Data Privacy

The world that we live in today produces enormous amounts of data on a daily basis. Applications in our electronics devices demand most of our personal information in order for it to function effectively. Right from our location, Email id, phone number and address, we need to give out a substantial amount of confidential data about ourselves. Sometimes, even the permission to share this information with other third party apps is requested by them. With all the information exchange the question arises in our minds: Are we safe? Can the organizations which have our data try to misuse it in anyway? Are we really secure over the Internet?
One side of the argument we shouldn’t be afraid to submit our personal information when we don’t do anything wrong. In fact, this scheme might avoid any kinds of attacks on the individuals or organizations and might even foil terrorist activities. After all, what harm can the government do to regular people like us? Well, there are some that disagree. Let me try to play the devil’s advocate here.

If you are not afraid of giving your personal information online, then would you be comfortable to share the password to your email id? For most, or probably all of us, the answer would be a clear NO. If there is nothing harmful that you are doing with your emails then why be so afraid? Sharing this kind of information will always put the person in a state of being monitored whether its actually done or not. Science has shown that people tend to behave differently when they know they are being watched than when they have privacy. A person will tend to stick to social norms and will always have restrictions as to what he says or does. Is this good? Absolutely, it is essential to follow the law and maintain moral standards for being harmless to the society. However, there are also people who bring revolutions, ideas which may seem absurd or radical initially, but accepted as a good norm to be set afterwards. And these ideals need privacy initially before it is put out. Moreover, supervision kills creativity. People can be more creative with regards to business or technology by being provided with privacy. While there are both pros and cons to data privacy, a common ideology or principle can help us decide the extent to which data privacy can be given to people:

As long as an individual or organization is not suspected of harmful activities, they should not be monitored. Their personal information, should they choose to provide, must be used or shared only with their permission.

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