Privacy and Security

By on May 4th, 2016 in Privacy & Security, Societal Impact, Topics

Guest Post from: Marvi Islam

Let me start it with privacy and link it to security. Well, all of us know about the privacy settings on Facebook and we like them so much, as we can hide from our family members the things we do and the people we’re with. But wait, what about security? How is privacy linked to security?

Let’s leave the digital platform and move our focus towards our daily lives. We need security in our banks, schools, public places, and even in our homes and parks. But have you ever wondered what price we pay for this non-existent blanket of security? Privacy.  Let me reiterate — security at the price of privacy. Those cute little things we see on the ceilings of our school corridors; we call them “CCTV” —  they are installed for our security. But security from? No one bothers to ask. Maybe they (the authorities) want to tape everything in case something bad happens so that they can go through the tapes and catch perpetrators red-handed. But they are taping every single thing and we don’t take this as them breaching our privacy?

A number of times these tapes have been misused causing niggling unpleasantries and yet it’s ok. There’s a famous proverb in Hindi that translates to this: “You have to sacrifice one thing to get another.” Here we sacrifice our privacy to get security. With self-driving cars grabbing all the attention, there goes more data to stay connected and apparently, “secure.”

Similarly, some companies check what their employees are up to and what they are doing on their computers while they are at work. This, from the company’s perspective, is to avoid plausible breach of sensitive data. But is such constant monitoring even ethical? So, does it really have to be a tradeoff? Security for privacy and vice versa?

Marvi Islam is from Islamabad, Pakistan and studies at Capital University of Science and Technology, Islamabad. https://www.facebook.com/marvi.islam