The most infamous argument against caring about privacy is that you have nothing to hide. This is similar to saying you have never been burgled, so why should you look your door at night or when you’re not at home.
A common argument I use when I try to argue for privacy is that by not caring about your own privacy affects everyone around you.
Bad privacy is similar to second-hand smoking, in that way your habit affects everyone around you.
If you are careless about how you guard your privacy online, you are allowing your friends’ and families’ privacy to become somewhat compromised. Not to mention what you happily share online.
If you share a selfie, but your friend is in it too or some stranger in the background, you have compromised their privacy.
As the old saying goes, anything that is put online will forever stay online one way or there other.
What is even more disturbing is that those who either claim they have nothing to hide or just don’t care about privacy are as careless as smokers when they say non-smokers can go somewhere else if they are bothered by the smoke.
The issue with that attitude is that we have already lived through it and overcome it, regarding smoking. Eventually governments decided they had to start banning smoking in various public places as non-smokers really had no place to go.
This is the unfortunate state we have kind of reached with privacy, that you can’t really expect a lot of privacy unless you go off the grid and move out in a cabin in the forest.
So many are so obsessed with certain social media platforms and what they share there that if they had to think different or change their behaviour is unthinkable to do so.
Eventually, and hopefully, those who don’t care about privacy will become the minority the rest of us look down upon as they become the outsiders like smokers.
To give you an idea how not caring about your own privacy affects others I’ll tell you a game I play I would have a hard time playing 15+ years ago.
If you wanted to find the identity of someone 15+ years ago you have to do som (black hat) hacking. Now, when everyone use at least one social media network you don’t need to hack if you have the patience and have strong search-fu skills.
If I’m curious about the identity of someone or need to find their identity, I start looking through any of their feeds. Gather as much information about who they are, who they communicate with, etc. That can give me information about their location and age. Often people are careless and use their real name, which makes it very easy.
With the most active social media users, you can find someone within an hour or two.
If you think privacy isn’t important, think again. If someone that is just bored can find out who you are without the need of hacking a server or two, even not having to spear fish, then you should worry about not only your privacy but your online habits.
Al Capone said something like, everyone has a price. Something similar can be said about your personal information. You might think you live the dullest life on earth, but trust me, you have at least one piece of information that has great value to someone.
At the end of the day, privacy is not so much about hiding, it’s about access to your information.
You might still not be convinced, but the day someone gets hold of some sensitive information you didn’t protect well enough and unleashes it to the world, you might change your mind – sadly that’s when it’s too late.
Start protecting your privacy now, or forever lose it completely. The bonus is that you will protect the privacy of those close to you.