17 June, 2021

An Uneasy State

The notion of privacy is rapidly losing out to data mining

An Uneasy State

The year before, nobody called on my birthday. This year was better. Friends remembered. I even got a birthday card. But it turned out to be from neither friends nor family. It was from Mr Representative. Mr Ex-Representative, actually, since he had lost the previous election. I was baffled. How did he know it was my birthday? Then it hit me. He had been dipping into my data.

It’s not much of a secret, of course, but it made me nervous the way my information­—birthday, address, name—was used without any consent. The way I had no control over where this information went and what it was used for. So far it’s my birthday. What would happen if the state had my bodily information?

Actually, the state already does. I have a passport and, come to think of it, if they have a biometric identity system, they could just give everyone passports. It involves a unique number, a photo, linked biometrics and police verification. And it allows you to do something more than just proving, your existence over and over.

India collects data on...

In this article:

Latest Magazine

June 21, 2021

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section