Can Freedom and Privacy Coexist?
As we enter into a long holiday weekend celebrating our freedom as Americans, it is important to remember how much has changed since the days of our founding fathers. Who could have ever imagined the advances our world has made over the past 246 years? It blows my mind and I have only been around for a small fraction of that time.
Our founding fathers wrote our constitution to ensure our basic rights and freedoms such as the promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, right?! How could they have known that while we are pursuing happiness, we are also giving up some of our rights? If privacy is part of your life pursuit than you may be struggling. How do you enjoy the pleasures of today, like online shopping, social media, or reading your favorite online publication without giving up some of your privacy?
It’s only going to get more difficult to keep your personal life private. Recently a “new” concern has arisen. Can your internet search history harm you? When a crime is committed, the accused (innocent before proven guilty) often forfeits their devices. Their texts, emails and searches become fair game in the investigation. So, what would yours reveal about you?
Let’s say you are bantering with a friend via text about something deemed illegal. Your presumption is that this conversation is private. Then, something happens that requires a chat with the authorities. You feel you have nothing to hide so why wouldn’t you be willing? Then your texts are reviewed. The discussion of that “illegal” activity opens the door to a deeper dive into your life. Now your internet search history is reviewed and…you’re in trouble. Curiosity is not illegal. But when your personal life is no longer private, the bits and pieces of it may paint a picture that is less than accurate.
So what should you do? How can you live in the year 2022 and still maintain an “off the grid” sort of existence? For starters, know your rights, read the terms and conditions and opt out. It may not put your pursuits into a privacy vault, but it can help you maintain some control over what is available in the data sphere.
Just something to think about while you celebrate your freedom this 4th of July. Our freedoms may be getting tougher to hold onto but, we still live in the greatest country in the world. Happy Birthday America!