Is Right To Privacy A Myth In This Digital World?

Is our personal data on the Internet actually safe?

Source: Google

When it comes to Digital World nothing is actually private- Photos, Conversations, Finances, Accounts, etc. So, is the “Right to Privacy” actually a lie?

Recently, the Supreme court of India declared the “Right to Privacy” as a fundamental right of every citizen. But is our privacy actually protected in this world where every other aspect of life is getting digitised? When we click on that “Allow” or “Accept” button while downloading certain apps and/or visiting various websites, we basically give permission and open a gateway to our privacy and our digital personal space. One may say that technology has helped us reach this far, but actually, the stakes of living this modern digital life are extremely high. And we have conveniently turned a blind eye towards them, for ignorance is bliss.

No doubt digital platforms have played a major role in helping us connect to people and help each other, stand for one another and raise our voice and give out our opinions to stand up for what’s right and important. But we also come across so many videos and read so many articles about personal chats getting leaked, private pictures and videos becoming viral, destroying so many lives in their wake. So is it a bane or a boon?

While I am fully aware of the immensely positive impact of digitalization, I find myself often wondering if we, as people, fully understand the implications of the solutions and technologies we so willingly embrace and use as part of our daily lives:

Biometric authentication:

Source: Google

Instead of using passwords that are difficult to remember, many of us are happy to use fingerprint/face recognition as an alternative authentication modality, to login into our phones and/or online bank accounts. However, there are so many instances that took place which tells us that biometrics can be defeated by a simple presentation attack.

But are we aware of such a risk when we voluntarily share our images on social media? And can we take back or delete our digital history when we need to?

DNA test:

Source: Unsplash

Many consumers have already given up their information to various companies and why wouldn’t they? Such companies use our fingerprints to give out information about where our very own ancestors came from and connect us with our relatives that we never knew existed.

However, would we still agree to share our DNA if we knew that our data can be used as weapons against us? A simple attack would be, to target us with food allergies that the tests reveal. Not so safe right?

Not just the ones mentioned here, but there’s actually many more examples that clearly show the complexity in assessing the implications of digitalization for both consumers and business entities.

Indeed, not everything that can be digitized, should be digitized…until we reasonably comprehend its societal impacts on an individuals’ privacy and safety.

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