Privacy and the Internet are two concepts we are used to. Together in the same sentence, they sound pretty odd recently, we feel we have been spied on and followed for a long time. And it is like waking up from a very nice dream: our safe space on the internet, where we were doing shopping enjoying the absence of the shopping assistant constantly checking on us “how can we help you?” Now has become the same even online and even worse, we get used to it without asking ourselves the right question: not why do we have to be followed, but HOW.
Getting to know how the internet and the lack of privacy work together, will help us understand how we can make the internet a better, more secure place to be in.
So what does Privacy mean?
Depending on who you ask this question, but on a broader definition privacy is the right to be let alone.
Given this fact and its many interpretations, it comes natural to think that it is one of our most natural rights: a person should be free to disclose as much as needed, or as much as wanted about a certain subject, and usually it’s up to that person to disclose the information.
So what is different from a persona’s privacy offline and online?
Normally, nothing. Nothing should be different as the Internet is part of our lives and as our smartphones are a direct extension of our hands and brains, it should be treated as part of our lives.
When digital blends to our offline lives then also privacy should blend equally, but it’s not the case.
Why does privacy matter?
Because we are living in an era of continuous development in terms of technology and we are becoming the common denominator between companies and services. So yeah, we are the product, our data is a commodity.
As technology gets more sophisticated, so is the use of data and Privacy is important because it seems we don’t have a proper choice when it comes to the internet: there is no right for us of not having data collected in the first place, so it looks there is a big difference between privacy offline and online: offline we can keep something for ourselves easily, online there is nothing to stop companies from using our information that we don’t have necessarily to opt in and yet they can use and it’s on us to have to go to each individual business and say “these are my data, do not use it”
We have a whole new technology that didn’t exist, we carry a monitor every day, the whole day. (and night on the bed table, uhu) And this creates a whole new number of rights that need to be protected, that we took for granted offline, but online is a whole other story, the story of how technology is affecting society.