Lesson objective: You are required to explore your individual sense of privacy and the impact it has on your life. You will consider the kinds of information you would like to keep private and the contexts in which you will/won’t share specific information.
What does “privacy” mean to you?
You make decisions about your privacy every day, especially when you go online and use your mobile or other digital devices. Often, you may not spend a lot of time thinking about each of these decisions. But they all add up to become your own unique understanding of privacy. Privacy is the ability to control what other people know about you. You can do this by saying certain things about yourself (such as telling other people your address or what you like to do for fun) or doing things around other people (such as going to a shop with your friends and picking out what you want the most).
Privacy matters whether you are in a room with other people or talking to them online. Privacy is based on your own decisions. What privacy means to you and your family might be very different than what privacy means to the other people in this group and their families. If we’re more aware of what we value as private and how our behaviours online can shape our privacy, we’ll be able to make better choices about what kind of privacy we want.
Simply stated, privacy refers to how we choose to handle information about ourselves. This information can include parts of our identities, activities, preferences, routines and other aspects of our lives. In today’s digital world, there are more opportunities than ever before to share information about ourselves with others. So it’s important that we become aware of our own understanding of privacy and that we think about whether we’re comfortable with that understanding or not.
Is all private information also a secret?
Not necessarily. For example, your birthday may not be a secret the way your diary entries are. There are plenty of people in the world who know your birthday and who need to know it, like your parents/caregivers or your doctor. But just because something isn’t a secret, you can still perceive it as private. Most of us wouldn’t want everyone to know our birthday because we see that as information that only people close to us or people who have a particular reason to know the information should have. These types of decisions about who should know something about us, when and why are the key to privacy.