Why we need to hone our secrecy skills

These days we are always told about the importance of data privacy and how every corporate grinch and government grunt is out to steal or spy on your data. Of course, it’s a matter of scratching your chin and spending big bucks on the digital version of CCTVs to keep your eyes peeled for spy CCTVs.

But in a world where we are made aware that “data is the new oil”, are we ready to admit that we have become slippery when it comes to keeping secrets? Honing your skills in keeping information at your fingertips should be a school subject (with classes in kindness, empathy, and politeness).

It’s ironic that the people who make the most of the heckling on social media about social media company data fishing and government trawling are blind to the fact that they’re spouting all over these forums. In other words, those who claim to need privacy the most are those who air their clean and dirty laundry in the park. The need to share personal information with loved ones is an understandable human activity.

But to understand that “close friends” is not synonymous with, say, Facebook friends, requires training. Especially in a country like ours where personal space is seen as a “first world” concoction and the public deems its existence – whether on public transport or in private conversation – as selfishness.