What is Privacy?

“Privacy (from Latin: privatus) is the ability of an individual or group to seclude themselves, or information about themselves, and thereby express themselves selectively. The boundaries and content of what is considered private differ among cultures and individuals, but share common themes.”

Source en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Privacy

This definition really resonated with us. Privacy is subjective. At the moment it seems there are two camps: a cry for privacy to be the default and, on the other side, organisations wanting to exploit our naivety as a society about the information we give away. In Europe there is a leaning towards blanket regulation and enforced privacy, such as prohibiting Google Analytics to collect data on your browsing habits on a website – even anonymously.

On the other side, invisible organisations bridge data points about us – and sell that knowledge to advertisers.

It seems to us that, given Privacy is by definition a subjective term, the individual needs to be empowered to make these decisions. Our greatest objection is often that we haven’t even been asked (take the Care.data fiasco for instance). But, if asked, and if the reasons and benefits were explained, many of us would be happy to share our information.

There are those that highly value their privacy, and that needs to be respected. Equally, there are those that couldn’t care less and, likewise, that should be respected too. Our Data Mutual is an attempt to tackle this issue and centre this decision making on the individual. We want to enable informed decision making as granular or light touch level of detail as suits you.

What does privacy mean to you? Do you care? Are you terrified by the thought of the amount of data that’s collected about you? Is privacy dead? Let us know in the comments below…

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