Sharing AND caring

Growing up as a kid, one of the first life lessons you are taught is of one’s privacy – every person has their personal space, their right for free thought, their right for doing whatever they want to do in the privacy of their own room etc.

Today, a newborn’s greeting to the world is commonly shared with the general public by the newborn’s parents, before the nurses can even wipe him off from the amniotic fluid. Welcome baby! Your life’s memories are now available to be used as an advertisement.

Teenagers share everything, constantly voting with likes and follows to determine who is in, out or worse – bullied. Although the act of sharing is a proactive one, it’s become so common that we’ve managed to create a culture in which everything is shared impulsively, not at all taking into consideration the various consequences. However, a larger privacy issue lurks among all internet users.

temi the personal robot privacy

“By clicking Join Now…” “I have read and acknowledged…”  “I agree to the terms…”- Do you really?

Do you agree that your e-mail be shared, that your address be sold, that your political view be screened, or your location be traced? What about your medical condition, your account balances or your mental state? Of course, you agree! Is there any other choice?

“The best things in life are free.” – Maybe true when picking a beautiful wild flower or when finding a desperate abandoned puppy and bringing him home. But Google, Facebook or any other service you use freely these days are not puppies. They give away for free in order to make profit. Profit made by using any bit of data collected from us – what we buy, where we travel, what we read and who we love. All collected data can be used against us under government request. Data that can be used for “security” and “prevention.” Planning a protest? You might be arrested just for the thought – for the possibility. We might be getting a lot for free these days, but did we unintentionally consent to give up our freedom?

However, for every bad, there is some good to tip the scale. We do appreciate some suggestive algorithms when we’re trying to re-order that certain brand of dog food on Amazon, or when we’re hurrying home and the GPS knows it before we do. The thousands of CCTVs installed in our cities, elevators, and over the tanning beds on the pristine beaches of Tulum may feel quite intrusive, but they also aid in exposing and capturing unsuspecting criminals who would not have been caught without the help of these technologies. So, do we want privacy, or don’t we? Can we have it without giving up our freebies? Can we eat the cake, and keep it whole at the same time?

temi the personal robot privacy

Thanks to the new EU privacy and human rights law, most companies in the world are updating their sites and materials to be GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) complaint. This process has been causing quite a stir, not entirely because it is moving mountains, but rather since it has become a huge hassle for businesses worldwide. Will it do us, the users, any good? Well, just a bit. Some terms will be clarified, some checkboxes will be added – but as time passes, we will become numb to them as well. There are two most significant results of the GDPR: First is our awareness – be aware that privacy is pretty much dead. Know it, accept it, and live with it. The second significant change would be the regulation. While a few years ago our data was passed quietly and secretly without interference, now it will be governed and reduced significantly. Is our privacy completely protected? Certainly not. There hasn’t been a lock or law that has not been broken.

Regarding temi, we are implementing all the protocols, and seeing ourselves as a responsible company caring for its customers and their personal data. Cameras? Yes, we have them. Not unlike the ones on your phone, tablet, and personal computers. Someone once explained to me that temi’s cameras are far more dangerous than those on a static device, as a hacker can travel with the cameras around my house. My reply was that it would not be a very stealthy move. If I see temi moving around my house without my command, I would immediately know for sure something is very wrong. On the other hand, if my phone was being hacked, would I notice that my entire romantic evening is being recorded through my phone that is sitting silently in my pocket?

So, will we stop using internet services? No. Will we ever be completely protected? No. Are we doomed? No. Just a classic case of you win some you lose some…The loss in privacy cases can become pretty severe at some situations and for some people, so maybe the best way to go about this would be simply to stay on the good side?