If you think privacy doesn't matter….

hiding hands


If you think your privacy doesn’t matter, then how about you do the following:

  • Email me your bank account details and login passwords.
  • Remove the blinds and curtains from your house.
  • Leave the door open when using the toilet.
  • Publish on your Facebook page the links to every website you visit – even those with 18+ year age requirements.
  • Tell me how much you get paid and give me the details of your assets and debts.
  • Send me a copy of your passport, driver’s license and birth certificate…oh and your mother’s maiden name.
  • Share with me your medical records, any medication you take and other details you share with your doctor.
  • Share with me all the grades from your school reports.
  • Give me copies of all your performance reviews from every employer you’ve ever had.
  • Let me hear every conversation you have, even those behind closed doors or with your partner.
  • Give me live footage of every angle, in every room in your home.
  • Give me a complete record of everything you have ever bought.

While I wouldn’t put any of these things into the shameful or evil criminal category, it’s clear we’d rather keep some things to ourselves. Sure, some of this information needs to be entrusted to other people like doctors, lawyers, accountants, employers and family members, but most of it is not for public consumption. And I haven’t even added what can be deciphered when data points are cross-referenced. But here’s the kicker – most of these are already being tracked by metadata, and many more are about to be by the IoT.

I happened upon this recent talk on the reality of privacy by Glenn Greenwald. He references behaviour from the chiefs of our biggest internet companies; yes, those who make a living our of selling our digital footprints. Many of these CEOs dismiss the right to privacy as a notion either outdated, or something only those with things to hide need worry about. It’s ironic they make a concerted effort to hide their own personal lives. The talk is a mind-opening 20 minutes which proves undeniably that the right to privacy is an issue. Not being concerned about it now will have implications later on when perhaps it is too late.

Not for any reason, privacy is simply a matter of respect for our fellow humans. Don’t let it be something you give away without due consideration of the real trade off.

New book – The Great Fragmentation – out now!