by S. A. Prince
If you’ve gotten to this point and haven’t watched the video, stop. The video gives the rest of this article its context.
If you have nothing to hide then why worry about it? That’s what my relative said to me when we discussed the issue of privacy in a digitally connected world. Maybe you have heard that exact statement, or some version of it before. And yeah, I guess I get it. I mean, I’m not looking up How to Make Bombs, or Where Can I Find the Nearest Anti-Government Cult to Join, but it’s unsettling knowing that my information, literally all of it, is being tracked.
And it’s not like I am being spied on by my next door neighbors “peeping” Tom or “gossip behind my back” Susan. No, it’s much worse than that. I am being spied on by one of many entities that are a part of an elaborate system, a system that’s sole purpose is to monitor my habits and exploit their loopholes.
Sure, the government says that they’re trying to protect America, and I’m sure that in part, that’s what they’re trying to do. But then what constitutes as “protecting America,” and what does that look like, AND how far do you have to go to do that, AND where is the line drawn?
I think that’s bothering me the most. Where is the line drawn? How much should a company know about you before they’ve gone too far? Everything you click on, everywhere you GPS, every e-mail you write, every purchase you make online, and even every automatic teller machine you withdraw money from adds another little byte to YOUR digital profile that you’ll never see, and until now may not have known existed.
I’m a writer. My work is shared all across the internet. I have no privacy. That’s on me. I chose to write. But, at least tell me that I’m not crazy! Tell me that it’s okay to have some level of concern about my (and your) privacy.
Or, should I just let it go, because secretly I love sending an e-mail to my friend about a new Sam Harris book, then having it suggested to me by Amazon because of some data AOL shared with them?
But don’t take my word for it. WATCH Glenn Greenwald’s Ted Talk, Why Privacy Matters.