Why Privacy Matters

  1. Identity theft — the more your personal information is “out there” the easier it becomes to hack you, including accessing your bank accounts.
    Companies (that have your personal information) are getting hacked all the time. Your information can’t be stolen and sold if it isn’t out there in the first place.
    I have been hit by identity theft myself. Some time ago California State University had the breathtakingly stupid policy of using Social Security numbers for student numbers. Of course they were hacked, and a little later someone got a credit card in my name. I had to spend a few stressful hours trying to clean up my credit score and my name, as well as insuring I was not stuck with the bill. I had not given Cal State my real birthdate, which helped.
  2. Mistakes — the police, the taxman, and others make mistakes all the time, as well as have their own biases. It is just better to be off their radar than to get on their radar. Staying off the radar requires anonymity.
  3. Do you know you are supposed to pay taxes on air miles earned through work? There is a good chance you have broken some law you didn’t even know about and/or cheated on your taxes without even knowing it. The more freely available your information is, the more likely things will come back to bite you.
  4. Inconvenience — being targeted by advertisers (who have your personal information) is offensive, creepy, and annoying. The purpose of marketing is to manipulate your decisions to the advertisers benefit, not to your benefit. The more they know, the more you can be manipulated.
  5. Why should corporations profit off of your personal information? They have no right to do that, it belongs to you, not to them!

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