Poor People’s Privacy Can’t Be an Afterthought

Excerpt from this article:

One of the tragic ironies of the digital age is this: Despite the fact that low-income Americans have experienced a long history of disproportionate surveillance, their unique privacy and security concerns are rarely visible in Washington and Silicon Valley. As my colleague Michele Gilman has noted, the poor often bear the burden of both ends of the spectrum of privacy harms; they are subjected to greater suspicion and monitoring when they apply for government benefits and live in heavily policed neighborhoods, but they can also lose out on education and job opportunities when their online profiles and employment histories aren’t visible (or curated) enough.

We found that not only are low-income Americans more concerned than their wealthier counterparts about losing control over how their information is collected or being used, but they’re also more worried about being harassed online or having their financial information stolen. And while societal fears about data breaches are widespread, identity theft poses a much heavier burden for people living on the margins.