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a return to simpler times!

Give me six lines written by the most honest man in the world, and I will find enough in them to hang him.

-- Cardinal Richelieu

NB: this post is largely disorganized - I'm on my 2nd (?) whisky and taking a break from my research.

Ahh privacy. This is something I spend a significant amount of time on. My devices, my home network, my online presence, all have a lot of effort poured into them to be as private, anonymous, and secure as possible. I don't use popular services (search, mail, storage... you know the ones), I self-host whatever I can, I set up custom tools and processes for certain tasks, and I try to minimize how much of my data I give away, to who, and where. I wonder how many aliases I've used throughout the years?

Privacy is a fundamental human right, it says so in Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Yet, a huge majority of us don't seem to care for it.

Whenever this subject props up in discussions with friends, family, or coworkers who don't share my same view (everyone is entitled to their own, of course), one of three questions get raised, sometimes all:

  1. I have nothing to hide, why should I care?
  2. Whats the worst that can happen if I keep giving [company] my data?
  3. So what if they're giving me ads. It's creepy but I don't really care.

# Nothing to hide...

It's important to not confuse privacy with secrecy or vice versa, and while some people use them interchangeably, when the topic comes up in day-to-day conversations, secrecy isn't what we're talking about.

When you go into the bathroom, you close the door right? I know, or can guess, based on how long you're in there, and the general fact that you are in there, what you're doing in the bathroom. Yet you still close the door. It's not to be secretive, it's to have privacy. Look at your data privacy on the internet in the same way! Yes, you may not have anything to hide, but do you still want people looking over every minute detail of your life? Give me your phone and let me read through your emails, texts, and go through your camera roll...

You wouldn't let someone come into your home and set up "mini-cameras" everywhere. Online privacy is the same... or at least it should be.

# Whats the worst they can do?

Ok fine. They can't give you a black eye or a wedgie, but how about 5 years from now, when you're looking for insurance and your premium is higher because last year you searched for a specific thing online that the insurance companies don't like, or because you've got a shadow profile somewhere where that connets you to a group of people with low credit scores. Or how about when your company doesn't want you because 9 years ago you tweeted you pour the milk before the cereal? Out of context, anything you say, do, write, or search, can be "weaponized" so to speak. It's happened before[0][needs more sources]. Just look at all the innocent tweets people have made that have come back to bite them in the ass 10 years later.

Things change. N years from now, something that was "right" may now be "wrong", and guess what, thousands of companies have that on record with the potential to use it in detrimental ways to you. Do you really trust some giant billion dollar company? *cough*facebook*cough*.

# It's only ads...

People say this because they think this is all that's happening. You do stuff, you get ads. Bada-bing-bada-boom right? No.

"Only ads" influence major world and political events, global warming, elections, referendums... there's much more than just that ad you saw about a pet hair brush. You get put into a bucket with other people and fed the same bullshit until you all think and agree to the same things.

Remember 15 years ago when ads were a mere annoyance online? All those pop-ups for viagra being blasted in our faces? Everyone hated them. Now society seems to have become more accepting of ads because they keep getting shoved down our throats not giving us time to breath and speak out.

# End?

My point here isn't to come across like some sort of hardcore FSF member spitting on faces of Windows users. It's... Look, there's so many other things I can talk about in this unmethodical post (rant), so here's some extra jumbled shit I could ramble on about:

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