Privacy : what is it?

What is privacy? Why do we need it? Is privacy even a thing?

We all might have heard of these questions whenever there is a discussion of privacy. This is one of the most often discussed and neglected issues in today’s date. Not everybody thinks of this issue seriously unless suddenly an unknown person comes to us and reveals all our personal things. Ultimately privacy is concerned with one’s sense of security. I bet everybody will freak out when their secrets or their personal space is breached by somebody.

So, what is privacy really then? Privacy is a state in which one is free from any public attention. State when s/he isn’t disturbed by anyone else. But this is a narrow perspective; privacy has become more than that. In this digital age, it’s really harder to achieve privacy, while being surrounded by advanced technologies. Privacy is the ability of an individual or group to seclude themselves or information about themselves and thereby express themselves selectively. Let’s break it down, it’s about expressing yourself with the selected people around you. When something is private to a person, it usually means that something is inherently special or sensitive to them. And therefore, you aren’t ready to share that information with others.

In 1890, the United States jurists Samuel D. Warren and Louis Brandeis wrote “The Right to Privacy”, an article in which they argued for the “right to be let alone”, using that phrase as a definition of privacy. This was one of the first times that privacy was spoken of. However, the roots of privacy can be traced back to the ancient Greek philosophical period. The most well-known of these was Aristotle’s distinction between two spheres of life: the public sphere of the polis, associated with political life, and the private sphere of the Oikos, associated with domestic life.

Why do we need privacy? Why does it matter anyway?

In this digital age of information and technology, it’s data that matters. We all are nothing but sets of information that are fed every second, every minute, and every day into the internet. Our personal information can be utilized by any person with access to it and can be misused in such ways that we can’t even imagine. Every day tons and tons of cyberattacks take place and personal information are accessed without the consent of the party this can lead to a vacuum where the person who isn’t aware of the where being his/her information and many things can be happening from his/her name. This is the new form of crime that is taking place worldwide.

We need serious concerns so as to protect our privacy. It’s the duty of the authorities in the power of protecting privacy. However, one must be concerned about one’s privacy by themselves. Authorities can play regulating roles but however, we must be in charge of our privacy. We should be very much attentive towards what we put on the internet. We should not put anything that directly threatens our privacy.

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