Privacy, A Concept We Used To Know

privacy

A friend narrated how she went to a room and euphorically talked about her newly opened online diary. After her speech, everyone burst out laughing. It was a blonde joke. Privacy as an integral part of the internet? Unheard of. It is common knowledge that adversaries will, inevitably, steal from us. Anyone who dares dream otherwise is naive, or just dumb.

The essence of the aforementioned story is not to show the  internet’s openness or  how it is the most public place of public places but rather to show that a permissible degree of human intelligence would save us from such embarrassing moments. The general complexity with this, is that,  an increase in privacy depriving media denotes a proportionate decrease in intelligence.

Advertisement - Continue reading below

Of course, the whole concept of intelligence and privacy  is abstruse, but how could one possibly explain; why a bank would cry foul after a cyber attack yet it is still stuck with windows XP in 2013? How Facebook collected terabytes of  the world’s data in 10 years yet CIA failed in over 50 years? Again, how Facebook’s privacy policy is longer than the U.S constitution — Facebook’s privacy policy racking up almost 6,000 words with the Constitution at 4,543 words. Meanwhile, in the shadows of many of these gigantic corporate companies and organisations —all of whom have graduated from day-to-day grunt work— are legions of faceless hackers who tap away at keyboards every day to build the products and systems we all use to conjure our privacy.

This disturbs me, alot. But, as people, we have learnt to identify ourselves with such. We have mastered the art of clicking yes to unknown terms and conditions to a fault without budging in resolve just to use a free service.When our data is used for whatever purposes, we will bicker, tweet and even sign online petitions, then we will forget. Much  has been said and written about rejecting what may be detrimental to us  in the right places, at the right time, with a right alignment of the planets in the solar system. But, we still do nothing.

Inter-connectivity forfeits the whole concept of privacy; phones linked to laptops to access systems and so forth. It’s only a social engineer who can explain the joy such connectivity brings. There is an enormous urge by billions of people to share  the tiniest of their personal details online. People Facebook their problems instead of facing them. This explains why social networks (and manufacturers’ usage of special hardware in devices) are tracking of our online activities, so that they can target advertisements, spy for the government among others.

There will come a time when it isn’t ‘They’re spying on me through my phone’ anymore. Eventually, it will be ‘My phone is spying on me.’ – Philip K. Dick

Although we are living in a generation of smartphones, we are living with not so smart people. Suddenly, if one can’t be smart, they pretend they are. People are even wearing geek glasses as a fashion trend. But, as long as this fallacy continues, then the golden days of privacy are over. The machines are not weak, it’s the people who are. Welcome to the cyber world!

Image via Shutterstock