The need for privacy

Being like a rabbit.

The liberty of a rabbit.

The liberty of a rabbit.

One evening I was sitting on Hilly Fields in Colchester watching the rabbits.  These creatures enjoy the liberty of space, privacy and  cover should a predator be in their vicinity.  I have the same mentality of a rabbit, I like the liberty of space, my privacy and the option to vanish if I wish to do so.

Today I cut up my loyalty card with Iceland food stores.  I sacrificed the blessing of free vouchers for my privacy.  The loyalty card allowed Iceland to build up a profile on my buying habits, every product I buy logged on a database that Iceland used to market products and services to me.  In addition Iceland would sell my personal information to third parties to use against me.

If you give away your personal information it is like someone taking a chainsaw to all the plant cover of the rabbits on Hilly Fields so they have nowhere to run to from predators, nor do they have privacy.  Giving personal information away is like taking a wild rabbit from a wide open space and putting it in a small rabbit hutch.

In practice I am like a rabbit, I always calculate and act with a view of space, cover and a zealous regard to my privacy.  One of the reasons why I use Twitter and WordPress is I have faith in their value of my privacy, but the moment this changes like the rabbit I will run closing my accounts with those service providers.

In building a relationship with your readers or customers it is good to share some aspects of your life, but with faceless corporates you are wiping out your liberty since you give them the knowledge and ability to hassle you in every aspect of your life, control, manipulate and limit you.


18 responses to “The need for privacy

  1. I slip into rabbit mode on occasion as well (see my post from today as an example) however I don’t mind giving away the info about my buying habits. I know it results in having to take time to unsubscribe to mail lists I didn’t intend to subscribe to and things of that nature but there are times when I receive truly helpful suggestions. Maybe that’s a bit naive but it’s bee working for me.

    • It is often the case incentives are offered to sacrifice privacy, and for some that can be useful. I balanced out the advantages of my Iceland card and losing it, but considered my privacy was more important so destroyed it.

  2. Similar but different reasons I gave up my credit card eight months ago.I have to retain my debit card as that is the only way I can access my funds in NZ; I have no bank account here, but I have my liberty.

    This profiling by corporations is a diabolical intrusion on our privacy and liberty.

    Absolutely agree with you, we need more rabbits.


    • The way the system works it is always a challenge to be totally free of intrusions. I am glad you have taken steps to protect your privacy, the more people who do this the more the corporate and ruler will take people’s concerns about their privacy seriously.

  3. the sad part is I trust the store with the data more than I trust the government knowing too much about me.

  4. I felt uncomfortable for the same reasons about my student Oyster card so now I just have a generic one that has not been registered to me.

  5. I value privacy a great deal as well, and the sacredness of relationships. Everyone can’t and shouldn’t be invited to the party. Period.

  6. Renard Moreau

    [ Smiles ] I can relate to your article, Alex. I value my privacy highly.

    Now, are you sure that Iceland was selling your personal information? If this is indeed the case, you can take legal action against them.

    In most cases, our telephone and internet provider would have well-detailed information about us; we provided them with such information via those application forms we signed.

    Also, if our personal information is stored by a trusted source, that trusted source can be hacked since all of our personal information is computerized.

    • People are asked to sign to terms and conditions which I think includes that they can pass on information of what I purchase. You are right that the laws in UK in theory gives me power to take legal action if my personal information was being illegally abused, but it is easier to destroy the card so they can no longer collect information.

      It is difficult to avoid someone collecting information upon us due to the technology driven world we live in.

      It has been a regular news item in the UK of hackers stealing vast amounts of personal information. At one time the UK government proposed using Google for UK citizen medical records, imagine what a bonus that would have been for the CIA.

  7. I feel some days as if we left the normal world behind. Between all the selling of our information and cameras everywhere it is hard to rescue our privacy but I am trying as best as I can.

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