Privacy, Surveillance & the Price of Content: How much do Australian’s value their Privacy?

The concept of Privacy has various meanings to different people, not least due to its multi-faceted and highly contextualised nature – that is, privacy means different things to different people and can be understood differently depending on where and when one is situated.

Following the terror attack is Sydney, 2014, the Australian Government promoted the idea that a metadata retention scheme was essential in order to protect national security, even though many questioned whether the extent of the measures was proportionate.

The government recently passed the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Act 2018, which allows government agencies greater access to encrypted messages, like those sent over WhatsApp. Many Australian’s are very on the fence about the idea of Government Surveillance as little is known about the factors that influence their acceptance of government surveillance. Through research conducted by The Conversation, 100 Australian Residents were surveyed on their views on Government Surveillance, 52 of them said they accept government surveillance. The average response on the strength of acceptance, on a scale of 1 (strongly reject) to 5 (strongly accept), was 3.1.

In my opinion, with today’s exposure to social media and the mass use of it, I find that being on social media you have to be accepting that not everything will be completely invisible and only accessible to your followers. I do believe that there should be stricter regulations surrounding privacy and confidentiality but if you’re posting on social media, you have to be mindful and accepting that it is distributed online and may be visible to a broader audience.

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