Putting ‘Private & Confidential‘ on an envelope indicates the nature of its contents ~ usually legal, financial or medical ~ and covers the sender’s responsibility to communicate this information for the recipient’s eyes only. However, the necessity for privacy in these and other areas has had to adapt to new methods of communication which may be less secure than paper and gum.
There are no longer many places in the UK where people can habitually leave their doors unlocked and in the digital age it is just as important to secure your computer and your smartphone, since these store so much personal data and private correspondence. Satellites and closed circuit cameras can track people’s whereabouts and the mainstream media pushes the violation of privacy for profit and propaganda.
The invention of the portable camera forced the re-thinking of laws on privacy. Today, the concerns are about hidden cameras ~ installed by relatives in a care home, for example ~ and secret recording via computers’ built-in devices. Storage of data on servers and in ‘the cloud’ has the capability of threatening our privacy, aided by the rapid rise of ‘social media’, which sees people publicly displaying personal information, and of smartphone apps, which quickly become ‘indispensable’.
(Image: pxhere.com / Public domain)