For all our talk of privacy our lives are an open book to just about everyone | #socialmedia


Jug Suraiya

A former associate editor with the Times of India, Jug Suraiya writes two regular columns for the print edition, Jugular Vein, which appears every Friday, and Second Opinion, LESS
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In the ongoing stand-off between the government and social media sites, one of the issues involved is that of the right to privacy.

But just how private are our supposedly private lives? How much, or how little, privacy do we really have? And the answer to that seems to be that we have very little indeed.

If you have a mobile phone – and very few people are without one these days – the chances are that, like me, you’re constantly being inundated with spam messages and unwanted calls trying to sell you anything and everything from 2 BHK+SQ apartments to weight-loss programmes guaranteed to make you shed not just your bodily motapan but also that of your wallet.

So how do all these invaders of your privacy get your phone number and barge into your personal space sans invitation? The network provider you subscribe to makes your private phone number public to sellers of various goods and services in return for monetary recompense. So much for phone privacy.

If you have a smart phone, its GPS system enables surveillance of all your movements, allowing observers to locate exactly where you are at any given time. So much for geographic privacy.

Smart phones come equipped with algorithms which record what your consumer preferences are in everything from cosmetics to political views, and reinforce these choices by feeding you more and more information about them. So much for privacy of free will.

Thanks to the Know Your Customer (KYC) rules your bank knows all about your economic status to the last paisa. So much for financial privacy. In malls and other public places, you are constantly under the gaze of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) systems. So much for social privacy. And as if all this weren’t enough, Big Brother is keeping tabs on you through your Aadhaar card with its unique 12-digit identification number and biometric details like 10 fingerprints, iris scans and mugshot.

The result is that there’s very little of the private left about us, with everything being in the public eye. Or should that be the public I?

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Disclaimer

This article is intended to bring a smile to your face. Any connection to events and characters in real life is coincidental.



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