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Is Data Collection an Invasion of Privacy (From the Eyes of a Privacy Company)

Is data collection an invasion of privacy, or have we become too sensitive? Do we just want it all without any compromises? This is a look at whether is data collection an invasion of privacy in the eyes of a company that is meant to protect you on the internet. 

And with the topic of privacy being bigger than ever lately, with the likes of FaceApp becoming a hit again and Facebook being fined $5 billion for not ensuring it protected people’s privacy, we found it more important than ever to address the question of is data collection an invasion of privacy, or is it needed in society?

Can the Data Collected Be Used to Harm You?

Is data collection an invasion of privacy depends on what data is collected.

And that is where perhaps a lot of people get too sensitive about the issue.

When your phone number gets collected, that is an invasion of privacy. When the app that you use uses the microphone when it’s not needed, that is an invasion of privacy. 

Is data collection an invasion of privacy depends fully on the use of the data. 

More than a few companies for sure abuse data, but ultimately, society is better off with companies having data. Why?

Data Collection Helps Businesses Grow

What’s a point of businesses advertising to you if you are in Ireland or Sweden if the product doesn’t ship to Europe? 

Would you not rather see an ad of something that you are looking to buy than of something that you do not need? Ultimately, you are going to see ads anyway and while it for sure is weird that sometimes ads are right away showing you something you thought of, ultimately, isn’t it better if you are shown something useful? 

DATA = RIGHT ADS REACHING RIGHT PEOPLE = COMPANIES GROW = MORE JOBS + GOOD ECONOMY 

You Can’t Have It All

We want privacy. We also want our lives to be better. The issue is that these two often don’t co-relate. 

Are you willing to sacrifice knowing where there is a traffic jam so that you can avoid waiting for 2 hours in exchange for no data collection? Google Maps does know your location. Yes. But Google Maps isn’t a human looking at where you are. It’s a system that collects data from millions of people so that we can all get to where we need to get, in the most convenient way possible.

When looking at is data collection an invasion of privacy, you can’t just look at what companies are collecting, you also have to look at what are the benefits of that company having that data. As sometimes that “invasion of privacy” makes our lives better.

What Is an Invasion of Privacy

Certain companies without a doubt over-collect data to a point that it an invasion of privacy. But data collection as it is, in most cases helps. What is an invasion of privacy? 

It’s your internet provider monitoring what you do. It’s the Wi-Fi owner in your co-shared home monitoring what you do. And yes, it’s also that person in Starbucks that is using the same free Wi-Fi as you.

Those are some of the real threats. Google Maps? It collects data but that data makes our lives better. Somebody that knows where you live because you typed it when using public Wi-Fi whether that’s at an airport, bus, or in Starbucks? That is an invasion of privacy and a big threat that is a daily threat, a threat that most of us never know about as it’s not as attention-grabbing to talk about, in the media.

And that’s where VPN services come in as services that are virtual private networks that mask what you do with encryption and the change of your IP. Can a VPN truly keep you safe on the internet? Not fully. The apps you use are still, ultimately a potential threat to your privacy. If an app sends data from your laptop to someone else, a VPN won’t stop that. What VPN’s do is that they protect any data being sent or received from being intercepted by someone else whether that’s someone in the government or in Starbucks. That’s what VPN services help with.

With a VPN, people won’t be able to see where you are and who you are, and what you are doing on the internet. Matter of fact, VPN services allow you to change your location to be somewhere else in the world to the point that you can, for instance, watch Hulu in Australia or wherever you are. And PrivateVPN? You can try it out for free, without any restrictions whatsoever. 

To Sum up, Is Data Collection an Invasion of Privacy?

Is data collection an invasion of privacy? It can be. Some companies take it too far or otherwise don’t ensure you are protected enough. The biggest issue is perhaps how companies talk about how they use your data. People not being aware of what is happening is the issue.

Perhaps there’s a need for much better and simpler communication from companies. Most people would understand why companies collect data if they explained it, in a simple matter. 

Written by Michael Smolski.