As part of our my group’s inquiry into data privacy and its implications for students in our future classrooms, we realized that we needed to reflect a little upon what “data privacy” means to us, and how we have approached it in our own lives.

For me, I often take a fairly fatalistic attitude. I often utter the phrase “I’ve accepted my overlords”, because to me it feel like I have no choice but to accept that my data is being accessed and used for someone else’s benefit. I feel like there isn’t really anything I can do to “hide” myself from this.

A Google search of my name finds me instantly because of my unique name, so I feel like my anonymity is even harder to keep.

The only major precaution I take is to turn off “location services” from the apps on my phone, but even so, I have no real way of knowing if I’ve covered all my bases since you need to do this for each individual app. As well, many apps rely on being able to see your location while they are being used to properly work, and it’s much more convenient for a phone to know where you are rather than telling it where you are.

Even after all that, I still don’t trust that I have “hidden” my location, because there is zero benefit for Apple, or my phone provider to turn this off; it’s in their own best interest to know where I am because it makes them money, so why would they be honest about it?

So, the question remains… do I really care? Should I care?

I don’t feel like I do care as much as I should. It feels like a futile fight for me, but I feel like I should care more for my future students’ sake, so I’m hoping that this inquiry project will broaden my knowledge of how data is used, and how we can operate more safely with our information in this deeply connected world.