Why all the grave importance put on privacy? Why are some of us fighting so hard to stay anonymous? It’s not as if there’s anything to hide…..

There are people who submit willingly, almost cavalierly, to information thieves. Their justification for it is there’s “nothing to hide.” When it comes to why privacy matters however, nothing to hide is irrelevant.

The data-collection methods of Internet companies like Facebook are technically legal, albeit somewhat worrying. There is a deeper purpose for privacy than the one attributed to it by those who would use it as tender to exchange for technological modernization, which usually translates to corporate pursuits.

We must understand the value of privacy to protect it.

So, why should we fight for privacy?

Consider this; the more information an entity has about us, the greater their control over our lives. Our intimate details influence the very decisions we make. This means the more information any one individual or entity has on you, the easier it is to manipulate you to their will.

If you don’t think this is serious, you may be thinking only of the small scale. Privacy is necessary because it limits the power the government has as well as private sector businesses have over you. Privacy is your buffer zone.

Due to the “be yourself, free to be me” attitude being highly popularized in youth culture, it’s easy to say reputation doesn’t matter, and who cares what others think.

Most of us know better. Like it or not, reputation matters.

Our reputations affect our opportunities, earning power, relationships, and overall well-being.

We can’t have total control over our reputations, but privacy allows us to at least manage our reputation. This is not just in the interest of protecting ourselves from lies, but also certain truths. We all know that knowing personal details about someone’s life doesn’t always lead to accurate judgements.

People judge with wild abandon. People judge badly, unfairly, and frequently. We need privacy to protect from these unfair judgements.

Having privacy is key to having ideas. If we know we’re constantly being watched, we’ll be too scared to have any free thoughts.

Privacy is also key to protecting speaking unpopular messages.

It’s not just our fringe activities privacy protects either. We may want to critique others, but not share that criticism with the whole world. What if we want to explore ideas that others may dislike?

Most importantly, privacy is about allowing people their dignity. If an individual has a wish to keep something to themselves, how disrespectful to disregard that individual’s desire without an imperative reason.

Sometimes a person’s wish for privacy gets disregarded because of reasoning that no “real” harm is being done. This is incorrect, because even if an indiscretion doesn’t cause significant hurt, it shows no respect for that person. As in, “I care about my interests, but your privacy doesn’t matter.”

 

Together We Can Survive Anything,

Dean Miller

American Survivor

 

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