What is it?
Privacy is the protection of personal privacy. Often you hear people say that they have nothing to hide, but that is not the point. People simply have the right to live and fill out their lives in their own way, and that includes choosing to do sex work.
Privacy is often contrasted with security. Beware! This is a false opposition. One does not come at the expense of the other. An example within sex work: you can, for example, both improve the legal position of sex workers and protect sex workers from exploitation.
What can it mean for a sex worker?
In the case of sex work, there is sometimes something to hide. Most sex workers (except for the brave ones who reveal their names and faces in the media) don't want their work to be widely known. They prefer to select themselves with whom they share their knowledge. Information about their work background can have major consequences for family, partners, children, friends, study, work, careers, housing situation, banking matters, etc. Also, almost all sex workers want to shield their private information (real name, address, etc) from their clients.
So why do we still choose to give up our privacy?
- Because the benefits are so great, a smartphone is so incredibly convenient.
- Because everyone uses it, you become digitally isolated if you don't participate.
- Because we choose ease of use and find it quite difficult to have to take all kinds of safety measures.
- Because we are forced to participate in it with all kinds of registration, camera surveillance, ID showing, etc.
- But mostly because it's so invisible. We just have no idea what they are doing with our data. And we just resign ourselves to it.
What can you do?
We can learn to become digitally resilient. Just as we learn to defend ourselves physically with resilience training, or defend ourselves against STIs with condoms and STI testing, we can also better protect ourselves online.
- First of all, we need awareness. Above all, it revolves around the question: 'What do you want to protect yourself from?‘
- Second, we can take some practical steps. The 'how then?‘
- That "how to" requires discipline and less ease of use. And you can never be completely invisible in this day and age, but you can make it harder for them!