Privacy in Digital Age

Published on: November 26, 2020 | Reading Time: 5 min | Last Modified: November 26, 2020


A fun question.

What's the most efficient way to make someone behave themselves? Fear? Torture? Money? Or maybe just let them know that they're being watched. We humans wear masks, a ton of them and depending how comfortable we are, we start to remove them one by one. It's not wrong to say that you are truly yourself only in front of your conscience. We think differently depending on where we are, we perceive and process information differently based on where we are and we act differently depending on where we are. This is why it's important for humans to have safe spaces where they can think and form thoughts freely. This is why privacy is important in a human society.

How much of you is actually you?

Without the privacy of our homes or our friendship circles or a closed room we can never act or think freely, we would conform ourselves to what we've been told is right and acceptable. Imagine a society where your every action is being monitored, where the people watching you can predict your next move before you even make it, where even a closed room can't provide you privacy, where you have to live your entire lives behind masks, what sort of a society would that be? What sort of humans would we be able to see? What sort of thoughts would they have? More importantly how many of those thoughts would be their own? Privacy is inevitable and a pre-requisite for freedom of speech and freedom of choice. Ironically freedom of choice is the argument people often use to rationalize and justify choices that take away their freedom.

The celebrated salesman.

We are inching closer each day towards a future of complete surveillance. People share all sorts of data today to corporations, everything from the last time you searched for condoms to the last time you searched for abortion clinics. Everything logged meticulously all for the sake of showing you fun stuff you'd be into buying. Imagine if this was actually an actual salesman trying to find the most intimate details of your life so that they could know the perfect timing to approach you with the perfect product in the most perfect manner so that they can be sure that you'll definitely buy what they're selling. What would you think of someone who makes a company out of this? Would you use their products? Would you celebrate them as a society? Would you put their branding on your devices?

This is the present. Selling yourself to make your life a little bit more convenient. To put simply people can't see the privacy they loose but they can see the money they loose. Guess what people end up choosing. Yeah.

You should value your privacy. Please value it. Make responsible choices so that we ourselves and generations after us can retain their free will and freedom of choice. You matter and your choices matter.

You Matter.

You matter and so does your choices. The one percent always have enslaved common folks by telling them they won't matter and their choices wont matter. The "clever ones" today like to preach this too for some reason. I can't say this enough, we matter! Our lives matter! Our stories matter! So does our privacy. I can never understand how a human who is capable of thought can give up on privacy. The consequence of zero privacy is humanity being reduced to cattle. What feature is comparable to you becoming nothing more than a cattle. It is however, true that cattle tend to have a convenient life. Those who never move will never notice their chains.


Tip of an iceberg.

Every government is only a few signatures away from getting access to your private thoughts that you've noted down in your computer or anything about yourself that you'd like to keep to yourself. Every large corporation is only one acquisition away from getting access to such data. How can we live with the knowledge that if someone wished to they could end our life as we know it today. Oh wait we have a clever trick to deal with that, box it up, throw it far away and never think about it. Information is power. It wouldn't be stretch to imagine an authoritarian/totalitarian government in a lot of countries the way the political landscape is today. Imagine the power such a government would have over it's citizens. This has never been possible before in the entire human history.

Enter Machines.

Mothers are special people. They know how you feel from the way you sound over a phone call. Well they've been seeing you almost constantly from your birth. They also use this incredible amount of information to tell you exactly the right to make you do exactly what they want. Imagine this but if it wasn't a person but a machine and neither the machine nor the people controlling it cared about your well being. Collecting data and selling it for ads is one thing but using that data to create technologies powered by AI and machine learning that knows how to manipulate a person is entirely different. This is something that's already around us. Widespread adoption of such practices would mean the end of free speech and freedom of choice as we know it.