P for Privacy

We are with the 2018 April AtoZ Blogging challenge and its my fifth attempt. For those who missed it, here is the link to my Theme Reveal post. Do the alphabets still stand for the same things we learnt about in Nursery school? 

Its day sixteen and the alphabet is P.

Traditionally P is for Pen or Parrot. But in view of the recent outcry around the world and the Cambridge Analytica scandal, I would say P is for Privacy. Privacy or security of our data-  whether on social media or simply information generated by using our cell phones. 

This data breach has generated a volley of jokes and I will share a couple of them here- both received via WhatsApp. 

Mark Zuckerberg got involved in a car accident with an M.P’s son’s car in Delhi. (MP = Member of Parliament)

MP’s Son angrily: Do you know who my father is?

MZ: yes, his name is Jaspal Singh. He has 237 friends out of which 35 are women and your mother doesn’t know 10 of them. Last month he went to Thailand and he……..

MP’s son:  Bas kar yaar galti meri thi (Stop it, it was my mistake)

In the old days, such activity may have been called ‘spying’ but may have been used exclusively by governments or security agencies. We have read of letters being steamed open, phones tapped. On a general level, the neighbourhood shopkeeper knew preferences and ordering pattern of all his customers.  

Such monitoring of individual preferences has now spread to the digital world as people switch to ordering via e-portals, extensively depend on apps etc. Naturally, this info is much sought after by marketing companies. They use it to sell their products, subtly ‘guide'(influence) our thoughts and so on. 

When ever we sign up for a social media account, we first have to tick a checkbox that has us agreeing to their Terms and Conditions. This usually covers the way in which the company will use our data, jurisdiction for any disputes etc. My sole attempt to read these Terms and Conditions was discouraging – not because of what was written but  its nature. There was  reams of legalese – the implications of which were quite difficult to comprehend. So if I needed to use that particular service,  I simply ticked the check box and proceeded.

Like it or not, we are in a digital age. The SciFi movies of our childhood do not seem imaginary any more. Its almost as if the situations depicted in some episodes of the Netflix serial ‘Black Mirror‘ are actually happening! 

The Internet is here to stay and along with it the new age spies. Its up to us to use our discretion to keep these forces at bay. Learn to live with it knowing its disadvantages.  

Here are a couple of good articles about how we can reclaim our privacy.  

Is it time to go back to the old ways? Letters by Post, Libraries instead of Google to search and so on…

I would love to hear your views on this subject!

4 Replies to “P for Privacy”

  1. I think one trades some aspect of privacy for the convenience of quick access to information. Although we use the internet for information, going to the library regularly is something we enjoy. There's nothing like holding a book in your hand and reading it.


  2. Your final thoughts are mine also. I recently dug out my fountain pen, bought a bottle of ink and started writing letters again, mainly to a couple of like-minded fellow bloggers. I live opposite a library that has just been updated to house both books and computers.It now suits everybody!

    My Friend Rosey – P is for Poetry

  3. That's right Ann! I read extensively using the Internet but I also enjoy reading a book… Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  4. @Keith – your library has truly kept up with the times… Thanks for your comment. Your support means a lot 🙂

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