Why Privacy Matters

The ability to maintain privacy from governments, corporations, and our peers is fundamental to a free, democratic, and equitable society.

WhyPrivacyMatters.org aims to collect easily understandable reasons why privacy matters in simple language. Learn more about why this site was created.

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Reasons Privacy Matters

Knowledge is power; Knowledge about you is power over you. Your information will be used to anticipate your actions and manipulate the way you shop, vote, and think.


Without privacy, you might be so afraid that you’re being judged by others that you won’t try or learn new things, even if you’re not doing anything wrong.


Your personal information and private communications can be “cherrypicked” to make you look like a bad person or a criminal, even if you’re not.


Not all information in your control is yours to share. Information shared privately with you by friends, family, and coworkers is not yours to reveal to a government, company, or another person.


By exercising your right to privacy, you make it easier for others, such as activists and journalists, to do so without sticking out.


You are not and will not be judged by your own standards. Standards differ between people and organizations, and standards shift with time. Even if your behavior is deemed acceptable today, it can be held against you tomorrow.


Sharing personal data, even with a party you trust, means it is out of your control and at risk of being hacked or sold.


Social boundaries are created when we are able to keep parts of our life private. You might want to prevent some people, such as former partners, employers, or family, from knowing certain things about you.


Next Steps

Want to take steps to protect yourself? Follow this guide by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.


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