Privacy should be a right we can all take for granted – but the problem is it is being taken away from us without our consent.
Will new trading models that put data back in the hands of the individual, who can then share or exchange it at will, make privacy the preserve of only those who have sufficient income to make a choice over this, rather than those whose circumstances compel them to to take advantage of what’s on offer, whether or not that’s what they would choose?
That’s the premise in this otherwise sensible article on the growth of the sharing economy, which ponders: “But paying consumers to give up their privacy may not be particularly freeing for lower-income tech users. The practice essentially puts a premium on privacy: If you want to keep your data, and stay anonymous, you have to give up cash and deals. If this model plays out, a private smart home will be more expensive than one that reports back on its users.”
The article, which also mentions an AT&T deal in the US, where not having your search and browsing history recorded costs more each month, makes some good points, and that is one interpretation of the facts.
But the bald and biggest fact being overlooked here is that nothing is free in this world – users of so-called ‘free’ newspaper or gaming sites just don’t realise they are paying for them with their data!
Ultimately, privacy is a right that we should all automatically have and which nobody should have to pay for.
But yet while we make choices all the time in every area of our lives, at the moment we don’t have a choice about what happens to our data – information about us – that is taken from us multiple times a day without permission and then used as a crude (and often irritating) targeting tool.
Sometimes we do actively sign this right of ours away, but through ‘I agree’ buttons and long-winded privacy policies designed to confuse and bore us and which companies know the vast majority of us will just quickly scan, at most, to get to the service they offer.
Putting the individual back in control, at their centre of their connected world in what we are calling the Internet of Me, will automatically enable a more private world.
Getting a discount or deal simply for sharing that data, on your terms, with who you choose, will be a benefit that will appeal to all, and simply another life choice to make.
So, actually, if privacy could be seen as a luxury, it’s a luxury around actually having a choice, as opposed to being forced to give up data as we all are at the moment, whether we know it or not. Or even like it or not.
But the bottom line is that privacy is a right for all – and here at digi.me we’re doing everything we can to enable a world in which that’s known and accepted universally.