“If you put a key under the mat for the cops, a burglar can find it, too. Criminals are using every technology tool at their disposal to hack into people’s accounts. If they know there’s a key hidden somewhere, they won’t stop until they find it.” – Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO
Data privacy! You might have heard this before probably from your techy friend. And you just laugh at it and said why do I care about my data privacy? I have nothing to hide. I’m an open book. If you think so, I have a challenge for you, comment down your e-mail id and password. I will just take a look at your browsing history, maybe share it online so I can earn from it. Are you ready? You might be thinking what a stupid question, why the heck I will do this? But you are already doing this. Every app you use is taking your data, you like, share comments everything is being stored. Wondering why?. So, let’s dive deep into this and know the importance of data privacy?
What Is Privacy?
To understand data privacy let’s check what is privacy? According to the Cambridge dictionary, privacy is someone’s right to keep their personal matters and relationships secret. We used to do many things to save ourselves from the invasion of our privacy. For example, we lock our doors, we keep lock our phone. Even we get irritated when someone looks into our phone while chatting. Am I right? This means we do many things to keep our matters to ourselves. So, privacy is important and it is a birthright for everyone. But what about data privacy?
What is Data privacy?
So far we got familiar with privacy. Let’s take a look at data privacy. In simple terms, data privacy is someone’s right to have control over the digital data they want to share or not. But what kind of digital data? Why they want us to share our digital data? What are their motives? And should I really care? You might be wondering with all these thoughts. So, Just relax and go through the article.
Invasion In Privacy
Invasion in digital privacy starts right after you agree to those terms and conditions after installing an app or software, registering on a website. Have you ever read the entire agreement? No. Yeah, we don’t have time for such a long rubbish agreement. But that’s where we allow them to control us. Every scroll, likes, comments, watch time everything is Just being stored on big data centres. Sometimes we allow them to invade our privacy and sometimes they invade us without our permission. How? You might have used cracked software or games for free use. I know it’s safe to use but it also depends upon the website. Sometimes these cracked software release viruses into the system and that virus sends user data to its developer. And developers can sell these data to anyone they want.
What do they do with our data?
1-For Earning Money
a) Earning Money Through Ads
If you look into the business model of the biggest tech giants, Google.Google’s main revenue source is advertising through Google sites and its network. Not just google, social media like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube have a similar business model. They store our data, analyze the data, and predict our interest. Based on the predictions. They show us the ads. For example, you might have seen if you click on Instagram ads, then you will find other ads shown to you that will relate to that same ad.
The second way of earning through our ransomware attacks. As the name suggests Ransomware when it enters your PC and it blocks your PC and the only way to unblock it is to pay some ransom to the developer. These kinds of attacks are common for companies. But hackers also attack ordinary people just like you and me. To avoid this, don’t download any third-party software, files, etc.
c)Selling Of Our Data
The third way they sell our data. Simply, there are thousands of companies waiting for our data. From the data, they can get their potential customers. Suppose a health insurance company wants to sell you their life insurance. And you do regular exercise, take a proper diet. You are their potential customers. Because they know you have comparatively fewer chances of falling I’ll. But whereas you are obese and you don’t work out. They will not reach you. You might be thinking about how the hell they will get this kind of data. The answer is simple for your fitness band. Companies like Fitbit etc sell your data to these insurance companies. I think now you might be worried about data privacy.
This is very common to manipulate someone’s opinion through social media. It can be easily seen during elections. Political parties put a lot of money on social media campaigns. A famous example of this is the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal. How a country can be divided just through some social media. Sounds imaginary, right? But it’s true. Artificial intelligence can predict your interest just through your likes, comments,& shares. And after gathering the data, they will predict what kind of post you should see and these posts can support the political parties which put their money. Not just on the election, you are being manipulated on daily basis.
3- For Donations
Now you might be thinking, you are kidding me. They are using our data for donations. No, it’s not that easy. Let me explain to you, many hacking groups are working independently and hidden from the government. These Hacking groups attack big companies, they steal their data, it may include our data too. They firstly ask for ransom from the company and if the company pays them. They give back their data and sometimes they donate it to some NGOs. But it’s a rare case. Now it’s up to you to choose is it right or wrong. Recently, a mysterious hacking group donated bitcoin to charities.
4- Social Media Addict
“Privacy is dead, and social media holds the smoking gun.” – Pete Cashmore, CEO of Mashable
Social media like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc is gathering our data so we can spend a lot of time on their platform. How is it possible? They collect your data analyses the data and predict your interest and based on your interest they impose their content on you. You might have noticed once you start watching videos on youtube, you lose a quite good time. How? It’s all about data. That’s why data privacy matters. Data privacy is not only to save money or save data it’s also about saving your precious time. The more powerful AI they build the more addicted you become to social media. But in concern of data privacy or not, you should not use social media or if you want to use social media limit your usage.
What Can be The Future?
Technology is evolving daily. Technology still has limited access to our digital privacy. But at this rate of evolution, technology will gain access to our personal privacy and there will be no way out. You mind be wondering how? Heard of Elon Musk’s Neuralink process? Neuralink is a small device that will be implanted in our brain which will help in treating neurological problems.
But what will happen if data of our brain is being uploaded on servers and companies can make a profit from our personal data. I’m not pointing or alleging Neuralink, It’s just a possibility. This will take time. But the process has started. Our privacy will no longer be ours.
Data privacy is a very serious issue. And every one neglected it like nothing. You don’t know how your data is being used by companies to manipulate you or sell you their products. But the question is – is it really possible to live in this society without being tracked by anyone. According to me, the answer is no. So, are we in a world where no more privacy is left? This might be scaring you. But don’t worry, all these companies are this big just because we are using it. We use Google because we choose to, not because we forced are to. It’s upon us whether to support Google in its unethical practices or not. With this I’m signing off we a quote, ” the tech industry is the only Industry which calls their customers as users.”
Now, are you serious about your data privacy? Or you are letting it go? I hope I explained well. Any queries, questions, or suggestions please leave a comment below.