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The danger of mishandled information and why privacy does matter

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We live in the golden age of information. A time when looking for answers is made easier and snappier with just a use of a keyword and an era where every internet user has become transparent to the world—sort of.

Back in the day, to be popular, you have to be one of few things—a celebrity who appears on TV or one who makes hit songs that play on the radio daily, a person with above average looks who is known across town, or an individual with great social standing.

As classic as it sounds, this was at a time when the internet is yet to be conceived and where the happenings in places are fairly limited only to certain spheres. Those who become world-renowned are those individuals who take the international stage, but even this is a perk not given to just anybody.

However, with the advent of the internet and all the technology that works adjunct to it, even seemingly nobodies can now turn themselves into instant “celebrities,” all by just having the visibility and following of people who share similar interest. While some are able to start off a career out of the idea, others are merely taking advantage of the opportunity to garner wanted attention they otherwise could not get any other way—some to their own detriment.

In a world where “privacy” is still a thing, to expose oneself for the world to see is a bold move that literally does not come without risk. Gaining the world’s attention, whether to one’s own delight or not, is a two-edged sword that either harms or benefits, or even both. You would either be loved or hated, or set in between. But if there is anything certain about taking the global population as your target audience, it is the fact that you cannot please everybody.

See also: Android is now more secure than iPhone, Cybersecurity experts say

Privacy is a privilege we take for granted

Privacy is a right that our predecessors knew well to be important. Many in their generations even fought tooth and nail trying to protect and uphold it. Because they know too well what happens when people give up something that is essentially their shield from malicious interests.

When you consider privacy as a right within the lines of interracial marriage, freedom of speech, female labor, and the likes, then we, too, would know where our forefathers were coming from when they struggled for it. In its absence, there is simply oppression which is something that our dark history has shown and is still something that is taking place in certain parts of the world.

If there is anything which this transition clearly shows, it is the notion that we are an evolving species and that the conception of privacy as a “right” is a milestone breakthrough of it. Thus, culminating to the very establishment of privacy as a right.

“No one must be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honor and reputation.”

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The “have nothing to hide” context is a fallacy

Many people often confuse privacy for secrecy in that anyone who demands the former are the kind of people who have something to hide—whether something to be ashamed of or something else worse.

However, in as much the same way that we close the doors when we use the bathroom despite it being common sense having idea what happens in there, privacy is at its core about decency and is neither about secrecy. We wanted privacy when we do our private business in the lavatory because we are civilized enough to know what is vulgar from what is not or what is generally pleasing to what are not, especially in a world that revolves around malice.

But even when taken into a different context, privacy still remains a relevant entity because it serves the good interest of any individual—such as you or me.

For instance, why would anyone choose to divulge a conversation that is meant to be private between himself and another person? It is pretty given from the get-go that the idea is intimate, or even just trivial, based on the context of two persons exchanging messages. In as much as a picture could paint a thousand words, a discussion between two individuals is subject to many interpretations which vary significantly according to intent or purpose.

In addition, overlooking the importance of privacy is simply a recipe for harm at any point in a person’s lifetime. You had probably heard of tales of people who went from grace to shame because of malicious gossips—some deservedly so, while others are not. Yet, if anything, this clearly makes for a perfect example when a person becomes a subject of scrutiny arising from the lack of needed privacy.

Although it is a given that celebrities, in general, automatically becomes a figurative commodity for public consumption when they signed up for their role, wouldn’t those personas face a different consequence if their right to privacy was upheld all along?

The idea does not just apply to people who are vulnerable to malicious gossips by being socially renowned, they also appeal to people of all walks of life, as well—including you and me. Literally, anyone in existence can be a subject as every single one of us has a story to tell. The worse part about it, however, is that its aim is seldom to benefit, but the opposite.

Have you heard of stories of random people losing good opportunities in life because of a statement—whether used as is or twisted—they said several years prior, which could have been just a jest? How about that one person who suddenly lost a stable job because of a heated argument in a phone call?

The aforementioned are just a very small fraction of ways a person could be predisposed to negative situations, all because of some mishandled information and, ultimately, why privacy is a matter that we cannot just overlook.

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