Online privacy is not just about your internet service provider (ISP) or search engines tracking which sites you visit and which keywords you search for, cyber security, or the risk of having your financial or personal information hacked or leaked. It’s also about your data and content being heavily tracked and surveilled, captured and sold. And the manipulation and commodification of this data/content, the security or lack thereof for where your personal information is disclosed and dispersed, and who is granted access — with and without your knowledge, consent, or approval.
Managing and controlling what you share and determining who sees your info should be up to you, the user, the content creator, and disseminator of the information — not up to or guarded by corporations, lobbyists, or governments.
Does privacy matter to you? How discerning are you with what you share? Are you in control of and carefully monitor to whom you share?
“Arguing that you don’t care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.” Edward Snowden
Are you concerned about your data, photos, and content being harvested, aggregated, mined, sold, and stored without your permission? Have you read the privacy policies of the social media platforms, apps, and sites you frequently visit? Are you willingly providing permission to FaceBook and other social media outlets to listen to your conversations and then advertise and market related products to you?
Technology companies and financial institutions are infamous for breaching privacy and revealing data. The FaceBook/Cambridge Analytica scandal of 2018 demonstrates how vulnerable we are just by participating in mainstream social media outlets. You are unable to fully control how these tech companies use or abuse your information in-house or with third-party sources. FaceBook is not the only platform that has been found guilty of the misuse and abuse of information; Twitter has also come under scrutiny for similar actions. (Twitter accounts by default are set to “public”, but you can change the setting and select “private”.) As technology evolves, user protection and tightened privacy features should be a cornerstone and a fundamental element to Internet navigation and social media.
The current social media reality illustrates that online privacy is an oxymoron. Entering social media Internet platforms resembles wearing your underwear outside your clothes or stitching the red letter “A” across your sleeve. You’re on display in blinking neon lights, exposed, dancing in a fishbowl.
Once posted, your information is chiseled within the Internet tombstone. A time-stamped digital trail of everything you write, say, photograph, comment on, share, save, and do. Surveillance cameras are everywhere, tracking your every move, every blink, every click, like, love, and angry emoticon. Big brother, and all of his third-removed cousins, sisters, and nosy-ass mother-in-laws, peeping Toms, Dicks, and Harriets. Reverse transparency where the users’ every move is on neon display – while the platforms discreetly and purposefully hide their motives in fine print. Their cookie policies, their data sharing, mining, and selling strategies to third-parties, and their absurd censorship based on their “community standards” and discriminatory policies against content that’s in conflict with their funders. If we choose to participate, we must “accept their terms and agreements.” If not, then we must voluntarily extricate and eject ourselves from their advertising based platforms. And that’s ok!
Don’t resign your rights and be so eager to give away your personal info to drooling data miners. You can also turn off third-party sharing with changing the “platform apps on/off” setting on FaceBook to disable the auto logging in from external app, websites, and plugins. Of course these features aren’t widely promoted or known by most users.
Should you be fearful of internet privacy issues? This analyst believes so – but instead of falling into the trap of data breaching and allowing your personal info and data to be prostituted and captured by tech companies, or settling and sticking with disingenuous platforms, consider alternatives for search engines, like DuckDuckGo and decentralized/ independent platforms. Pursue a new platform utility that will never sell your data or sell you out. One that stores and protects your identity, data, content, privacy, intellectual property, and dignity. Built using blockchain technology where the users’ data are protected in a complex encrypted “transparent and incorruptible” block system. The users’ content are locked, safe, and protected by the encrypted system.
Security. Privacy. Trust. Transparency. Integrity.
You are the only one who should determine what you reveal about your self, your business, what content you share, how you share or monetize it, and decide who you want to share it with.
Join Sphir to engage in a free uncensored platform utility that puts the user in the driver’s seat — where you determine how your content and personal info is shared, with who, and its reach. Let’s stretch into a new paradigm of what’s possible and not cave into the anti-privacy abyss. Privacy has vanished across the social media stratosphere along with integrity, class, respect, and decency. Shall we shift it for the better together?
Be discerning and protective of your content, data, information, and your self. Be part of the change to elevate social Internet platform standards. Be apart of the privacy, data protection solution, and digital transformation!
Launching in January 2019 – sign up for pre-roll out updates at Sphir!
~ Melissa A. Curtin