zondag 16 februari 2020

Protect your Privacy against Surveillance Capitalism

Compared to China we are doing much better, most people think. Here the government is not watching us like a digital big brother. Using face recognition on each corner, watching your online behavior and storing all these data in file. This only partly true as here the big tech companies are watching us; surveillance capitalism by Facebook Google and the like. Our digital data, our wanderings on the internet are collected, exchanged and sold, for advertising and finally to make money. Data as silicon snake oil. Also here your privacy is under attack.
Some time ago I down loaded some location data collected by Google and it was scary to see details of my whereabouts. Here is the story with the maps(http://d3-media.blogspot.com/2018/09/google-data-traveling-back-in-time.html).
How can you protect yourself against this breach of privacy? 
Apps: disconnect.me
The basic problem is that the internet is broken, there is a principal flaw in the construction of the net: privacy. One of the answers is to repair it, fro example by using the block-chain for storing identity. It is possible but still a bit difficult for the ordinary user. Here is the story: http://d3-media.blogspot.com/2018/07/take-back-control-over-internet.html
In stead of redesigning the internet you could go one step and try to block the ‘trackers’, piece of software that collect your data. This implies monitoring the traffic over your network. Interesting solution is installing Pi-Hole and a VPN, both are open source, on a Raspberry Pi. Here is my how to: http://d3-media.blogspot.com/2019/05/ad-blocking-over-vpn.html . It works but you need to re route your network, and because your up stream bandwith is small it could slow down your connection speed.
The latest development is installing an app in your browser that protects your privacy and blocks all kind of trackers. But it is a bit tricky as you hand out the control to an other instance. “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes” , that is who guards the guards. And secondly they could collect and sell your data too. There are several apps that can do the job. All produced by new start-ups who see the problem. https://disconnect.me/ Disconnect.me is one of them, download it and it installs an extension in your chrome browser. Fast and easy.
The guardian wrote an interesting article about the development of these news apps and make a comparison between several apps. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/feb/16/internet-privacy-settings-apps-to-protect-you-?CMP . More background can be find at the New York Times https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/07/opinion/location-tracking-privacy.html, and article that is part of a series about privacy: The Privacy Project. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/opinion/internet-privacy-project.html

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