What are the consequences of my data being shared?

 

Your data is available to anyone who wants access to it including criminals, cyber criminals, stalkers, ex partners, health companies, insurance companies, recruitment companies & governments to name a few. The more of your data that is harvested the greater your risk of cybercrime and identify theft. The more of your data that is harvested the more of your privacy is eroded. From analysing your data any company can use this information to manipulate you or use this data to discriminate against you or your family.

A person’s call history, phone charging patterns, facial features, voice inflections, medical records, all social media activity, including posts, clicks, likes, and shares, also typing speed and mouse movements are all tracked to yield increasingly accurate predictions about our behaviour – our movements, emotional states, what we’ll want and buy next. These predictions are sold primarily to advertisers, but also to insurance and finance companies, recruitment companies, governments etc. This is called surveillance capitalism. I recommend reading Shoshana Zuboff award winning book called The Age of Surveillance Capitalism for an in depth analysis of the dangers of this new type of capitalism.

Case Study:

A recent joint venture announced by Apple and the insurance giant Aetna will reward customers who agree to wear an Apple Watch with nudges toward good health practices. The companies promised to safeguard individual privacy. But at the same time, Aetna told the media it hopes to eventually enrol all its members in the program. What will all that data empower the company to do? Will premiums be higher for people whose choices may be healthy, but whose data profile suggests a shorter, more afflicted life? And once every insurance company has that data, how will people accidentally cursed with the wrong data profile get affordable insurance?

Can you guarantee that your data will not be used against you in the future?

We have no idea who will be running this country in the future and how they will use your data. No one can guarantee that their social profile will not be used against them. It is important that people start to take steps to reduce the amount of personal data is being harvested and added to their social profile.

We would never let the government put cameras/microphones in our homes or location trackers on us. We just went ahead and did it ourselves because we are offered free services.

This is sad but true that society has forgotten how important it is to protect their personal data and liberty instead have sacrificed their privacy for convenience. Once you have lost your privacy, you realise you’ve lost an extremely valuable thing. Privacy is a right, please don’t let it become a luxury!

The concern of privacy advocate like myself is that we could be witnessing the death of privacy in society. No one wants their children to grow up in a world where they will have no privacy.

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