So many of us would readily agree that privacy matters, but are we really connecting with the emotional and personal reasons behind our point of view? What makes the concept of privacy resonate with us?
There are a host of credible political, social, ethical, and philosophical arguments that highlight the power shared information has on our lives. As Daniel J. Solove notes in his excellent article, 10 Reasons Why Privacy Matters, we often struggle to articulate why privacy matters, but understand the need to limit power, respect individuals, and protect our essential freedoms. Privacy as a term encompasses a multitude of domains. If you have any doubts about the power of our data, Alessandro Acquisti illustrates it ominously and elegantly in his TED Talk Why Privacy Matters.
While these arguments are compelling and thought provoking, we often haven’t taken the time to identify what lies at the heart of our concerns individually. This simple act–pausing to cultivate a greater understanding of our feelings about privacy–can help each of us create a practice to help navigate the modern maze of the so called "Information Economy."
Giving Shape to Your Privacy Perspective
Let’s begin with a few essential questions to help give shape to your personal perspective on privacy:
1. Which aspects of privacy feel the most important to you? It might be the ability to express yourself freely, to be left alone, or to have control and choice over how your personal information is collected and used.
2. Are there instances in the past when your privacy was violated? How do you feel when your privacy is compromised?
3. When have you felt your privacy was respected and protected? Were these companies or individuals? What provoked this feeling of trust?
Privacy Awareness is the Beginning
When we have an awareness of why privacy matters to us personally, we can begin to make informed choices about how we share information online and how we engage with technology.
So why does privacy matter to you? What do you do to protect and safeguard the information that matters to you most? Please let me know in the comments below!