It is almost impossible to have ‘a presence’ somewhere online without giving away some sort of personal information. Privacy, as having the right to be left alone, is a concept impossible and harmful in contemporary society. One simply cannot work, learn, socialize or live without close encounters with other individuals, both online and in reality.
This is how it has come to work.
And while privacy is likely to remain an issue worth to be concerned about, we should consider when, how and why we lost track of our data.
Control and visibility: that is what changed but that is also what keeps us talking about online privacy.
To a certain extent, control has been transformed into a selective freedom of action. Even if you put nothing else on Facebook, you have to type in your date of birth and name. They are now a requirement for the usage of this service.
Once something goes out there, nobody can take it down. Partially, because nobody really knows where it goes. Yet, we continue to ‘upload’ and ‘update.’
The amount of control over one’s personal data has been reduced to the mere option of choosing what to ‘feed’ to the data-machine.
It is, in its literal definition, inapplicable.
What about visibility? To illustrate how this term can quite accurately be replaced with ‘exposure,’ I will discuss Facebook. However, not what you might have predictably thought.
Facebook hosts an enormous quantity of sites, applications and games, which may complete users’ experience, but, in their turn, would like a share of your privacy.
This is how I discovered this.
Just your average Facebook check-up experience when I stumble upon an interesting quiz: ‘How did you die in your previous life?’ Instantly, I click. Soon, I witness a more horrifying scene than whatever was the cause of my previous death: ‘scanning your Facebook profile.’
When did I allow that? Or maybe it was somewhere along those ‘Terms and Conditions’ I never bothered to look at?
I have been killed. So has a part of my privacy.
But, after all, in our online based existences nowadays, who would mourn for that?