You shouldn’t have to trash your technology in order to protect yourself. You have a right to be forgotten. You have a right to protect what you’ve created.

There is an episode of the popular television show, Parks and Recreation, in which Ron Swanson, a notoriously private man, realizes his technology is giving others access to his personal information.

Ron falls into a rage and quickly throws his computer into a dumpster—all in the name of personal privacy. Ron was attempting to erase his digital presence–he wanted to become invisible.

Which raises the question, do we have the right to be forgotten? Or, to put it another way, do we own what we share online?

The answer, I think, is complex.

On the one hand, we know (or are learning) what we risk when we share—cyberbullying, identity theft, stalking—it’s all a possibility when we create a digital identity. There is constant concern our images, words, and information will be used to hurt us or our family. Once we put something online we lose control of it.

But should we lose control?

If we were artists and shared our art, we wouldn’t expect to lose the rights to our work simply because we made it public. Which makes me wonder, why are our digital lives—our pictures, our words, our conversations—any different than an original piece of art?

I guess my point is the digital sphere is a mixed bag. We have to deal with the reality of what little control we actually have. Efforts to protect our information are light years behind those looking to profit from it. We have become a commodity, and with such monetization comes risk.

But just as an artist has a right to their art, we should be able to choose how our information is used.

At Hueya, we believe you have a right to what is yours. The mistake Ron Swanson made was believing he could run from the problem–believing if he destroyed his devices everything else would go away.

No matter how hard we try we can’t hide from the problems of privacy and control—we must face them.

Join us as we carry on the Swanson legacy (minus the dumpster), because you shouldn’t have to trash your technology in order to protect yourself. You have a right to be forgotten. You have a right to protect what you’ve created.

Let Hueya help take back control of what is yours.

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