In a democratic nation, online privacy should be & must be a basic human right. However, today, enormous numbers of internet service providers play with this basic human right in front of naked eyes to earn millions if not billions by trading your private data. You might be thinking why, what in the world you should spend the time to secure your online activity. And, it is natural. To answer this particular question, here are a few reasons you should know about.
Your basic human right: Today, millions of people across the globe doesn’t differentiate online and offline privacy. However, you need to always keep in mind that current legal system of democratic nations like USA, India, UK, E.U countries, Japan, South Korea and many countries strongly protects person’s right to privacy.
The organization like UNHRC, ICCPR, a number of national and international treaties, and written words on the constitution of several nations, enshrine “privacy” as a fundamental basic human right.
It was the year 2015 when The United Nations Human Rights Council noticed that the enormous progress in the communication technology has made it easier for corporations & government to record daily activity of an individual and they can easily block free speech. The authoritarian government can very easily crackdown on protests and they can even limit the spread of information, while a corporation can sale the data to the malicious third-party contractor for money. In short, online privacy makes you stronger than the government itself.
The absence of online privacy makes you unsafe: Whenever you are connected with the digital world, you leave behind a traceable and permanent trail of your private data. This recognized as “digital footprint”. What is this? Well, it’s your online biography! It can reveal your health information, shopping habits, sleeping patterns, keyboard stroke and much more. Scared yet? This vast amount of personal data can be accessed by various third-party vendors for targeting purpose. Don’t believe me? Open your preferred search engine and type in your name. I am certain you will be shocked to see the outcome. This data can put your reputation and physical safety at risk. Remember the incident when Pokemon Go was launched?
The risk to freedom of expression: Privacy is a fundamental ingredient of freedom of expression. Privacy control for certain group is absolutely necessary. Privacy is important for general people and it is crucial for the people who are involved with journalism, activism and opposition politician to avoid intimidation for their ideas. This people usually become the central pillar of any democracy and I think now you understand the importance of online privacy.
It can affect your reputation: Most of us, using the internet have at least one or two embarrassing stories we would like to keep private. If we travel back to 70s, people were good at keeping their privacy safe. However, in the digital edge, it is quite possible your private stuff stay alive inside your “digital footprint”. If we go back a few years ago, many of us heard about the “iCloud” fiasco! Remember those face of the celebrities hiding from the camera( I mean camera of journalist of course!)? That can be you!
In the conclusion, I want to say that please for sake of your own life, try to minimize your digital footprint. Stop uploading every single bit of your private information try to live beyond tracking and live freely. Your privacy matters a lot and doesn’t try to destroy it get some like or lovely comment. And if you think you do not care about this since you do not have anything to hide, then I would quote someone. Who is my hero and who inspire me the most- Edward Snowden. “Arguing that you don’t care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.”