Privacy Basics: Passwords, Tracking, and Data Retention | Privacy

Privacy Elevator Speech

Made by Stacy Martin, Senior Data Privacy Manager at Mozilla.

Draft and deliver your own 30- to 60-second elevator speech championing healthy data privacy habits online, learning about privacy.

45 minutes

  • Introduction

    Can you quickly explain why privacy matters to a skeptical friend? Draft and hone your message about the importance of online privacy.

  • 10

    Drafting the pitch

    Do you have a passion for privacy, but your friends or family just don't get it? Do you wish you could educate them without talking their ear off?

    Research shows that the majority of Americans have been giving up their data for two reasons - either they don't know they have a choice or they are resigned to it. Spend a few minutes trying to change their mind.

    Take a look at these ideas and see if any would resonate with your audience. Use these ideas as prompts to compose an offline elevator speech pitching strong privacy habits or compose your speech online as something like an audio recording or slide deck to share widely with others. Feel free to remix what's here or to come up with an idea of your own.

    Try to craft a crisp, 30-60 second message that you think will help others understand Internet privacy issues and strong privacy habits online.

    • Just because you have nothing to say, doesn't mean free speech isn't important.
    • Similarly, just because you have nothing to hide doesn't mean privacy isn't important.
    • Two words: DATA PERMANENCE.
    • “The end of privacy is the end of second chances.” - Larry Ponemon
    • What you post may be readily accessible years later when you apply for jobs or grad school (photos, comments in chat rooms, etc.).
    • Think about whether what you post on sensitive issues may define you long after you have changed your views.
    • What you do today is recorded and stored with no expiration date and no “erase” button.
    • “If you’re getting something for free, you’re paying for it in some way.” - Technologist Julia Angwin
    • Put another way, “If you’re not paying for it, you’re not the customer. You’re the product being sold."
    • Privacy is like wearing a seatbelt.
  • 5

    Rehearse and share

    Practice your pitch outloud, in the mirror, or on your computer. Try to revise it until it seems natural, sharp, and persuasive. Share your speech whenever you have the chance to teach others how to safely participate on the Web!