Before you click on that “Yes, I agree” – Together as One – Phase 1

“The fantastic advances in the field of electronic communication constitute a greater danger to the privacy of the individual.” – Earl Warren.

Often we get that notification “Privacy policy updated. Review now”. But do we really review it? Or that really long “Terms of agreement” that we are bored to read, nevertheless says “Yes, I agree”; do we really mean it?

We are a generation who are known to be “Experts” when it comes to social media. Yet. there is one side on which, many of us are not really experts. That is the privacy concerns in social media platforms.   

Privacy concerns with social networking services is a subset of data privacy. It involves the right of using personal privacy concerning storing, re-purposing, provision to third parties, and displaying of information pertaining to oneself via the Internet. Social network security and privacy issues result from the large amounts of information these sites process each day.

Brainstorming together on a much-needed topic

“Together as One”, a novel effort by Rotaract Club of Alumni of University of Moratuwa, is a series of friendly discussions on the focus area of Peace and Conflict Resolution centering on our communities and localities.

The first of the series was conducted with the participation of the fellow members of Rotaract clubs of Katugastota Region and Ratnapura based on the theme “Privacy concerns in social media platforms” on 20th of February 2021 via Zoom.

It is all about your data

The discussion with the fellow Rotaractors was based on quite interesting topics which covered the areas of;

  • The value of Privacy
  • Individual Data Privacy Protection
  • How it helps to manage the boundaries of people
  • Open discussion of the issue of WhatsApp vs Signal

The participants also got an idea of data privacy and information privacy. This is a part of the data protection area that deals with the proper handling of data giving focus on compliance with data protection laws. The points covering the importance of data privacy such as data protection laws around the world gave the participants proper control over their data. This surely, empowered them to know how their data is used, by whom and why, giving them control over how their personal data is processed and used.

WhatsApp or Signal?

We also could discuss a topic that went viral during the past months among social media users. That is the usage of Signal, a messaging service platform. Here our participants got the chance to have a meaningful discussion on the benefits of using Signal. Well, the discussion took an interesting turn as the participants put their ideas and info on the table such as; benefits that Signal has with its features which are similar to the ones that you are used to on WhatsApp, such as stickers and emojis, how both WhatsApp and Signal provide “disappearing messages” feature for additional privacy with their end-to-end encryption services, their major differences such as how each app is funded. All in all, most of them agreed that WhatsApp is important because everyone has got very familiar with it.

Yet, who knows what the future holds? It could WhatsApp, Signal or any other that is still in the making. But the concern on privacy would never die out. It would rather emerge to be prominent in the days to come.

While expressing our heartiest thanks to all the Rotaractors who joined the day to reap out the best in the topic, we hope that our participants got an insight as to what really hides behind those three simple words; “Yes, I agree”.

Written by: Rtr. Kavinda Senarathne

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