DT Note: After a brief hiatus, we are back, fully recharged and ready to go again! We commence today with a resumption of our regular Monday morning piece under the EXPOSED! banner where we seek to shine a light on governmental corruption and corporate malfeasance.
The internet has grown. it is not just a box in front of you that you plug in to a phone line and wait for a funny sound until you connect. And when you get an incoming call it doesn't kick you out, but yes, those really were the days. Some of you might remember it, some of you are probably too young.
In today's world, most of us carry the internet around with us most of the day. Your cellphone will likely even be next to you when you sleep and who knows, maybe a smartwatch too checking how deep your sleep is. Alexa might even listen, just in case you ask a question whilst sleeping. (In fact, Amazon just applied for and got granted a license that will allow Alexa to measure your sleep - as if she wasn't creepy enough.)
The problem is this: the internet is around us, 24/7, 365 days of the year. Our kids grow up watching YouTube and who knows, maybe trying to zoom in on a magazine ad they found and getting confused when it won't zoom in.
The internet has made our lives easier, for sharing information, for checking things, for booking your next vacation (or 'Fakeation' during COVID lockdowns).
The problem is this: Privacy does not come easy when it comes to the internet. The sad fact is that many people believe that's not a big deal because after all they have "nothing to hide".
But picture this, you go to the supermarket and someone follows you. around. You are being watched 24/7, but, of course, it didn't bother you because you have "nothing to hide". But if a real person or several people followed you around, it would, at the very least, creep you out a bit. What if I told you that the camera in your TV spies on you? Doesn't that sound wrong? Imagine the intimate talks you have with your significant other or kids in front of that TV?! Doesn't sound like so much fun anymore, does it?
The changes in how the internet has evolved and how many devices follow you around, listening, watching, reading your texts may not bother everyone, but it should. Privacy is a fundamental human right. And if you give up on it, it will be near impossible to get it back. And anyone of us giving it up makes it that much more difficult for the rest of us. Furthermore, what does not affect you today, on data for instance, might well become a problem for you in the future, as there will be a permanent record somewhere.
There is more to Privacy...your business life is different from your private life and you separate them, right? Privacy is about boundaries, it is not about hiding something, it is about creating and observing rules and safe spaces.
I usually like to ask people who say they have nothing to hide the following:
"do you close the door when you use the bathroom?"
"do you close the curtains when you are in the bedroom with your partner?"
The point I am making is that you create spaces. Spaces only exist because of privacy. Without clear rules on what is private to you and what you are willing to share with everyone out there is important. Your credit card number shouldn't be shared with anyone out there, should it?
Have you ever had a conversation with someone and it ends with something like "you know what I mean?" He does this because he is your friend, if you don't have privacy this statement might mean other things for people who do not know you. Something like this might even get you into trouble, that could be cultural, could be because he follows a different football team, people who do not know you will react differently.
Privacy is not just about protecting us from governments and ad agencies, from the Googles and Apples, but also from everyone else. It is about rules and boundaries in our lives, and it is damn important even you have "nothing to hide".
Edward Snowden once said:
“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.”
Think internet terms again. You have nothing to hide, so everything you say, search, type can be shared? You might pay more for a ticket for your next vacation because they know exactly what you want and need, and adjust the price accordingly! They also know you can afford it because they know how much money you make.
Privacy influences everything around you. Without privacy, we can't apply rules and boundaries. Our lives would be judged, prices adjusted, everything would be done according to what people and companies know about you.
“Study after study has show that human behavior changes when we know we’re being watched. Under observation, we act less free, which means we effectively *are* less free.”
~ Edward Snowden
"Give me six lines written by the most honest man, and there I will find something to hang him."
~ Cardinal Richelieu
Look at China, they have a points system which controls every ones lives. If people in China do not follow the ules or hide something, they might not be able to travel to the next city. They'll get the worst job, they might not be allowed to marry or have a child.
This is because they've lost their privacy, they've given it up or given up on it, not because they had a choice or a vote on it, but it was enforced by the authorities. You still have rights and you can still control your privacy. You have way less thanks to the internet, but that alone is one more reason to protect it.
Just because you put boundaries up in your life doesn't make you a criminal, and it also doesn't mean you have anything to hide!
So try and switch from a "nothing to hide" mindset to one of "some privacy is necessary in life!"
Separate your spaces. Make sure you segregate your business from your private life. Try to use less big companies, perhaps don't sign on to Google. Read up on the Privacy Cookbook (published and updated weekly here in decentralize.today) as it contains some great tips and ways to make your cellphone, and your life in general, more private.
But most of all, get away from the notion of having "nothing to hide", it's not about hiding anything, it'about what is yours and doesn't need sharing.
It's about a fundamental human right, one you can't give up.