologically to steal data or to use it without your consent for personal gain, making you a fool by hiding things is not right and never will be. Simply it's NOT ETHICAL

  9. The creepers
  10. How do you feel if someone is constantly listening to you when you are discussing a sensitive or personal topic? I will say it's happening right now. Your own devices, you got for your convenience, are spying on you. Sometimes a user, by default, is opted into being tracked by the listening devices (aka personal assistants like Alexa, Siri, and Google Home) which records your private conversations without your consent. And are being listened by not just some algorithm, but by a human.

  11. The Filter bubble
  12. Did we talk about personal suggestions? They are good, right? what possibly can be bad about having the things on the plate which we want? Check out "filter bubble".

    Filter bubbles refer to the state of intellectual isolation that can result from personalized searches on search engines or social media sites. As a result, users become separated from most information that presents an opposing viewpoint.

    If I say for example you don't want to wear a mask and if you search about it, if this filter bubble shows you the things which might bad for wearing a mask and make your opinion stronger and make you feel good, but if you don't know the use of that it might make your life risky.

These are just six good reasons to care about data privacy, there are a lot more things we need to worry about. we will meet again here, as privacy cannot be covered in a single blog post.

I want to conclude with Edward Snowden's quote,

"Arguing that you don't care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide, is no different from saying you don't care about free speech because you have nothing to say."

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