- SAKSHAM NEGI

All of us would agree on the fact that the content we put on social media and various other sites does not remain to us. It is seen by many people we don’t want. That is where online privacy comes to play. Basically privacy is the measure to what extent an individual’s information is being shared with whom he/she doesn’t want. India ranks third worst for its privacy laws which is obvious from the fact that we still don’t have a bill on privacy.

The history of privacy breaching is not new. Privacy breach resulted in loss of war to Germany when English scientist Alan Turing invented a machine named ‘The Bombe’ to decode German encrypted messages. Germans had a powerful machine called the enigma which coded the diplomatic, commercial and military communication. Germans thought it was impossible to break enigma. To their despair, Enigma was not only broken but it’s breaking was also kept private. The allies knew what Germans were planning beforehand and it played an important role in their victory. Not only this, all major terrorist attacks happened because of privacy breaching. Future wars will be cyber wars which will be won and lost on account of secret information about each other.

Now what does privacy mean on individual level? Most of us have offline privacy but not online privacy. In the generation of internet it is almost impossible to remain offline. Every application we use, every website we go to keeps account of what we did and modifies its content so that next time we find relatable content. We don’t find it offensive as it is not harmful. But it is a privacy breach.

Recently whatsapp was in middle of a controversy due to its new policy. Whatsapp had its own encryption which meant messages were coded at sender’s device and decoded at receiver’s device. But now it can share data third party softwares which meant more chances of privacy breaching. There are many more apps which ask for unnecessary accesses to files, location and camera. All of them need to use our data for their benefits reducing privacy to nothingness.

I guess “Privacy is a myth just like democracy” makes sense now.

Modern but not western. A student and a learner trying to upskill himself.