“No one must be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honor and reputation.”- Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
January 28 is the yearly Data Privacy Day or Data Protection day. The purpose of this day is to raise awareness and promote privacy and data protection best practices and it is observed in the US, Canada, India and Europe. This day offers an opportunity to inform citizens about their rights with regards to their personal details as used by various governmental and private organizations.
Data Privacy Day’s educational initiative originally focused on raising awareness among businesses as well as users about the importance of protecting the privacy of their personal information online, particularly in the context of social networking. The educational focus has expanded over the past four years to include families, consumers and businesses.
Edward Snowden, the American NSA whistleblower, who’s currently living in Russia, joined via a webcam a Q&A for a screening in New York City of the new Oliver Stone-directed film “Snowden,” about Snowden’s life and his decision to leak NSA documents in 2013 exposing the extent of government surveillance on private citizens.
“The common argument we have — if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear — the origins of that are literally Nazi propaganda,” Snowden said. (Note: While the quote is widely attributed to Nazi Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels, its exact origins appear to be unclear.) “So when we hear modern politicians, modern people repeating that reflexively without confronting its origins, what it really stands for, I think that’s harmful,” he continued.
In his dystopian book 1984, George Orwell predicted a worst-case scenario, a society in which Big Brother watches our every action and listens in on our every conversation. It might seem ironic, now, to remember that it was Apple, under the leadership of Steve Jobs, that ran that iconic TV commercial, aired in 1984, in which one brave soul challenged Big Brother.
“Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.” — Justice Louis D. Brandeis.