Excursions by Amit Gawande

Being Digital Literate towards Privacy

My sister recently bought a new iPhone - her first, switching over from Android - and was happily setting it up with all the apps she had been using. And many more new ones. I did observe one bothersome behavior while she was using her device. She was happily tapping around whenever iOS threw a permission prompt at her, without paying any attention to what the prompt said. Sure, have all the access you need.”

And I do not think she is in minority here. I observe this behavior very often and every single time, I am left completely befuddled. Why would you not read what permission the app is asking for and why would you not question why it needs that?

For me, no app gets any permission the first time it asks for it. Everything is disabled by default. Especially the access to my location, microphone or camera. None. You need to convince me to the core at the right moment that you deserve this privilege. I prefer veering towards extreme stringency of access to my device.

As more and more connected, data-hungry devices surround us, it is becoming important to instill awareness amongst the populace of the fallouts minor negligence while using these devices can lead to. Not provoke moral panic, but train to be cognizant towards one’s privacy and security. If we ourselves don’t put price on our data, we have no right to expect the organizations to lend respect to something that is a primary and sole fuel to their profits.

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