While reading and understanding the article for this week (Don’t overestimate privacy of online information & Beware: the internet could own your future) my Grade 4 came in my mind which inquires into the Human Rights at the moment. In particular I was reminded of impressive pictures of William T. Ayton who painted a picture for each Human Right. (First time that I asked an artist whether I can use his pictures – Thanks for replying so quickly, Mr. Ayton! – Check out his website!)
Article 12 (U.D.H. R. – picture of Ayton):
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks. (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 12.)
One interesting question for me is the following:
Do we just have to adapt and accept the fact that there seems to be less and less privacy online?
The control over who has access to my pictures, to my information, to my location and so on seems not existing anymore. I try to understand the privacy setting f.e. of Facebook and and it gives me a good and kind of safe feeling but a rest of distrust is always there. I feel like that there isn’t the possibility to control my privacy online anymore. But in my opinion to just give up is too easy although I’m not sure whether I have a chance.
I found information about a Post-Privacy-Movement which believes and is convinced that we are living in a time without any privacy. Really?
On the other hand there seem to be a lot initiatives which try to protect privacy like Me & My Shadow campaign, like a German initiative against the change of the data retention laws (Stopp! die Vorratsdatenspeicherung – German/English), like the Global Network Initiative (GNI) and of course there are many technical inventions which try to protect privacy (f.e. TOR).
All that reading led me to another interesting question:
How is “The Right to Privacy” and “The right of Freedom of expression” related to each other?
Article 19 (U.D.H. R. – picture of Ayton):
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 19)
Living in Germany luckily I haven’t experience the feeling that I can’t express freely my opinions. But it’s definitely a different story in other countries in the world like f.e. China and North Korea. And maybe I don’t have to go so far.
I found a quite new (2012) Global Survey on Internet Privacy and Freedom of Expression done by UNESCO. They say that the Internet lets us rethink about our understanding of privacy because compared to the pre-internet-time:
- the Internet can collect way more different kind of personal information (DNA information, facial recognition, finger scanning, etc.).
- the Internet can locate our personal information (unique IP addresses, RFID, bar codes, etc.).
- the Internet and new technologies can analyse personal information and use them for different purpose.
- there is way more commercial and government related use and analyses of our data.
Even though there might be a common definition of privacy it seems that it exist a very different understanding of the concept of privacy depending on country and also government. Therefor the relationship between both rights is very complex as well.