Why You Hate Privacy


Eyeball

You’re lazy.

Sorry, but it’s true.

But you’re not alone.  We’re all lazy.

We have consciously – or unconsciously – decided that convenience trumps privacy.  We opt in to social networks without reading the terms.  We let algorithms read our email.  We allow search engine companies to save and archive our searches.  We reveal all on Facebook.

As one of the greatest U.S. Supreme Court Justices Louis D. Brandeis once said:

“The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in the insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.”

It is as if Brandeis were speaking directly to Google.  Or to Facebook.  Or to any of the makers of the devices and technology that watch, track, follow and catalog everything we do.

While we shrug our shoulders and blithely tell ourselves: “I have nothing to hide.”

But of course this isn’t true.

It’s not about hiding.  It’s about protecting our most precious possession: Ourselves.  Our identity.

It is important for all of us to remember – and to be constantly reminded – that online privacy is an illusion.  You are not alone.  You are being followed.  You are being watched.

Think before you post.  Read the terms.  Take the time to learn how to set-up privacy controls.  Ask yourself if all your iPhone apps really need to know where you are all the time.

Understand that your actions and comments can come back to haunt you.

And once your privacy has been violated – you can’t get it back.

Links:

The Reality of Online Privacy: You Have None

3 Scary Facts About the Internet

5 Responses to “Why You Hate Privacy”

  1. True – but eek! I get that you need to be careful. I’ve learned that, and keep learning that. Whether it’s Facebook or WordPress. But is there anyway to really disconnect from the web? To keep your privacy – even if you want it? I’ve seen several write about disconnecting from Facebook and Twitter, yet they still have blogs. That’s revealing privacy too, isn’t it?

  2. Every time you go on the Internet you’re opening up a window into your privacy. There’s no sure-fire way to keep completely anonymous for the average web surfer, but being smart about what you are knowingly allowing and keeping track of your own privacy settings is a good way to start.

  3. I remember a friend asked me “why do we need privacy? Why does it matter?”. I had to think carefully about this to come up with a good enough reason to give a damn (I think the answer was freedom ultimately; privacy allows for freedom of speech, freedom from persecution and freedom from being blacklisted). We don’t care about privacy as much it seems. Who among us reads the small print in the terms and conditions before we click on agree/accept? I don’t think companies really expect us to.

  4. George,

    When it comes to privacy, I think that the best defense is to proceed with caution online. Always, always keep in mind the possible repercussions and consequences of all of your actions, which also includes carefully monitoring who is able to find your online profiles and how they do.

    Unfortunately, some websites don’t allow blocking from less than ideal people looking to connect with you. This is a problem that I wish LinkedIn would correct.

    -Lilian

  5. To me privacy is simple: it is the right to be left alone. The right to keep your likes, preferences and beliefs to yourself and not have others profit or exploit what belongs to you without your permission.

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