I came across a very interesting editorial in the Huffington Post by Don Tapscott, advisor to government and business leaders, who wrote an article on “Why Transparency and Privacy Should Go Hand in Hand”. Tapscott says that ultimately in order to protect privacy, all of us will need to change our own online behaviour. I was very caught by his arguments and how he used Facebook as an example to show that we are making our society more transparent then essential. I therefore want to give my personal view and reflection on whether I think we need to change our online behaviour in order to find a balance between privacy and transparency.
It is true that there is a grown generation with excessive digital interactions. Many of us have Facebook were we share information on not only ourselves but also on people around us. We share pictures, information, statues, location and even what we “like”. We are revealing so much on ourselves for others to observe and see. Transparency is no longer just an opportunity for companies and other institutions to generate trust and be more effective. It has now also become an opening for individuals to do the same. It is thought that the more transparent we are, the more moral our behaviour will be – we have nothing to hide.
Tapcsott says that “advocating individual privacy and institutional transparency simultaneously is not illogical; it is common sense.” – I cannot other than agree. Transparency is the chance and even the requirement of organizations to communicate important information to their stakeholders. Individuals have no such compulsion. Personal information makes up our modern identity.
Does this mean we live in a transparent world? Well, there is definitely a balance between privacy and transparency, however, as with other things, life is what you make of it . The information people reveal must be managed sensibly. In fact, to have a secure life and self-determination, individuals have an obligation to themselves to protect their personal information. And institutions should be transparent about what they do with our personal information. Transparency and privacy therefore do go hand in hand and are in fact well balanced.
”We cannot control the wind, but we can direct the sail.” ― Jimmy Dean