After months talking about it, NetGuide, Network Democracy privacy resource guide, has just been gotten off paper!
We have just launched a guide full of privacy resources and materials across ten different categories – from getting to know your data protection rights as an European citizen to podcast recommendations. These resources aim at informing and educating all users who want to protect their privacy while interacting with technology.
But why do we care so much about privacy?
While we hope that everyone reading this is already concerned about protecting their privacy, we are aware that this is probably not the case! We know that you may be thinking “what’s the point of privacy anyway? “. After all, you haven’t done anything bad that you desperately need to hide. Plus, you love spending your time on the internet and if lack of privacy is the price to pay for certain online services, you may think that it’s worth it… If that sounds like what you’re thinking, we have to tell you we disagree. But don’t worry, we are not here to judge you – let us explain why we at NetDem think that privacy is so important.
Without privacy, you wouldn’t be able to experiment and decide who you want to be. In today’s world, you are constantly being watched. Other internet users, predictive algorithms, facial recognition devices… in a hyper-connected society, people and technology are able to gather data about you without your full consent or understanding.
As a result, the feeling of being watched may stop you from doing what you would really like to do in case you had the opportunity to truly be left alone. Plus, when strangers and machines know intimate details about your personal life and psychological traits they get some power over you. And such power can be used to serve powerful interests – to make you buy something you don’t need, to follow on someone who you didn’t have any previous interest in, to vote for a candidate you weren’t really sure about, and the list goes on.
And what does privacy have to do with digital democracy?
Now imagine certain groups of people hold the majority of this detailed, intimate information about you and everyone around you. Be they governments or private sector corporations, this is what happens in the world today. And that means that these actors have huge power to change people’s behaviour and by consequence, society’s functioning. Doesn’t sound very democratic, does it?
At NetDem, the democratisation of technology is one of our pillars. And we believe that technology cannot really serve public interest if privacy isn’t protected. That is why we have put NetGuide together to help you find the information and resources about privacy. They will teach about the value of privacy, about the main current threats to it, and instruct you on how to stay safe online. We hope you will enjoy and make good use of all this knowledge!
Author: Ana Luiza Loio Becil
Image: Ana Luiza Loio Becil