In this blog I take a look at why privacy matters. This is an opinion piece written as a DAPS team moderator/admin. The views expressed are my own and not necessarily the views of DAPS team or the project as a whole. Most of you know me as Freud. Enjoy reading!
1. Second chance:
Although credit institutions, corporations, credit rating agencies and governments are able to fundamentally change your life through one-time assessments, they’re not able to take positive responsibility. Many people who are in debt haven’t just become this through unfavorable circumstances, which is why they should get a second chance. And even if the debt was their intention, we are all people who make mistakes and at the same time often take responsibility for those.
2. Free Decisions
When I first bought CBD (a legal substance from the cannabis plant), the transaction was rejected by my bank. Only after I had been contacted, the provider was activated. We all do things for which we have a reason. As long as these things do not endanger other human lives, we are and should be free to make these decisions. Only with complete privacy do we get back what we were actually given at birth and in my own country, it’s at the top of our “Basic Law”, which governs all rights: Our dignity.
3. Alleviating abuse
Paypal shares your data with more than 800 organizations, Facebook, with its more than 4 billion members, also gives agencies like “Cambridge Analytica” access to your data, banks are obliged to share your transactions with the tax office and law enforcement agencies in special cases or on suspicion (a suspicion can be anything if interpreted as suspicion). Both the unmanageable sharing of your data and the real danger of hackers will never give you an absolute overview of what’s happening to your data. How your data can be abused will only become apparent when it’s too late:
- Sim-Hijacking: Hackers are able to empty wallets on your phone like Coinbase.
- Social media hacking: Rumors, false facts or other things can be shared to blackmail you.
- Doxing: Your data (account details, address/address of relatives) will be shared to harm you physically, mentally or financially through blackmail.
4. Freedom of thought and speech
“Thoughtcríme doesn’t lead to death, thoughtcríme is death. I have committed the felony, even though I have never put my pen to the wheel, which has included all the others. Thoughtcrimes they called it”.
George Orwell, “1984.”
Privacy is a right at DAPS, not a privilege. As humans, we have the right to determine what we think and say. If we feel that we cannot do that, we lose creativity and the courage to express unpopular opinions. But it is precisely these that are necessary in order to resolve conflicts, to find consensus or to develop as individuals or societies.
5. Creating trust
When a colleague, whom I trusted, told me that he had talked unjustly badly about me with my boss, the trust was gone. He apologized, but I could no longer continue the relationship with him on a basis of trust. We humans can judge, more or less well, whether we can trust others or not. When someone is loyal, friendly and helpful to us, we consider him more trustworthy than when he is thieving, treacherous and malicious. Have you ever wondered whether you trust those who possess your data? Do you think they will treat the data in a way that will NOT harm you, or do you think they will use the data to THEIR advantage, regardless of YOUR possible harm?
6. Privacy is power
Not everyone who has your data necessarily wants to harm you, as already mentioned in point 3. Some people are only interested in one thing: the power over you. Whoever has your data is able to steer you in a certain direction, to actually steer your behaviour. A stay in a brothel can be used to destroy the relationship with your partner. Buying a new phone can be a fraud report when monitoring your debt account, as you are holding your money back from your creditors. You may not get the car you want to pay in cash because your bank has restricted your withdrawal limit. Why? Because they can, they don’t need any reason.
And, when the wrong people come to power, malice and power can unite. Then what you have done with your own money, what you have considered legal and harmless, is no longer to hide with privacy, because it can cost you more than just the previous points.
Preserving one’s privacy is not a necessity for a few.
It is a duty for many.