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The misuse of Data Privacy

In the year 2020, the United States of America alone announced 540 data breaches with 164.68 millions of sensitive records exposed. What is this? In the 21st century, in this age, why is this such an issue with technology advancing? When technology advanced, our security should have advanced. But it didn’t. The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has met a number of times, but has reached barely any solution. Why is it that we have a Convention of the Rights of the Child, (CRC) but not one based on data privacy? Aren’t child rights human rights as well? Doesn’t data privacy go under human rights? Despite the fact that this topic was the main topic of many United Nations General Assembly resolutions, what change has occurred? Has there been any change?

Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) protects everyone from arbitrary or unlawful interference with their “privacy, family, home or correspondence”. Despite the need for change, that after so long it was recognized, what change has been made? People have little to no control over what information is taken from them, even less on the knowledge of how it is used, and much more less on how they can protect themselves. Why? Because they can’t. In countries like the People’s Republic of China, people’s information is taken from them, sold, and then used in multiple ways against them. And the government does nothing to stop it. It is predicted in the near future, that the “opt-out” feature that we rely so heavily on will no longer exist. That we will have even less control if any at a certain point over anything. 

But if it was recognized, then why has there been no change? Why have no leaders taken anything beyond minimum action on this? And even more, why do ordinary citizens like us not take action against this? In the democracy that we live in within the USA, it is extremely easy for us to raise our concerns, why has barely anyone done it? Why did it take a 13 year old researching on this topic for a Model UN Conference to realize our ignorance? Why does no one else care?

Most people are lucky, they have never faced data theft or probably never will have. But if they do, is that when we will care? When it becomes too late for change? One in 15 people face identity theft, but only 1 in 700 people who commit this crime are caught. Is that when we will care? When it’s too late to care? So how about we start to care now, while we still can. When it’s still possible to protect ourselves, how about we try.

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