The Notion of Privacy

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Google doesn’t have a clue about my mom. My mother doesnÆt have an online account, no email, has never used a computer. There are probably another 600-800 million like her just in India. She has no electronic health record (EHR), there is no health insurance, she doesn’t have an online banking account. The internet doesn’t know she exists.

Yet, when she is at home, she has no privacy. She is so immensely popular (a topic meriting its own post) that she has a constant stream of visitors. Since you can’t regulate when and for how long who comes, and it is unthinkable to turn anyone away, there are folks hanging around no matter what she is doing — doesn’t matter if she is resting, watching tv, puking because of nausea, trying feebly to get up, eating, if there is a visitor, well, there is a visitor. The notion that we have of privacy in the West simply doesn’t exist.

It is astounding how different the worlds are that exist on this planet just from the POV of privacy.