Privacy is a much-touted concept, an intangible property we all feel we have a right to own. But is it really that important? How much privacy can we really expect, in a world where more and more of our lives take place online? How much do we really care?
Right now, I know that an ex-boyfriend has two pit bulls, a gun collection, and a baby boy on the way. I haven’t talked to him in over ten years. Another ex- is now a professional skateboarder, living in Paris. My husband, being a tech geek, is literally everywhere in the online world — a Google search on his favourite username turns up more results than I have the patience to visit, leaving me thanking my lucky stars that I am not one of those people who feel compelled to check up on the activities of my spouse.
We all like to think we have an inherent right to privacy, we fight for it, we obsess about it. When we venture into online communities, we may assume false names, even false images to represent ourselves…but do they grant us the assurance of anonymity that we believe they do?