Privacy concerns and the right to a private life have long steered me towards a technology purge. I will start that purge in 2020.
Shadowy companies collect detailed data on where we go and who we meet through our apps. They are building a complete profile about each one of us, making us into a commodity to be bought and sold, without our knowledge.
For a while, we focussed on the revelations that the state was hacking our private communications in a system of data collection that swept up all of us. But, we lost sight of the firms around the world that mine us for data.
I couldn’t care less if the government wants to read my text messages, they never amount to much more than checking what my wife would like for dinner that day, or when I will be collecting my son from the skatepark. What I do object to is companies and government agencies colluding to gain access to my private emails and phone calls. I know I sound paranoid, and maybe I am, to a degree. But, soon, the data acquired about my family and me will be used to decide if I can get insurance, or allow me to rent a home. The evidence is out there if you take the time to look for it.
The mystery is why so many of us are still apparently relaxed about what’s going on. There was a time when most people had no idea what was happening to their privacy. But those days are gone. We now have abundant evidence of public concern about privacy. It is time to take a stand against the ruthless exploitation of personal data by surveillance capitalists.
I plan to look for ways to lock-down my data. I am going to exercise my right to live a private life, away from prying eyes. It will not be easy, but by making a few small changes to the way that my family and I move through the digital world, I will sleep a little easier.
I will use the resources provided by organisations like the Electronic Frontier Foundation to secure my digital devices and my home network.
Probably the best advice given to me so far, turn it off! Leave the smartphone at home, switched off and in the microwave; besides, I’ve got my shiny new Punkt MP-02 to use when I’m out and about. It does a couple of things, make and receive phone calls, and send and receive text messages: no email, no instant messaging, no GPS, no internet, and NO TRACKING.
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