Let’s ask bigger privacy questions

With Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook facing incredible scrutiny from the United States government, to Apple’s Tim Cook calling out the company and industry insiders lining up to tell you to delete your Facebook account are we missing the larger issue with privacy?


Background

I’m here to argue that most consumers, especially those arguing against Facebook and standing up for other companies, care about privacy inside of pockets. What do I mean? Let’s look at those who side with a company, taking Apple and Tim Cook here or if you’re siding with any company without first taking into consideration privacy as a whole. Let’s ask some important questions:

  • Are all of your customer facing sites tracker free?
  • Do you encourage end users to utilize VPNs to mask their online traffic?
  • Do you offer dashboards with full insight to the data that is collected on your users?
  • How clear are your own privacy policies?

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The internet itself in 2018 is almost not private by default. It’s a sad reality, but it’s the truth. Seemingly harmless websites are stuffed with ad trackers causing slow page loads and hampering the overall experience all while gathering plenty of analytical data for the site owners to target you — even sites of publishers claiming to care about your privacy.


What to do

Do not trust any entity. There is no company on this earth, including Apple, Google, Amazon or others, that deserve your complete devotion to their security practices. You should scrutinize each and every company, especially those that say they value your privacy.  So what can you do in a world that is seemingly less and less private?

  • Always look for third party alternatives and don’t just settle for what companies offer.
  • Host your own solutions.
  • Research and stay up to date on the latest privacy and security solutions.
  • Engage your friends and family to encourage them to take on extra security methods.

Conclusion

This is a hard topic and one this will be increasingly difficult to manage and maintain as more and more online systems are integrated into our lives; however, with diligence we can maintain a decent level of privacy and security in our lives — it just takes time and effort.

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