What the Heck is Right to Privacy?

By Chief K.Masimba Biriwasha | OpEd

THAT the individual shall have full protection in person and in property is a principle as old as the common law; but it has been found necessary from time to time to define anew the exact nature and extent of such protection. – Harvard Law Review, 1890

I was listening to music on the web recently when I felt a sudden jolt  that someone could be snooping on me. Through some mass metadata collection effort, they were making a list of all the music I listen to in order to make a character sketch of me. It was a rather odd feeling that rose inside of me. Not that I was listening to anything out of this world. Being online, of course is exposing oneself.  On another thought, just think of how the mobile phone is like your personal address all wrapped up with information about who you are.

I think technology’s reach into our lives needs to be framed within the context of both its potential and what it is taking away, and not simply hailed as the harbinger of progress.

privacy

Against the background of NSA’s Edward J Snowden’s revelations of mass government surveillance programs last June, I don’t think I will ever go online without imagining that my right to privacy is being violated. However, most of the time, I just ignore it and do what I have to do. I’m a digital native after all. Continue reading