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Why Does Privacy Matter?

Justin Dorfman
👋 Hi! I started to get heavily involved with the FOSS community in 2012. I contributed to Bootstrap, Font Awesome, jQuery, GNU Bash, and many others. I also host a weekly podcast called "Sustain".
・2 min read

It’s hard to imagine that 2 years ago SSL was optional i.e. browsers didn’t make it abundantly clear that the site you are on is ‘Not Secure’. But with the help of the global developer community and non-profit organizations like Let’s Encrypt, the EFF, and many others, it’s now thankfully taboo to have a site (even personal portfolios) without SSL.

From time to time, you will hear people say things like “I have nothing to hide”, until their personal information has been compromised. This is effectively the approach major tech companies today take, and more people seem to be realizing that this approach to privacy is fundamentally broken.

One part of a solution is building better ways to protect our data and our privacy. As Tim Berners-Lee recently said the internet should be a universal right. The same goes for privacy. Privacy protects journalists and whistleblowers, it protects activists and dissidents, all of whom are key to defending democracy.

To be sure, I don’t think blockchain is the key to protecting privacy, but it has a large community of enthusiasts who care about these topics and we’re proud to have them involved in our Protect Privacy hackathon. We have to start somewhere to protect these rights and take control of our data, financial or otherwise, and we’re hopeful this attempt to get more people involved in this conversation, with 11 organizations, including The Tor Project on board, will help. There are over $50,000 in prizes and we’d love to get your feedback on them and have you involved! Let’s find better ways to preserve, protect, and use our data.

If you have any questions, join us here. Or just let us know below 💬 - why does privacy matter to you?


Photo by Pierre Bamin on Unsplash

Discussion (10)

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notscottmoore profile image
𝚂𝚌𝚘𝚝𝚝 𝙼𝚘𝚘𝚛𝚎【ᵛᴱʳᴵᶠⁱᵉᴰ】

Privacy matters to me not only because as Giacomo mentioned anything you put out there can potentially be used against you, but because these days it's almost a contractual promise that it will be, especially in the context of the worst offenders like Facebook.

I'm biased of course but I don't think regulations alone can solve this issue. Even with more restrictions on how data is used companies typically find ways around it and pay few if any penalties for doing so. The solutions need to be from the ground up and independent from existing organizations to be successful. Even though there's reasonably strong evidence that WhatsApp is E2EE, people use Signal for a reason.

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jdorfman profile image
Justin Dorfman Author

I'm working on privacy risk assessment in text mining for my BSc thesis

I for one would love to read it when you are finished.

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billyluedtke profile image
billΞ.eth

Privacy === freedom.

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r3lik profile image
Mike Czarny

Privacy is a fundamental human right, and there is a tectonic shift happening right now to reclaim that right on the internet and beyond.

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thesachinmittal profile image
Sachin Mittal

Blockchain says,
Truly Own Your Money, Not Under Your Mattress. 😉

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graemeq profile image
Graeme Q

Privacy and security are two different things. SSL is more to do with security and the route from A to B. Privacy is a whole different ball game. It doesn't really exist anyone as people are happy to dump their info anywhere and well, it can be gathered easy.

I literally did a 5 minute session of data gathering on the author to see what I could find, nothing shocking (turns out he's a pretty nice guy and done some interesting dev stuff) but in terms of privacy, there's so much info out there.

sarunasknabikas profile image
SarunasKnabikas

Would be very interesting read. I starting to follow you to not miss it.