What is privacy? The answer is pretty abstract involving “the rights of man” & “ancient philosophical thoughts” or frankly too much introspection for the short passage that I am writing. So lets take a different approach.
Take a look at your phone. How much do you think is the data stored in it and how safe do you think this information is? We shop online, chat on social media, do google search as we are unable to perform even the simplest tasks without them. Also, we prefer locking our phone and keeping the information in it safe.Why? Well we would certainly hate our information being shared with some one else. But Privacy is actually a myth! Google, FB, online stores are all happy to collect your information and mine your information,and this is not just about your phone. A pretty comprehensive picture is being built which includes your history as well as your future. This isn’t actually the ONLY information you are sharing knowingly. In fact , we have little information of what is being cloned and emitted. Thanks to the new laws, technologies and whistles that have been blown, we now know the government is not just watching terrorist activities, they are watching all of us.
Aadhar or UID using biometric data if in case of a war can be used to make any criminal proceeding against us. These information can even be cloned for unethical purposes.
India and the US are likely to sign a pact for the exchange of information on terrorist screening. Now do you think a country which has been known for tracking the activities of each and every superpower, and has been even accused of asking the fellow companies for a backdoor to all the information that its users will be providing directly or indirectly, is reliable of sharing such in-formations? Or rather any information?
A free society requires a government limited to protecting its citizens’ freedom. It has to be accountable to them. The government of a free country needs to take it’s citizens permission in everything it does, not the other way round. The powers that we let the government have under one ruling party which maybe we support, the same set of information will be with the next ruling party, whom maybe we don’t support.
The coming of the RTI gave an immense power to look into the functioning of the government. But it has witnessed hundreds of death of the individuals who have fought for this right. Its our responsibility to ask the government transparency to maintain that the government answers to our question.
The early vedic times , even though had a raja, was answerable to the citizens. This meant that the power wasn’t confined into one hand, and there was no score of corruption.
We need whistle-blowers. We need people who are willing to take a principled stand and say “No, the government is overstepping its boundaries”. The government owes us that transparency.
Privacy is about power. The more we have, the more we have control over our lives. Throughout the history, no system of mass surveillance has ended up NOT being abused. Simple reason being we do not know as to where this all will end up. But the convenient solution we accept today will be the mandate of tomorrow.
Now looking for the otherside of the coin!
You see, what can a tax evasion do. Property nowadays has become too much of a private matter. We own it, but we don’t disclose it. Why? “WELL not ME! Our constitution has given us the right under ARTICLE 21 for the right to life! Right to privacy too comes as one of its clause!”
Wow! Now that’s splendid. This ain’t a loophole of the system, but instead, a reason why the privacy shouldn’t remain. Its just as unethical as it could ever be. TAX EVASION is the reason why the poor get poorer and the rich get richer. Do you know the government due to this tax evasions ends up having nothing to fulfill all the requirements, all the plans that it starts to lift the poor. BUT then no. It is the government to be blamed.
But what good will it do to a government by just asking for a personal database, That too of a poor! No it surely isn’t for the corruption to end!
So in my view, we need this privacy more than the government! But that doesn’t mean we start exploiting this very right that the forefathers of our constitution have given us.
Monitoring us, Branding us, Categorizing us and profiting from us ,Privacy can stop all this from happening. WE can stop this from happening.<a