Practical Privacy: Steps normal people can take

Published Categorized as Practical Privacy

It’s increasingly common for our conversations about technology to eventually circle around to concern about the amount of privacy that we have given up, or will be expected to give up. Lots of books, podcasts, and articles are discussing the surveillance state. This is a very good thing.

Growing sense of unease

Most of us are, on some level, concerned about how much is known about us, by people we neither know nor trust. We’re concerned that all of the modern conveniences come with a downside that may not seem like a big deal by itself, but added all together, it crosses The Creepy Line.

So, what can we do about it? Refusing to do business with BigTech won’t help. We’re not the customers, we’re the product. We really do not have the marketplace power that we used to. Besides, we all have to live in the world; BigTech got big by creating products and services that we like, and now need.

BigTech, BigData, BigCorp, BigGov – the problem seems to be BIG

Even if we WERE the customer, the big guys are so big that your decision to not use their product wouldn’t really impact them. Have you noticed that the big guys keep getting bigger and more profitable, no matter how many horrifying stories there are about their bad practices?

To add to your concern, perhaps a bit more of that sense of futility – deleting your account usually doesn’t do you any good anyway. Deleting the content in your profile doesn’t help either. It doesn’t make the data about you unavailable to THEM, it just makes the data unavailable to YOU.

Also, the “them” I’m talking about, the ones who harvest your data and make money from it, and who know so much about you, sure, it’s Facebook and Google, but it’s also the thousands of ad tech companies you don’t even know.

The solutions are unrealistic, geeky, difficult

I’ve learned enough about all of this to be seriously concerned. However, I’ve read enough of the “here’s what you should do” articles to realize that most of that won’t work for me – or for most of you either.

Most of the solutions are unrealistic for a normie, and don’t do anything to help change the dynamic. Fortunately, there ARE things that normal people can do to protect their privacy a bit, to change the business dynamic.

I’m not going to set up a server in my house, go off the grid, flash my android phone with a custom ROM – and neither are you.Practical Privacy will be a series of posts with suggestions for normal people – not techy stuff no one can or wants to do, simple steps we can take to decrease the power of the bigs, to protect a bit of your privacy, to make smarter choices.

First things first

The very first thing you absolutely must do…convert to Brave Browser.

Why? What’s the benefit? What’s the cost? That’s in my next post.

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