Why We Value Data Privacy as a Human Right
At Stars Are Circular, our mission is to help kids and families become conscious, innovative, and collaborative participants in a circular economy.
Our vision of a world where people thrive in cohesive local communities requires a culture that balances interpersonal connection with respect for others. That’s why we are speaking out about the importance of data privacy as a human right.
We believe that data privacy is a fundamental human right everyone should respect. To live up to this belief, we have partnered with the data privacy compliance provider Termly to protect the privacy of everyone who visits our website.
Not sure what data privacy is or why it matters? That’s OK!
Keep reading to learn what data privacy means, why we think it’s a human right, and how we’re taking action to protect your rights and keep your information private.
What Is Data Privacy?
If you use the internet (and if you're reading this, you do), you share much more information about yourself than you might realize. Whenever you visit a website, you could be sharing some of the following details without knowing it:
Your IP address
Where you are
What kind of device you're using
If you allow sites to store cookies (short bits of code that track specific behaviors) on your device, you may be sharing even more, such as:
What other sites you've visited recently
Purchases you've made
That's a lot of information that random website owners don't need to know about you. That's why the concept of data privacy is so important.
Data privacy is the idea that everyone should have the right to choose what personal information they share with others. You should be able to decide what information websites can collect from you and, even more importantly, what they can share with other people.
This concept sounds like it should be obvious, but for a long time, data privacy wasn't recognized as something that mattered. Websites would place cookies on their visitors' computers without informing them, letting the site owners track visitors' behaviors and personal information without consent.
Luckily, this is no longer legal, thanks to regulations like the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). These legal frameworks have begun to treat data privacy as a right and govern how information can be collected, stored, and shared.
Why Is Data Privacy Important for Society?
But why is data privacy so important? Is it really such a problem if a website tracks some of your data?
The problem arises when companies are not transparent, and consumers don't know they're giving up information. The idea behind data privacy is transparency and consent.
You should be able to choose whether to share personal information.
The ability to consent is fundamental to society. Therefore, the first step in creating a culture in which people can thrive in their local communities is helping people feel comfortable being themselves. Data privacy facilitates this by supporting four critical values:
Personal autonomy: Every person should have the right to make their own choices. This right includes choosing what to tell other people about themselves. Data privacy's fundamental purpose is to protect personal autonomy by allowing everyone to decide whether they want to share their information with specific websites and how that data can be used. Personal autonomy is the foundation of a robust community.
Dignity: Personal autonomy matters because of human dignity. Every person matters because they are unique. When you prioritize human dignity, you must respect people's right to decide for themselves instead of having someone else choose for them. Data privacy acknowledges human dignity by allowing individuals to control their information. This autonomy prioritizes individuals over corporations in society, returning power to the people.
Individuality: One of the beautiful things about humanity is how everyone is different. Some people may not mind sharing their data, while others would prefer never to share anything at all. Data privacy respects this and encourages individuality by allowing people to choose what to share and when to keep things private, leading to a more vibrant society overall.
Safety: Unfortunately, sharing personally identifiable information can put people at risk. Data privacy means that no one should be forced to share personal details that could put them in harm's way. This helps protect the most vulnerable people in society, leading to a more equitable future.
In short, data privacy gives people the right to make their own choices by respecting their dignity and individuality, keeping them safe, and making society better for everyone.
Why We Consider Data Privacy a Human Right
Beyond data privacy’s importance to society, we also consider it a necessary right on an individual level. According to Human Rights Watch, data privacy should be regarded as a human right, just like the right to education and justice.
But why is data privacy so vital to individuals?
It comes down to how your personal information can be used. Human rights courts have determined that mishandling personal data can interfere with privacy in ways that can put people at risk. Some of the most significant dangers of poorly handled data include the following.
Personal information includes details such as your gender, race, religious beliefs, and political opinions. Unfortunately, this type of information can be used to discriminate against people all too easily.
For example, as recently as June 2022, Facebook still allowed people to target housing ads at users using protected characteristics like gender and race.
Data privacy protects you from discrimination by preventing websites from sharing this kind of information.
Many sites try to collect as much information about visitors as possible. They then use this data for various reasons, but personalized recommendations are the most lucrative.
These personalized suggestions don’t just show you things you might like. They can also try to manipulate your opinions. Sites that present only ideas you already agree with can leave you trapped in an echo chamber, with no easy way to get new information.
Data privacy allows you to mitigate this manipulation by preventing sites from developing profiles on your interests so you can better understand the world.
On a more fundamental level, data privacy also protects you from fraud.
Sites that gather information are vulnerable to data breaches. If your information gets leaked, you could be at risk of having your accounts or identity stolen.
Data privacy tools help you protect your identity by reducing the amount of information these sites can store.
We consider data privacy a human right because everyone should have the right to control what organizations know about them. Without that right, everyone is vulnerable to manipulation, discrimination, and even identity theft.
Just like everyone should be free to practice their preferred religion without being harassed, people should be able to use the internet without being tracked and controlled.
Why We Use Termly
One of our core values at Stars Are Circular is doing our best to walk the talk. When we identify a problem, our responsibility is to do what we can to fix it.
When it comes to data privacy, that means ensuring our visitors have all the tools they need to make informed choices about their data privacy.
That’s why we have partnered with Termly.
Termly is an all-in-one data privacy and compliance solution that allows us to protect your personal information in every way possible reliably.
Partnering with Termly allows us to:
Inform visitors about what kind of data we collect from them, how it’s used and stored, and why we gather that information
Scan our site regularly to maintain thorough documentation on what cookies we use and whom those cookies share information with
Request and track cookie consent to ensure we never gather any information without full approval
Maintain clear and accurate privacy policies that follow national and international privacy laws and guidelines
By working with Termly, the Stars Are Circular tribe can respect data privacy as a human right it is.
Respecting Data Privacy at Stars Are Circular
Data privacy is not just important to society; it’s a fundamental human right. To stand up for that belief at Stars Are Circular, we choose to work with partners like Termly.
You and your children deserve to maintain your privacy. You don’t need to worry about having critical information about your family exposed when you choose Stars Are Circular.