commit b3ba2c0826b76b8d6f6181457b17fba9d06ff833
parent c3ed7e73dd58ef0ede10a0a5c12cef6f00b93bca
Author: oscarbenedito <>
Date:   Tue,  7 Apr 2020 18:17:58 +0200

New entry: on not caring about your privacy

Acontent/blog/ | 56++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
1 file changed, 56 insertions(+), 0 deletions(-)

diff --git a/content/blog/ b/content/blog/ @@ -0,0 +1,56 @@ +--- +title: "On not caring about your privacy" +categories: incidental +tags: ["Privacy"] +date: 2020-04-07T16:17:00+00:00 +--- +When talking about violations of our privacy, I've found that most people don't +care because it is a thing that happens "far away" (*who in that huge enterprise +cares about me, my browsing habits, etc.?*). I can see where those people are +coming from, it looks as if you are anonymous because there are just so many +people whose data is collected. + +Let's bring it closer: if you are connected to your work WiFi, your employer +can—and probably does—monitor your traffic. This sounds a lot "closer", but +maybe not enough. What if a co-worker showed you a screenshot with all the +connections that the devices connected to the WiFi were doing? That happened to +me, I could see my phone in there, with the URL I was visiting a couple of +minutes ago. I could also see other co-workers' phones ("Someone's iPhone", +"Someone's Samsung Galaxy") also followed by URLs. Those URLs were harmless, so +that particular screenshot wasn't particularly dangerous. However, my superiors +knew everything I was doing on the work's WiFi[^https]. Not that I had anything +to hide, but I also had no intention to give up my privacy, so I started using +Tor when connected to the WiFi. They would probably never know I was using Tor +(just that I was accessing a certain IP address), but even if they did, I didn't +really care, there's nothing wrong with using it. + +[^https]: Not everything. When connected through HTTPS, traffic monitoring can + only see the domain you are visiting, not the actual URL. + +It seems as people are fine with having their privacy violated when it's from +someone "far away", but they are not okay when someone "closer" does it. Another +example of this is email. Most people wouldn't give away their email password to +anybody, but they are okay with the fact that their email provider is reading +all their emails. The same happens with most internet services. + +One can have the feeling that they are anonymous because they are one in a +million, but the reality is we are not. Thanks to technology and data analysis, +we are able to process all that data and profile people based on it. It happens +on such a great scale that [real-time bidding][rtb] is a thing. When you visit a +webpage, there is a real-time bid between advertisers to publish their ad in the +designated spaces, and companies bid more or less depending on the profile they +have made of you. In less than a second companies retrieve your profile and bid +for you, every time you surf the Internet! + +You are one of many, but you are definitely not anonymous because of it. +Targeted ads might not sound too terrible. However, today companies are bidding +for your attention, can you ensure tomorrow they won't use that information for +other purposes? Today you may trust a big company, but the information they have +will last for very long, can you trust the future leadership not to use it for +other purposes? + +Just like you don't go around giving everyone access to your browsing history or +emails, you shouldn't do the same with companies. You might have nothing to +hide, but why would you give such private information away? + +[rtb]: <> "Real-time bidding — Wikipedia"