Concepts such as freedom of expression and the right to privacy in the digital context have been challenged by the digitisation of modern life. These challenges lead to questions that are important to think about. How does the relationship between freedom of expression and the right to privacy work in the online world? Is it possible to have total freedom of expression and information on the internet, without having to exchange it for privacy and security?
Speed, low cost, massification and ubiquity are some of the reasons that nowadays make the internet the language of communication and the environment that unites users and brands. As a result, there is a growing sharing of ideas, knowledge and skills. Nonetheless, new forms of socialisation, social organisation, work concepts and interests arise. Thus, a new digital culture emerges.
Internet access is currently understood as a fundamental right of users. However, the digital environment involves other human rights, namely, the rights to freedom of expression, thought, information and privacy.
The size of the footprint that we leave on the internet every day is increasing. Between online payments and transfers, sending emails and messages, visiting websites, controlling household appliances through mobile apps, sharing information on social networks, to other tasks, the trail is so visible that you can easily see the steps and the profile of each one.
Nevertheless, although there is a growing concern about the legislation, in order to increase the protection of personal data, security gaps within organizations are still noticeable. The year 2018 was proof of that. Just look at the case of the Cambridge Analytica, that collected data from 50 million Facebook profiles to reach voters during the 2016 presidential election and the Brexit referendum campaign.
Thus, there is a growing spontaneity and ease of expression in the digital context, coupled with the lack of data security in companies. In today’s society, the truth is that all online actions are acts of expression. Participation in a conversation, contacts with friends and colleagues, searching for information and reading news, and the download of content are all examples of daily actions that represent the transmission or access to information.
Mass content is generated and stored every day. The vast majority is public content. However, transactional data are also provided that can be accessed by unwanted parties, who misuse this information, causing harm to third parties. Due to technological advances, the truth is that freedom of speech can threaten privacy. Currently, it is possible to jeopardise the concept of privacy and, consequently, the idea of “self”.Encouraging freedom of expression in the digital age can never be done without safeguarding the right of privacy. Actions must be taken to avoid the risk of users having their privacy depleted on a global scale, as the user’s image, honour and intimacy are very difficult, or impossible, to recover.
Digital media strongly influence the lives of users and brands. No boundaries or limits are known here. Everything can be done, and everything can be achieved. If you have a business, take advantage of the innumerable opportunities of the digital environment, safeguarding the privacy of your company and customers. Learn more about the General Data Protection Regulation and how companies are feeling its impact, make sure you meet the legal requirements of this latest legislation and implement the best practices that protect your customers’ privacy, deserving your trust.