Personal tools

Why Privacy Matters

As the internet revolution moves forward we are pressed daily to give up our personal information for the convenience of reading newspapers online, buying book or to read "premium content." We have become desensitized to the importance of our own privacy, and yet identity theft and other misuses of information are rampant...

Privacy is central to our dignity and our basic human rights.  Privacy ensures and protects our rights to free assembly and  free speech, especially in areas where the governments would seek to curtail these rights.  The right to privacy ensures our autonomy in the world and in our affairs. Think of your information as a gift you give to agencies and people you trust.  How do you feel when any gift you give is "regifted."  How do you feel when something you say in confidence is repeated and spread through your community, whether that is your office of group of friends.  How would you feel if a friend gave your phone number out to every person who asked them.  How would you feel if a friend revealed an embarrassing medical condition you had or a financial problem you were struggling with.  Thinking of privacy in these terms helps you to see why your privacy is an important part of your life.

As governments seek to protect people from terrorists, we must ensure that we don't give up our rights to privacy solely out of fear.  As Benjamin Franklin said:

"They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security."
Created by nbrigham
Last modified March 17, 2005 12:49 PM

Sign up for CPSR announcements emails


International Chapters -

> Canada
> Japan
> Peru
> Spain

USA Chapters -

> Chicago, IL
> Pittsburgh, PA
> San Francisco Bay Area
> Seattle, WA
Why did you join CPSR?

The growing importance of civil liberties in a paranoid world: we need organizations like CPSR.