Welcome to the Nexus of Ethics, Psychology, Morality, Philosophy and Health Care

Welcome to the nexus of ethics, psychology, morality, technology, health care, and philosophy

Friday, November 8, 2019

Privacy is a collective concern

Carissa Veliz
newstatesman.com
Originally published 22 OCT 2019

People often give a personal explanation of whether they protect the privacy of their data. Those who don’t care much about privacy might say that they have nothing to hide. Those who do worry about it might say that keeping their personal data safe protects them from being harmed by hackers or unscrupulous companies. Both positions assume that caring about and protecting one’s privacy is a personal matter. This is a common misunderstanding.

It’s easy to assume that because some data is “personal”, protecting it is a private matter. But privacy is both a personal and a collective affair, because data is rarely used on an individual basis.

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Because we are intertwined in ways that make us vulnerable to each other, we are responsible for each other’s privacy. I might, for instance, be extremely careful with my phone number and physical address. But if you have me as a contact in your mobile phone and then give access to companies to that phone, my privacy will be at risk regardless of the precautions I have taken. This is why you shouldn’t store more sensitive data than necessary in your address book, post photos of others without their permission, or even expose your own privacy unnecessarily. When you expose information about yourself, you are almost always exposing information about others.

The info is here.

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