There’s been a lot of talk about privacy and rights lately, what with all this SOPA & PIPA stuff, and now these issues with Catholic hospitals and birth control. I get why people are worried about these things, and why people think the government is over-stepping its boundaries, but my personal battle for privacy started in January at the entrance to Disney World.
It was break and my older sister, parents and I were battling toddlers as well as the elderly for a good spot on the line to get into Animal Kingdom when we were stopped by a ticket barrier that was equipped with a fingerprint scanner. Turns out that not only do you have to pay an arm and leg to get into Animal Kingdom for a day, you also have to let them scan your index finger.
I was even more surprised when we were expected to do the same thing to go to Harry Potter World the next day. The last time I had to get a fingerprint scan before this was when I was applying for a Visa so I could live, take classes and intern in the UK for four months. Did Universal seriously need my fingerprint when I would be having miniature panic attacks of joy while perusing overpriced Harry Potter paraphernalia for only six hours?
From what I’ve read online, Disney is using this in a non-sinister way, but as my dystopia senses continue to tingle, I have to look at this issue logically. True, the fingerprint intrusion violated my privacy, but how much do I really value my own privacy?
I’m currently in my second semester of creative nonfiction courses and I’m sure plenty of my classmates know more about me than they ever wanted to know. Sharing my life debacles aloud has made me feel stronger, not violated. Anyone who has had the pleasure of being around my friends and I know privacy is not much of an issue. We’re open, to the point of making others uncomfortable and I have no problem with this at all.
I wasn’t always this way. I used to keep things to myself, literally almost everything to myself. After a while I realized this secrecy and paranoia that someone would find out my secrets wasn’t protecting me, it was distancing me. I decided I didn’t want to be that way anymore; I wanted to connect with people.
So now I do. I’m not an over sharer, but I know I might see you out one day and suddenly be telling you my life story. (Don’t worry, it’s a funny story, I promise.) This still begs to question why I am so willing to spill out my emotions and life experiences to people, while being disturbed and halted by a fingerprint scanner?
I’ve contemplated this since January and I’ve decided it comes down to this. When I tell you my story, when I’m reading about being humiliated as a chubby little kid, or telling you how my friend’s dog ate my underwear over summer break, I’m in control. I’ll probably make you laugh and then you can do what you want with that new knowledge about me. I can’t control what’s going to happen to those fingerprints and I still only have a vague idea of what they are planning to do with them. Emotionally and psychologically, privacy hasn’t done me too many favors, but I will cast a weary eye when I think my physical privacy is being violated. Hold it Disney, I want my fingerprints back.