Privacy Double Standards: “Get Over It”

Guest Post: Ashley Wynstra, Media Commentator

As a society, we constantly critique celebrities because they’re public figures. They don’t get to complain about having their privacy invaded because that’s what they get for being rich and famous. We convince ourselves that it’s only fair to treat them as second-class citizens in the media because we simultaneously worship them in person. The same can be said for people we consider “scum.” People who have violated moral codes and societal rules aren’t seen as our equals when it comes to ethics. We don’t care about protecting the people who aren’t in the same class as us. When they have the audacity to complain about not having their privacy protected, we have one response:

“Get over it.”

If you Google the Ashley Madison hack, the top searches discuss which public figures were involved, the aftermath of the revelation of users, and details about the security breach. There’s no mention about the invasion of privacy. Why?

“Get over it.”

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Source: Static Flickr

Imagine waking up one morning and finding 100+ Facebook notifications. Your name is trending on Twitter and you’ve made national headlines. Your personal life is now under intense scrutiny and when you try to speak up to protect your privacy, you’re met with three words.

“Get over it.”

The intentions of the website Ashley Madison is another issue in and of itself. You might disagree with its purpose, but you can’t deny that rights were violated. Several individuals who lost their privacy killed themselves. Others were blackmailed. One town lost its mayor. These individuals made life choices that the majority of society disagrees with, and now they’re no longer considered part of the community, so we don’t protect them. There’s a double standard.

“Get over it.”

People were furious when the FBI asked Apple to unlock a terrorist’s cell phone because it might threaten the privacy of everyone else in the future. But how do we respond to the violation of privacy that we so strongly protect for ourselves when it doesn’t involve us?

“Get over it.”

We have a responsibility to protect everyone’s rights, regardless of their personal life choices. Those life choices never should have been revealed to begin with. As a community, we are not better off knowing who joined a website that encouraged affairs.

“Get over it.”

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