Privacy 101

Privacy is security from judgement. And it's important.

Privacy is not about keeping secrets or being anonymous. Secrecy is the complete absence of information. Privacy is security from judgement.

We need privacy because there are things we do, things that other people know that we do, which we don't want everybody to obtain a clear picture of.

Everybody knows we use the bathroom. It's not a secret. Yet, we close the door when doing so to prevent anybody from obtaining a clear picture. Such is the nature of private activities.

Our search history, text messages, and bank account balances are all matters we tend to seek security from judgement on. We aren't hiding anything, we simply don't value third-party input on these matters.

We tend to seek freedom from judgement (aka privacy) when

  1. We are unwilling, or uninterested, in having a discussion on certain matters with certain people.

  2. We lack the time or desire to explain the surrounding context.

  3. We don't think others would understand or agree with our opinion.

Privacy gives us an option to selectively manage our public reputation. This is crucial as we are constantly tweaking our behaviors in accordance to the people around us.

  • We eat in a different fashion sitting alone in the comfort of our home than we do with a group of friends at a nicer restaurant.
  • The conversation we have with a romantic interest at a quiet bar would change if their parents were sitting alongside us.
  • The music we listen to alone is different from the curated playlists we play around through the speakers when our friends are around.

We don't carry a malicious intent in any of these scenarios. Freedom from judgement is an essential part of our lives.

Seeking privacy doesn't make us evil or up to no good. It makes us human.


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