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Privacy on the Internet : you're spied upon!


2 years agoBusy4 min read

Many people know it but few fully understand the extent : computer and web services collect our private data.

When you browse the web, you are continuously tracked. All your clicks, every one of your activities or your emails are known by the web giants. Unfortunately, this is the same with many software or applications you are using every day.

Who does this?

You're tracked on more than 90% of the sites you browse. Either you're spied on by trackers, developed by specialized data-collecting companies, managed by the website admins or present in many applications for smartphones, both on Android and IOS. Or the website shares contents from other sites ; like YouTube videos (it also applies to Dailymotion, Vimeo, etc ...), social network buttons (to access Facebook, twitter, Instagram, etc ...), publications from other social networks, websites using Google for in-site search, character fonts provided by Google, etc ...

Why are they doing this?

They have a commercial goal, because the sell our data to what is called a data broker. This broker will then resell your data to announcers, governments, employers, insurance companies and many others who can be interested by your data. Those data will be analyzed to create a precise profile for you, to show you targeted ads ; to allow governments to know what you are thinking, and in dictatorial regimes to silence opponents. It can allow employers to know more on you before hiring you, your insurance company can decide to change the price of your health insurance when it sees you don't exercise and eat in fast-foods (fortunately this is still forbidden in France).

Why do I have to worry?

Privacy is very important, at the moment, internet giants know more about you than your loved ones. Imagine someone who would follow you everywhere, even at home, someone there when you are in the bathroom or when you take a shower. An ad for Qwant search engine sums up the situation :

The giants of the Web know everything about you : your sexual orientation, whether you are in a relationship and with whom, what you like, etc ... People who say to me : "I do not care, I have nothing to hide", I tell them that it's like saying we do not have freedom of expression because we have nothing to say ; especially since we all have something to hide, we all have little secrets. It is the same when governments monitor the internet and slowly reduce our freedoms claiming country security or terrorism protection as a pretext.
For one, the terrorist threat is present but lower than at other times ; Thomas Jefferson said, "If you're willing to sacrifice some freedom to feel safe, you deserve neither." which is totally true : freedom is a precious good for which people have died (the French Revolution and all the other revolutions, does that ring a bell to you?) and for which one must be ready to sacrifice everything.

Two, Having less privacy greatly reduces our freedom, especially in totalitarian regimes (and do not consider we're safe because we live in a democratic country) ; and three, I think that mass surveillance does not improve security, I am 100% for the state to monitor a criminal when a judge has given permission beforehand, but I am against mass surveillance.

How can I protect myself?

I'll post a series of articles titled "Protecting your personal data" in which I provide you with tips to help reduce plundering of your personal data.

Feel free to tell me your opinion on this first article because it is far from perfect, or to ask me questions.
Thanks for reading!

See you soon on Steem ;)

(article translated from French bye @gbd. See original version)


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