Why Privacy Matters More Than Ever in Today's Digital World

Why Privacy Matters More Than Ever in Today's Digital World
By Amisha Jain, February 07, 2023

The complete privacy in our daily lives or zero internet days with no one watching over us or listening or just monitoring our regular behavior can now be considered as a luxury. Such an experience was only enjoyed by the generation which born in the 80s. That was a time when photographs were treasures to be shared with the dear ones. A secret whispered in friends' ears often went to their graves. A sealed letter never required encryption and travel to unknown places meant constant interaction with the locals for asking the directions. We were social, interactive, and personal computers really were "Personal".

Personal spaces existed before internet data collection invaded our homes. It is easy to install a firewall and protect the computer from potential hackers, install home safety devices to protect it from trespassers but it is nearly impossible to stop devices from the tracking of personal information. The latest privacy policies listed on every website on average takes 20 minutes to read. All websites across the world use cookies to store personal information on their servers with an average lifetime of about 30 days, but cookies can also be set to last for over a year. Disabling these cookies is something that hardly anyone does. It is dissuaded by the websites by giving pop warnings when disabled, or worse makes it a difficult process. It is impossible to exist in the present world without creating a digital footprint.

Internet is now designed to be a data-consuming entity. All the internet enabled smart home devices, smartphones, are mostly functioning 24*7. These are constantly listening to you, watching you and tracking your movement and choices. Digital cameras and AI algorithm can identify a face in a video or from a photograph and it can scan hours of camera footage. Moreover, a person can be identified through the public cameras into – traffic signals, mall

parking, atm machine, high-security buildings entry and exit, lifts, airports, railway stations etc. Digital tracking is nowadays active all the time on smartphones as a default setting on GPS enabled phones. Even when data is switched off, GPS is actively tracking. The smart watches can be compared with house arrest monitors which constantly kept a watch on a person's movements.

The only solution to make sure your personal space remains "Personal", is by switching off the digital devices and internet when not in use. The WIFI at home should be closed when not required. The smart devices should not be like a family member whose presence needs to felt all the time. It is important that we understand that few things should be kept outside the boundaries when building a safe, non-intrude-able space for yourself. Digitally we are living in space which seems to be free but if we look at things at the deeper level, we are living a life which is monitored by profit mongers who are constantly devising ways to sell, manipulate and control our lives. "Switching off" is one small change that will bring immense peace of mind in the future that is constantly being encroached by digitization.




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