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Daniel Diaz

Prof. Cahill
CST 373 - Ethics in Comm & Tech
My Concepts of Privacy
At a young age, the concept of privacy became instilled as I grew up in the rooms
of our first family home and unlike many of my friends today, I did not have to share a
room nor personal belongings with a sibling. Furthermore, my mother began relaying
strong convictions about the power of privacy to me - a belief that personal and family
business should stay in that manner: strictly personal and business. Such judgment on
privacy by my mother led to the development of an extremely guarded personality - I
began to keep to myself, developed anxiety when forced into social interactions and
thus endured a difficult time connecting with peers. This early stage of life shaped the
first layer of my concept of privacy: its much needed and I concur in the extreme trade
of developing meaningful connections in order to enjoy a high degree of privacy.

Thankfully, my extreme take on privacy did not last for long after my parents and I
moved in with my maternal grandparents and aunt. Among the first change I had to
become accustomed to was sharing living quarters with two other family members.
Although my personal space shrunk, I still help my small living section with high regard
and respect. Additionally, enrolling in after school activities helped me crawl out of my
shell and allowed me to create great friendships with classmates and peers; the anxiety
still existed when dealing with social interactions; however, it did not run as high as it did
in previous years. This segment of my life began shaping the questions that challenged

my current understanding of privacy: can there exist a balance between privacy and my
ability to create connections with fellow peers?

Our family move from Mexico to the United States marked a shift in the pendulum - it
marked the end of the progress made trying to reach a balance between privacy and
trust; instead, it catalyzed a revisit and development of the original belief on privacy.
Throughout the first couple of years, I shared extremely small living quarters with my
family as we struggled to make a daily living. Unlike the previous milestone of my life,
our living situation was not as comfortable as the one with my grandparents: moving
from place to place, and city to city caused a great deal of instability and as a result, I
began to seek extreme bouts of privacy to cope with the sudden life changes. This
induced a regression to old character traits and habits: the anxiety began to creep again
when socializing as well as a hermit personality. Yet again, I had a difficult time
entrusting friends with personal matters to the point in which I would formulate lies to
answer questions I would deem to be rather personal; thus, it became a deep fear for
friends and classmates to determine the living conditions of my family - perhaps a fear
of judgment and ridicule.

For the generation of millennials, it became fairly common for an individual to begin
manufacturing an online presence around the years of middle school education.
Insecurity, social hierarchy and gossip run high in such teenage years and social
platforms not only exacerbated such tendencies but also acted as the perfect medium to
conduct social transactions during non-school hours. I deemed such high social

pressures as a threat to my privacy and decided to not create an online presence then
thus hurting whatever social standing I had even more. I did not indulge in social
networks until my first years of high school when my personal life began to stabilize with
the intention to become a more social individual; however, it actually became
detrimental to ideologies of privacy. Rather than utilizing media to maintain in touch with
peers, I used it as a main form of communication rather that real life interaction
personal matters began to be hinted at or even fully disclosed on these social platforms.
Such huge mistake did not become apparent until my later knowledge of data sale and
privacy breach by platforms such as Facebook.

Old habits are hard to destroy. It was not until my senior year of high school that I began
to restrict my online presence and truly allowed myself to become vulnerable in person
to develop meaningful relationships with peers and classmates as well as further evolve
and develop existing ones. In parallel, my ability to finally invest in a smartphone
allowed me shift focus away from the family computer to the small screen on my hand
digital conversations moved away from public forums such as Facebook to individual
and more private text messages. This personal growth marked the last development of
my concept of privacy its needed, but it does not have to come at the expense of trust
and vulnerability in real life to develop meaningful relationships with other beings.

To this day, I maintain the same value in regards to privacy. Throughout my college
years and my undergrad studies as a computer science student, the power and value of
personal data became truly apparent there is a reason as to why software such as

Facebook and Google have no price: users are the product and the information they
provide gives the companies value. Knowing the tendencies of an individuals online
can paint a target: both for advertisements and malicious intent. Given my future
workplace deals with similar personal data, I pride myself in handling such data carefully
and thinking twice before participating in a project that could potentially breach the
privacy of such data.