Editorial: Our Right to Privacy

Our School’s Cyberattack is One of Many we Have Overlooked Until Now

When disaster strikes far away, we are often more disassociated from the obligation to prepare for a similar event, and it is only once it comes to us that we really take it seriously. The recent cyberattack here at Crown Point High School as well as the many others across Indiana shows we are all a little blind to the entities we trust with our information. While this situation is just now hitting close to home, we have all likely experienced some data breach from the various sites and apps we use on a daily basis. We count on these sites just as we count on our school to protect similar data, yet often we overlook what data is being collected, how it is being used and who else is entrusted with it, leaving more opportunity for an attack just as serious to happen again.

Whenever we go online, we always give off some information whether it be from liking or subscribing to an account, cookies tracking a site’s usage, or creating an account, but some sites can take this further. Think of how many times we have entered our address or clicked the remember payment option. Even a photo can have a location linked to it automatically without any manual input. We undoubtedly share a lot with these different entities, whether for personalization or convenience, and knowing this, we should be taking steps to ensure both we and these sites maintain security over what is important to us.

As the users of these sites, we are our first line of defense to what access and information we give on the internet. Saying no to or limiting what we share with these sites is an effective approach many of us ignore not because we do not care but because of how tedious the process can be. Privacy policies are notorious for this feeling, but this also extends to allowed privacy options that can be buried in a settings menu or require navigating a third party’s site. While those dedicated enough may be able to jump through these hoops, companies will keep this difficult unless we establish online privacy as a right.

California’s California Consumer Privacy Act is a major step forward in this regard as it ensures people have a right to access and control the information businesses collect on the individual. Whether or not we are concerned for our online privacy, mere access to our collected information should be a given with our reliance on the internet to shop, find jobs, meet people and much more. We must not only call upon ourselves but also onto the companies and lawmakers to enforce a better and more accessible standard of privacy across the internet to further protect personal information and to keep check on details we provide.


Follow us

Check out more from Inklings