Why we must hone secret-keeping skills

These days we are always being told about the importance of data privacy and how every corporate grinch and government grunt are out to filch or snoop on your data. Sure, it’s a matter to scratch your chin about and spend good money on the digital version of CCTVs to keep one’s eyes peeled on spying CCTVs.

But in a world where we are made aware of how ‘data is the new oil,’ are we ready to recognise that we have become slippery when it comes to keeping secrets? Honing one’s skills to keep information close to one’s chest should be a school subject (along with classes in kindness, empathy and politeness).

It is ironic that the people making the most ruckus on social media about social media company data fishing and government trawling are blind to the fact that they gush about everything and anything on these fora. In other words, those claiming they need privacy the most are the ones airing their clean and dirty laundry in the park. The need to share personal information with close ones is an understandable human activity.

But to understand that ‘close friends’ are not synonymous with, say, Facebook friends, needs training. Especially in a country like ours where personal space is seen as a ‘first world’ concoction and that has the public judge its existence – whether in public transport or in a private conversation – as selfishness.


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