Indonesians and Privacy

This topic could be discussed in a longer post. In fact, it could be a one semester course. Ha ha ha. But, seriously. I have presented this topic in many presentations and also this has been discussed in my class. Recently, this topic has receive a surge interest due to the new WhatsApp privacy policy.

In short, Indonesians do not have a problem with privacy. We are a society with “relaxed”-policy on privacy. This is just who we are. If you think that this is bad, I think you are mistaken. Privacy is a cultural thing. It cannot change rapidly. I am going to give an example, stolen from a story from my student.

If you take a picture with your family or with some friends and you want to post this picture in your social media account. As an Indonesia, you will post it as it is. Or maybe you’ll add some filters, but you would not blur the face of other people in the picture. That would be considered as rude. They may think that you don’t want to be associated with them. Are you embarrassed having us as friends (family)? In other culture, they would blur other faces (eg. kids) to protect their privacy. I believe it is okay to blur other faces if you are Japanese. Again, your friends will kill you if you blur their faces in your instagram posts.

Indonesians like to post their schools or alumni. Why? Because we are very friendly. Actually, we just want to be aware if there is a reunion. We want to reconnect with our friends. That’s simple. Privacy? Who cares.

Now, some people would try to shove other countries’ privacy values down to our throat. They say that is is the right way. Well, it may be the right way for you but it does not necessarily the right way for us. Some Indonesians may think that we should change. We may or may not. We should set our own standard(s). As of right now, there are Indonesians who would say that they worry about their privacy while posting their whereabouts in their instagram posts. Ha ha ha.

Serial Technopreneur, amateur musician & futsal player, love books and coffee