"Privacy is about trust. It's not about whether I've got something to hide." Why Privacy Matters

#Opinion

Sat, Nov 30th, 2013 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

As part of his thought works, Marko Polojärvi explains what privacy really is and why it is important that we get to keep it.

There's two things you can do right now to lose most of your privacy. Share everything that comes to mind on Facebook and search everything that comes to mind on Google. I don't want to single out Google or Facebook but they're the best representatives of two common ways for online companies to commercialise you. There is no free lunch - if you're not paying for the service, you're the product. These companies are doing everything they can from firing slogans at you to deceptive user interfaces to hide the fact that you're the product.

The first way to sell you forward is to know what you want - from your search and surfing behaviour Google knows what your intentions are. Another way is to leech into your relationships and see what your friends are buying - Facebook knows who you know and what you like (or "Like"). Both of these companies are making their bottom line by watching your every move and finding the right triggers that make you click ads you wouldn't click without manipulation. Of course in their terms this is called "optimising the user experience".

Let's set aside for a second the fact that both Google and Facebook are US companies bound by US legislation to share all their stored and analysed data about you with the US government, and let's focus on what happens to your privacy without any court orders or secret deals.

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