Comics Raising Awareness of Privacy
In Myanmar, many people consider privacy a foreign concept. Under the decade-long rule of the socialist military junta, citizens were not supposed to have a secluded private life. In fact, those who tried to keep things private were deemed suspicious by their peers and the authorities.
It is still common for many people in Myanmar to share a lot of their personal information. This is particularly true with regard to their Facebook habits, as plenty of users tend to share even the most intimate information. Many people in Myanmar are also not aware of the risks attached of publicly available personal data. Tools and methods to protect sensitive information are rather unknown.
In order to raise awareness of the concept of privacy, FNF chose to use cartoons. Many people in Myanmar love this art form and they commonly share comics on social media. Many newspapers and magazine print cartoons, too. FNF Myanmar later launched these comics online. It also shared them with local media outlets together with articles on the topic.
In a first step, FNF Myanmar teamed up with a local privacy expert group called Cyberbaykin in order to educate artists on the concept of privacy and to introduce measures for data protection. The illustrators were then asked to reflect on issues of privacy and data protection in Myanmar in their art.
Well-known cartoonists submitted artwork
The team was pleased to see that some of the most well-known cartoonists of the country joined the project and submitted artwork. The comics submitted not only raise awareness. They also educated people to use longer passwords for their social media accounts or two-step verification.
One famous artist, known by his pen-name Cartoon APK, skilfully pointed out limited privacy in Myanmar. He drew a comic showing a man being interviewed on his perspectives on today’s privacy matters – while sitting on a toilet bowl. Another cartoonist, Myo Min Myat, illustrated the dangers to privacy in the digital age: The devil tracking down sins through an internet search.