So I have been researching privacy issues and using more and more new applications in my bid to educate myself and learn more about the internet, privacy and Linux.
As I download tools to help me; be it an online course, a new app such as this WordPress, my TOR browser or even Proton Mail, I am always forced to enter my personal information as well as an email address. I give my name, my personal address and then my email. I must then subscribe, get new emails from my subscriptions daily in my email box and then delete them one at a time.
I cannot even count the number of sites or apps that I have subscribed to: entered my personal info, email, password etc. They say to use a different password each time. Can anyone really do this? I mean every site or every app. How can you remember them all?
Okay so I get a password manager right….? I’m not there yet. Seems to me a password manager is the first place someone would want to hack into if they were intent on gaining personal info. So all my passwords would be on this site? So I would register, enter my personal details and then all my passwords for all of the sites, apps etc. and they would be in once nice tidy place. I don’t think so.
So how can you really protect your privacy and personal information in the information age? ”To be private or not, that is the question.”
To get back to registering with sites or apps I usually use the same password. I know I should not be saying that but really? Do people have different passwords for each time they registered for something online? As well, what about our email boxes and memory that these (call them spams) sites send you once you are registered? Did I consent to that?
I sign up for a site or an app and have to register otherwise I cannot use the functions; agree to give all my personal information, read a disclaimer and legal jargon, get a ton of unsolicited emails in my box and that is how it works. (NB. Most of the legal disclaimers state: they can send your info to third parties.) I consent to this!!!!
Don’t have much of a choice if I want to use my banking app, email service, check out Twitter etc. So that is where we are at. At least the way it appears to me.
So all these private companies have my personal info. They use analytics to check how many times I visit the site, on what I click and how long I stay. They then build I assume a profile of my account, internet profile, CPU, etc. I on the other hand have no way to check, verify and control the use of my personal information, I have given it away by choice.
You see I began writing this blog to familiarize myself with the making a web site and as I try and learn Linux, ultimately to understand what is going on beneath the hood of my OS and computer. Privacy is a concern to me because I truly believe that we are on the dawn of something that may end up being sinister. Our information about us and our privacy are the fundamentals of freedom. Once these bastions have been breached I fear the genie cannot be put back in the bottle.
I also think that as Snowden puts it, many of us have no idea that this is even going on or how it works and that the governments have enabled corporate interests to prevail in this information exchange, or mass information gathering. From what I understand as well these companies are making a fortune with this information.
When Snowden states that most people cannot exactly remember where they were on a certain date 10 years ago, but now it is technically possible via cell phones that is a scary thought. So somewhere on some private company server, or the governments they can take a look and say hey Greg you were at a certain place 5 years ago and there was a murder in the vicinity, maybe you can help us solve the case.
So it seems that our information is being gathered. Can we do much of anything to protect ourselves? Should we? A lot of people I talk to about this don’t care or don’t realize it. What about their children? Say your child is online. He subscribes to certain sites, has certain interests, and shows a lot of what he does online. Years from now someone somewhere will actually be able to access this and then build a psychological profile on them. (They are actually doing that now), and the main goal of that is to be able to either exploit them (sell them something ) or will be used in judgment against them. Such as a job interview.
Imagine the Kavanaugh testimony for the supreme court if he had gone to college today with cell phones and videos etc. ? Do you think he would not remember? Or do you think that he would be able to say that he never went to such a place or never attended such party? It makes me wonder .
When we discuss privacy and the new technological world it is important to question and understand what is happening with our most and last fundamental human right ; the right to privacy and how it is the first and most important element to freedom. It is important to discuss this.