Respecting someone’s privacy is a form of respect for that individual. Not in the sense of,”a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.” but in the deeper human sense of, ”due regard for the feelings, wishes, or rights of others” .This is an important aspect of our lives, especially in western culture.
A good example of this is in some newsworthy event where someone has died. Generally one of the first things said is, ”Please respect our family’s privacy during this difficult time” in order to remind the media that their privacy in a time of pain outweighs the need for information.
Another example is when giving first aid. To quote the Red Cross,
“In any first aid situation, you must take steps to assist the person to maintain personal privacy.
This means things like, keeping crowds away, putting up a screen if necessary, and covering any exposed body parts with blankets, or sheets, if available.”
The collection of meta-data during times of pain and crisis does not stop. In many ways it can be used for profit. Identifying people with a weakness allows you to profit from them using that weakness, even if it is perceived. In an interview on CBS, the interviewees confirmed lists of individuals are being sold pertaining to; alcoholism, depression, psychiatric problems, genetic problems, cancer, heart disease, sexual orientation and many more problems.
Privacy is a form of respect. A recognition of other people and their right to lead a life fulfilling to the and based on their own decisions. That they are important as a separate entity and don’t deserve to be targeted for monetary or personal gain from the information known about them.