The Wolf That Guards the Door Or Why Privacy Matters
On April 3, 2017, President Trump signed a bill which was designed to cut out all of the FCCs protective laws for consumer internet use in the US. This action effectively opened the floodgates for advertisers and increased the reach of government procurement on data generated by private citizens.
Unfortunately, in many other countries, the loss of privacy is already a common fact of life. With corporate giants and government entities finding new ways to spy on private citizens, there seems to be a dark void where peace and personal rights should be, leaving consumers the world over smiling nervously at their ISPs and wireless providers, like the proverbial sheep with the wolves that promise to guard them.
Why Does Internet Privacy Matter?
Internet Privacy is a Defense
Personal information such as bank accounts, passwords, online purchases, dating sites, and social media choices all have to go through the ISP, which puts all of that personal information into an unfeeling corporation’s hands. Privacy protects consumers from invasive ads. It also protects consumers’ children from advertisers that would profile and target them as they grow up.
Privacy Stops Criminal Activity
Yahoo’s multiple experiences with hacked email accounts serve as a prime example; hacks that ranged from large to massive in terms of the amounts of personal information that were stolen from trusting private citizens - all without their knowledge. This latest hack involved 1 billion Yahoo accounts that were accessed by a hacker who allegedly gained entrance through a rootkit that Yahoo allowed the US government to install for the purpose of government spying.
Privacy is a Human Right
Most people don’t want their next door neighbor spying on them, much less their government. Privacy stops the invasive spying of a government - any government. Without instant internet access to private details on a citizen’s life, governments have to go through legal channels that provide citizens with protections under the laws of the land. This is equally true for the children that governments and advertisers spy on, starting as early as the age of five.
Internet Privacy Protects Parties in Legal Agreements
Many online professionals work under nondisclosure agreements (NDA). These agreements protect developing businesses from the competition and they are entered into with professional integrity on all sides. Web developers, content writers, mobile app creators and more all work under these legally binding contracts. Some projects can stretch to well over the six month or one year marks, giving any ISP plenty of time to collect a lot of information from browsing histories, including private information covered under an NDA. Once those NDAs are broken, the professional’s reputation and livelihood are at stake.
Online Privacy is Safety
As consumers read about or experience new threats to their identities and finances, their privacy becomes more precious, taking on a new sense of importance. Many times, it is the privacy, or the lack of information that protects them from internet crimes. This is equally true for the victims of internet-initiated attacks in which personally identifiable information was garnered through online accounts.
The Wolf That Guards Personal Information
No matter how consumer friendly a company appears to be, it is a corporation that is in business to make money. Consumers are its money base and any corporation can be guilty of making money at the expense of its customers, endangering the privacy it vows to protect. While data is the currency of the 21st century, all ISPs, wireless carriers, and online businesses should be viewed with the same trust any sheep would give a wolf, especially if the laws favor them over private citizens.
Consumers can still take action to protect themselves, like using encrypted email services, searching under VPNs, and surfing through private search engines. All of these tools will provide a measure of anonymity but internet users should always be careful. The fight for internet security is still being fought, but the battle hasn’t been won just yet.
The above article was written and sent to us by an enthusiastic Tutanota user, who prefers to stay anonymous. We thank him or her for sharing our passion for privacy and also for writing such an awesome article for our blog. We are certain that together we can win the fight for privacy! Join us and sign up for your own secure mail account.
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Posted on: 2017-04-19