I care about privacy, and I get itches from people who say: I have nothing to hide. Like either you are a criminal, or you should not care about the world knowing everything about you.
I am no criminal, yet there is certain information I’d be embarrassed about if it was public. Or if it is linked. Search engines, like google, do collect all the data you search for, add it to your profile and can sell it. I want to know what happens with my thoughts, information about me, and I want to be able to choose if it can be used for other things. I don’t like being spied on. I don’t like companies making profiles of me. I don’t want to be completely anonymus either, but I want to be able to choose what I share and with whom, and how it is used. And most of all, I don’t want anyone to make money off my data except for me!
The site don’t track us explains quite nicely why no one should like to be tracked.
On the site (So not in this text!) Klik on the word IE (in red here below) in this text and you’ll get a popup asking you to add Duckduckgo to your search engines and if you want to set it as default. You could also just go to DuckDuckgo.com and check in the lower right corner, there should be the option to add it to your browser.
Another search enging (my default one, as I knew that before DuckDuckGo,) is Startpage. On the frontpage of startpage (where you end up if you click the link) it says below the search box: Add to internet explorer. Edited to add: oh how smart! Depending on which browser you use it shows the correct link to add the search enginge to that browser. Both for Duck Duck Go and Startpage.
It seems to be a trend to collect as much as possible from everyone. Governments and companies suffer from this hoarding mentality, and the dangers for individuals are increasing yet people are slow to react. The danger exists in the form of identity theft – the more information is stored about you (and easily retrievable by those wishing evil, as securing your IT environment and maybe more importantly train your people to handle data with care costs money and doesn’t gain monety for the company), eh, ehm… sorry, too long a sentence, let me start over.
The more information is stored about you, the easier it gets for someone to get information about you and steal your identity. It is very very hard to prove that someone stole your identity.
Google is no exception to the hoarding companies, and google has lots of products: Blogger/blogspot, feedburner, picasa web albums, youtube. Imagine the amount of data about you when you have the profile google made of you and the profile facebook has of you. Brr. Most people are too used to google to be able to say goodbye to it, they see it as if there is no alternative. But there is. For search engines, there’s the ones above I mentioned. For blogs, there’s wordpress (although.com probably also collects information, but when you go to wordpress.org you could build your blog yourself, it’s open source). Instead of youtube, use Vimeo. For following blogs: just sign up with your e-mail address directly, and not through feedburner. For webalbums, there are also other options (though also companies which could use your pictures as their own etc.) As long as it is a company offering those services you have to ask yourself: How do they make money? They can’t host this out of generosity… (And ads alone won’t be enough to make a profit usually).
Besides the companies, the governments should also be ones to be aware of. I’m hesitant to use .com domains, as the US government can take down your site without warning. Only because there is a claim that you offer products which look like the products of big companies (or something along that line, can’t be bothered to look up the article about those 100+ sites of which a handfull was checked, the others were just taken offline and disowned without checking or informing the owner!)
I know, this blog is on wordpress.com. But I’ve registered my own site and my goal is to build it up myself, then add a blog to it (with the help of open source software wordpress, and wordpress.org). I hope more people will become aware that right now, the internet is from the government and companies. I would like the internet to become from the people once more.
What are the differences between [Facebook CEO] Mark Zuckerberg and Julian Assange?
Assange gives you private information on corporations for free, and he’s a villian.
Zuckerberg gives your private information to corporations for money and Time magazine declares him ‘Man of the Year.’