Most WhatsApp groups are now buzzing with debates about whether to continue with WhatsApp or migrate to an alternate messaging tool like Signal and Telegram following Facebook’s recent decision to change privacy terms for WhatsApp users – basically taking permission to sell user data to advertisers. The choice of the alternate app aside, one set of users argue that they have nothing to hide and hence aren’t bothered by WhatsApp using their data for whatever means. This blog by Fabio Esteves from four years ago highlights why we should still care about privacy even if we have nothing to hide. Besides ideological reasons of privacy being a basic human right, he makes some practical arguments too:
“Don’t confuse privacy with secrecy. I know what you do in the bathroom, but you still close the door. That’s because you want privacy, not secrecy.
You have a passcode or some sort of security in your phone. Same goes for email. Nobody ever handed me their phone to allow me to read their chats or see their pictures. If you didn’t have anything to hide, you wouldn’t care. But you do. Everybody does. Privacy is something that makes you human.
…..Right now you may not have a lot to risk. But what about 30 or 40 years from now? Let’s say you are running for a political position or administration of a public company. If Sony’s hacking has told us anything is that your private information has impact in your life. Amy Pascal, co-chairman of the company, lost her job because of it.
It’s not just your job or potential job, it’s also the integrity of your company. Can you imagine what it’s like to have your company torn apart because of a conversation you had 5 or 10 years ago? What would it be like to lose your job because of a conversation you had by phone with your wife?”
….We’ve all joked with things we consider sensitive. But, among friends, it’s something we all do. In fact, our behavior changes depending on the people we’re with. I bet I could find something offensive you said in a group chat that you have with your closest friends. Because they’re your friends and it was a joke or a sarcastic remark. But take it out of context and it is not longer a joke. What would happen if this “joke” fell in the hands of someone trying to harm you?”

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