You Care More About Your Privacy Than You Think

Charlie Warzel:

I hear this all the time: “This all sounds pretty troubling, but how much do we really, truly care about our privacy? After all, we don’t seem willing to stop using our phones or Facebook or Google.”

This idea is popular enough to have a name: the privacy paradox. It’s also the argument I hear from most tech evangelists and defenders of our data-guzzling platforms and services. There’s widespread public outcry about how much of our personal data is collected. And yet most of us can’t be bothered to change the default settings on our phones (which you should do and can learn about here). It’s a fair point, even if it does remind me of this excellent Matt Bors “Gotcha” cartoon lampooning a certain brand of reflexive contrarianism. There’s plenty that’s unexplored about how much we really care about giving away our personal information in exchange for free services.