In an era dominated by technology, privacy has become a precious commodity. As data security and digital surveillance concerns escalate, Big Tech companies have launched extensive campaigns to convince users that they prioritise privacy.
However, a closer look reveals a phenomenon known as “privacy washing”, a deceptive strategy these corporations have been employing for years (at least since 2020) to mask their true intentions and gain unwarranted trust.
Let’s delve into privacy washing, why big tech companies are investing in such campaigns, and, ultimately, why you should cautiously approach their promises.
Defining Privacy Washing
Privacy washing is feigning a commitment to user privacy through marketing, public relations, or superficial policy changes while continuing to engage in practices that compromise user data.
Essentially, it’s a facade designed to give the illusion of privacy-conscious behaviour without substantial changes in the company’s operations.
The worst privacy washing of 2023 and trends to expect in 2024 | Proton
Big Tech companies made 2023 the year of privacy washing. Stay alert for these false advertising trends in the year ahead.
Why are (Big Tech?) Companies Embracing Privacy Campaigns?
Privacy washing is no more than a phenomenon where any company aims to gain users’ trust to keep collecting their data out of any control, ignoring privacy laws or data regulations (like the EU GDPR or the UN Human Rights), so they can keep their own profitability by running invasive and illegal business models.
Even household appliances (like washing machines) run an insane number of data collection processes (scanning and sending data from your home network to manufacturers) reaching unbelievable limits: