privacy

giving your data up

I had my car looked at the other day. I had never been to the business before, so naturally, they wanted my personal information. The entire time I wanted to ask why.

Why do you need my home address? 

Why do you need my phone number? 

They want it for marketing purposes and for other backend data to better understand who they are serving, but it is necessary?

Why did I give that information up so easily? Does it matter if I say ‘no’?

If I had given the guy at the counter a hard time, who was just doing his job, I’ve broken a social norm. We have grown accustomed to providing, without really good reason, our personal information. Facebook wants your DOB – you give it to them. Twitter wants your cell phone – you give it to them. The mechanic wants your home address – you give it to them.

That same night I ordered tickets for an event. Sure enough, I had to provide my home address. Why? I wasn’t going to receive them at my address.

I think privacy is important. We need to protect our personal lives. Its fine to question. Social norms aren’t always right.

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