Worry About Privacy?

Some things in life are public, some private and some secret

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Why should I even worry about Privacy?
I asked my wife “Would she want to hide her data or make her Instagram profile private?”
She said “What is the point of being on a social platform like Instagram and be private? Instagram is to share with the world and with people you don’t even know.”

Then I said “Would you be ok if everything about you is public?” Before I could even complete, she said “Absolutely not!”

I understood then that everyone wants to keep a public social life, but there also has to be a boundary between what is really public for me, what is private and what is totally secret. And these differ from person to person and may also change from time to time for the same person.

My Data
I have all sorts of data with me. I have personal financial data. I have me and my wife’s private pictures. I have a lot of data about my property deeds, bonds, loans, etc. All of these I want to be available to me online any time I want but not be seen by anyone else ever, except those I want to share with. Pictures of my travels, profile or nature and wildlife experiences can be public. Data about my finances or health should be private with me and those I share them with like my family, tax consultant or my doctor. At the same time, I may want to keep my thoughts secret and not share all of them even with my partner.

Can all of this co-exist?

My Social Data
I have been traveling extensively to a lot of places globally and locally too (I live in India) and I keep clicking pictures on my iPhone. I am not a professional and I just click what I like.

My social data is public and I want to share it with everyone I know and perhaps even others who may be interested. Hence, I keep my Instagram and Facebook profile open for all such pictures and write-ups. And I am quite happy about my social footprint.

My Private Data
My private data is very close to my heart and I do not want anyone to see it. This has me and my wife’s pictures about all the crazy stuff we do. Similarly my financial data, my plans in life, and so on. I want these to be available to me at all times irrespective of my location and I would never want to lose any of it no matter what.

So what do I do to keep my private data online and accessible? I keep it in various apps by obfuscating the data with secret words which are only understood by me (I am a techie by profession). But trust me when I say it, it can still be easily deciphered by anyone if they get a hold of it.

Secondly, what if I want to share some of this private stuff with a close friend, consultant or colleague without them being able to further share it with others. In today’s social world, that is almost impossible.

My Secret Data
One may also have sensitive data, pictures or videos which you don’t want anyone to see, at least not at this time. If their ‘secrecy’ dilutes for me in future, I may want to share it with few people privately. But I must have total control over what I define as public, private or secret for the stuff that belongs to me.

The Missing Link
What is missing in the online ‘data world’ today? Personally, I would like an app or an online service that does the following for me:

• I want an app that does not know who I am.
• I want the app to allow me to store what I want and share what I want (or not).
• I want the app to keep my data encrypted and secure.
• I don’t want the app to read my data in the backend for profiling or advertising.
• I don’t want the app to sell my data for profit.

Anybody listening? Or do I need to make my own app?


Manu Priyam

Solution Architect - I thrive on understanding technology and mesmerized by the implementation of it everywhere