Protection of personal data and respect for the right to private life are important fundamental rights. Respect for personal space and non-interference in private life are issues that today’s society will increasingly face. In the age of social media, privacy matters more than ever because breaching it carries a risk that in many cases we don’t anticipate.
Here are some reasons that require careful sharing of personal data and caution when providing consent for their processing:
1. Personal data is a means of exercising power.
The more someone knows about us, the more power they have over us. Personal data is used to make many important decisions in our lives. Personal data may be used to affect our reputation; to influence our decisions and shape our behavior. Personal data is a tool to exercise control over each of us. In the wrong hands, personal data can be used to do us great harm.
2. Reputation management
Privacy and data protection empower people to manage their reputation. How others judge us affects our opportunities, our friendships, and our overall well-being. Although we cannot have complete control over our reputation, we should have some ability to protect our reputation from wrongful damage. Just because someone knows too many details about your personal life doesn’t necessarily mean that they have a better judgment of you. People judge poorly, judge quickly, judge out of context, judge without hearing the whole story and tend to judge easily, blame, “dislike”. Confidentiality will help protect you from misjudgments.
3. Maintaining appropriate social boundaries
Breaking social boundaries can create uncomfortable situations and damage our relationships with people. Everyone needs protection socially, a place where they can feel at ease that they are not on display. Socially, privacy is useful in reducing the social frictions we encounter in life.
In relationships, whether personal, professional, governmental or commercial, we depend on the trust of the other party. A breach of confidentiality is a breach of that trust. In professional relationships, such as our relationships with doctors and lawyers, this trust is key to maintaining openness in the relationship. Likewise, we trust other people we interact with and the companies we do business with. Violation of trust in a relationship (business, social or political) leads to mistrust at a higher level and in different directions, in different spheres.
5. Control over privacy
Nowadays, personal data affects almost everything around us, including what messages and content we see on the Internet. Without knowing what data is being used, how it is being used, without the ability to correct and change it, we are practically helpless in today’s world. One of the hallmarks of freedom is having autonomy and control over our lives, and we cannot have that if decisions so important to us are made in secret, without our knowledge or input.
6. Possibility of change and second chance
People change, they grow throughout their lives. In this regard, it is very important to have a second chance, to be able to correct your mistake, to be able to reinvent yourself. Privacy fuels this ability. It allows people to grow and mature without being anchored by the past. This is precisely why the right to erasure, the right to be forgotten, is so important as a fundamental right of personal data subjects.
It seems that the thought of privacy and data protection remains in the background compared to the danger of the disease.
In connection with this, however, questions of a different nature arise.
The right to erasure (or “right to be forgotten“) is a right related to the protection of personal data and more specifically to relations with administrators of personal data (people or companies that collect, record, use, process, disclose and other actions with personal data). The idea is practiced in the European Union and Argentina. The problem arises from the desires of individuals “to determine the development of their lives in an autonomous way without being stigmatized as a result of certain actions performed in the past.”