Privacy from a Moroccan Perspective

In 2015, an Italian company that sells hacking software such as Trojans and malwares was hacked by an anonymous team and leaked about four hundred gigabytes of data. Surprisingly, the leaked data contained the amount of money that Morocco spent on buying spyware from HackingTeam company. The Moroccan intelligent services spent around 3 million euros on spyware to control the flow of information between Moroccans and the rest of the world, from one side, and among Moroccans from the other side (Blum-Dumontet, 2015).

In order to understand how important is privacy for Moroccan citizen, a comparison between two main events in the same year is made. First, the problem that happened in one of the Moroccan stadiums that hosted FIFA World Club Cup 2015 which was about stopping a game because of rain. Second, the huge leak of HackingTeam data which directly affects the privacy of Moroccan citizens. The size of media impact was huge because people interacted with the problem of the game, and they totally ignored the HackingTeam leaks, except for Moroccans who are interested in cyber security. Culturally speaking, we can say that privacy is not that important for Moroccans. In other words, in our social behavior, we tend to share everything we have. It does not really matter for us to hide our personal information. On the other hand, we do not give the necessary value to our private data. Moroccans tend to underestimate it while it can be critical and very useful for other people if they get it.

Individuals enjoy free services online. However, the “free” term does not mean what it is literally free because they pay with something else. In normal services, they buy something online by paying in currency for it. For the new “free” services such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, individuals enjoy the services without thinking about the price that they are paying. They do not care about their privacy. Big companies sell their data to marketers, so the price of those free services is privacy. So, privacy has become the new currency. You pay with your privacy and how much information you are sharing with these platforms (Bennett & Raab, 2006).

However, legally speaking, these platforms mention clearly in their long privacy policies that data become part of their databases once the individual clicks on agree button. They make long privacy policies to discourage people to read them, but the user does not have the choice because they must agree or leave the platform. However, it is sometimes relevant to read privacy policies and terms of use because they give a clear idea about how the service is dealing with privacy and private information. At this level, the discussion is about just the risk of using data by a third party such as Black Hats, the hackers who steal, destroy, and sell private information. Security is considered as illusion because there is no absolute security. Governments have legal access to private information of any hosted service in their territories, so individuals are not secure from spying by their own governments (Bennett & Raab, 2006).

 

References:

Bennett, C. J., & Raab, C. D. (2006). The Governance of Privacy. The MIT Press.

Blum-Dumontet, E. (2015, 07 10). Facing the Truth: Hacking Team leak confirms Moroccan government use of spyware. Retrieved 07 01, 2017, from Privacy International: https://www.privacyinternational.org/node/622

Image Copyright: http://www.networxsecurity.org

 

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