Do you agree that privacy is a fundamental right of any human?
Snowden is essentially saying that privacy is a fundamental right like any other. Defendants of the ‘I have nothing to hide’ argument would also be unhappy if private information of theirs such as everything they ever did, said or sent to someone were to be exposed even if they had ‘nothing to hide.’ This argument implies that if you wish to remain somewhat private and withhold something, then you must have something to hide which is flawed logic as having a desire for privacy does not immediately correlate with incriminating or deviant behavior. Therefore, the right to privacy is a major counter-argument to the ‘I have nothing to hide’ debate.
Following from this, there is also a concern regarding privacy when we are unaware of who has access to our personal information. Data is collected on our personal lives through financial records, health records, education records, criminal records, phone records, consumer purchases and anything we search for online.
Every move we make on the internet leaves a digital trail which can be recorded and assessed. Information can then be passed from one organization to another meaning private data is increasingly available to others. For instance, the supermarket Tesco is alleged to be creating a profile of consumers from across the UK containing information on their consumer preferences and their personal lives such as where they travel to and their general lifestyle choices. This information is then sold to other retail companies to be analyzed. By doing so, these organizations can directly advertise towards you on what may interest you according to the data they’ve received. Also, companies such as Facebook, Amazon, and Google provide ‘recommendations’ based on your previous search history and the data which has been received.
On the one hand, these options can be helpful and be a useful tool for obtaining what you may have been looking for. However, this also poses as a privacy risk if people have not provided consent to have this performed. Therefore, there is an issue of how personal data can be sold without the individual’s knowledge and repurposed.