In order for a lot of people’s needs to be met, some privacy has to be given up on their end. Whether they want to give up their personal information is their prerogative, but conceding it comes with benefits. For example, I am willing to allow certain apps to access my location for things like giving me directions, finding events in my area, or food delivery. These apps provide small rewards like the convenience of making my life easier. I also have an app that shares my location with my family as well as the locations of my family members given to me, and this is used for safety reasons. This app specifically is more for peace of mind to see where everyone is. I use biometric data like my fingerprint and facial recognition to open up my devices, and it is mostly to secure them more than with just a password. I am also okay with my personal health information being given to hospitals like my past medical history and my current health information in order to successfully provide the care that I need. This reward I would consider much larger as if they did not have this information about me, my healthcare would not be tailored to best fit what I need.
Where privacy rights become murky is when we do not exactly know where this data goes after it has been given. For example, I am always using Google to search for anything under the sun, completely unaware of the fact that they are tracking my search data and personalizing recommendations and advertisements for me. The apps I use for directions also happen to track my locations linked to different times of the day and store them for future uses. For the app that tracks my location at all times of the day, I am oblivious to how they are storing and using my data. The biometric data that I have willingly given to technology companies is what I am most concerned about, as this data I do not know if there are other uses for them for these technology companies. For all this data, I just have to trust that they are using them solely for what they are saying they are using it for and not for any other purpose.
The thing is… I don’t trust them at all. You expect me to think that they are completely truthful in only using my data for the purpose they said they were going to use it for? I didn’t actually know that when I have given most of this data to companies, and now here I am having no control over where my information goes. I think what is needed isn’t the question of “how much privacy are you willing to give up?” to citizens, but rather “what are you doing to protect citizens’ privacy rights?” to the government. But unfortunately, the government isn’t all that trustworthy when it comes to privacy rights either. I am surprisingly willing to give up a lot of my privacy for the sake of convenience, safety, and health, but it comes with a huge price.