Do You Still Think You Have Nothing to Hide? | The Importance of Data Privacy in 2020

If you are one of those people who think data privacy is not important because you have nothing to hide, this article is for you.

  • Nobody cares what I do online. 
  • Let them get my data, I have nothing to be ashamed of. 
  • This app/device is pretty secure, I watched their ad.

The problem is not just you, the problem is when the surveillance and total control becomes a norm for everyone. Do we want our lives to become like an episode from Black Mirror or a simulation game where our actions are tracked and analyzed?

Do you want to adopt a child? You can’t because they know 10 years ago you were drinking on a daily basis. Do you want to work as a teacher? You can’t because years ago you had a few topless selfies, which happened to be backed up in Google Photos. We all have something to hide.

There are 3 groups of people that need our data:

  • Government officials who install surveillance systems to “fight the crime”
  • Companies who use our data to sell products with personalized ads
  • Cybercriminals who get access to online identities and payment information

Many companies that offer free services derive their revenue from our data. Very often it’s written in their Privacy Policy, but none of us reads those long texts. We get excited to use the free service without realizing that we will pay with our data. 

Often our data is used to sell us services, but the worst scenario is when cybercriminals hack and steal our identity or payment information or when we are manipulated to change our vote. 

stingle photos secure cloud storage

We might think it’s not a big deal if they see what I like, what I usually buy online and where I eat out. But imagine you want to get insurance and they offer you the service at a higher cost just because they have extracted data from your phone and they know you are a smoker or that you don’t walk enough during the day or you have excessive weight. 

We don’t want to publicly speak about our new relationships, or health issues or grades but by granting access to your personal data you literally invite them to follow your actions 24/7. You have to understand what’s the trade-off. What do you give and what do you get? 

We tend not to value privacy until it’s too late. You wouldn’t want your parents to see your private messages or your boss to see your job applications. Let me bring you an example. If you or your friend has been diagnosed with a mental illness and you google it to learn more about the problem, would you feel comfortable seeing ads of psychiatric clinics on your Facebook page? What if one of your colleagues sees the page? 

They know everything about us: where we live, where we work, which metro line we use to go to school, when we usually have lunch and with whom. Does it seem comfortable to always have someone follow you like your shadow?

If you still think you have nothing to hide think once again. It can be your child, your friend or your family members that need online privacy. Fighting for data privacy is not just for you, it’s for everyone to maintain their fundamental right to privacy and personal life. 


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