An Introduction to Protest With Privacy
A weekly guide to reclaiming your data and insights on the latest privacy news.
Data vultures trade in personal data. They collect your information, package it, and sell it to banks, insurers retailers, telecoms, media companies, governments, and sometimes, criminals.
Information is currency and we are being robbed. This newsletter is a guide to reclaiming your personal data and protecting what’s ours.
I read 1984, during the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. It was easy to see parallels between the unethical privacy practices in the book and the mass manipulation through behavior modification in our own reality.
Behavior can only be manipulated once known and the data that we produce every single day can create an astonishingly accurate portrayal of ours. That information is collected and sold to the highest bidder and, more often than not, used in ways that do not benefit us.
We shouldn’t need to choose between privacy and technology. Technology is a tool that should work for us, not against us. It is not inherently negative, but the main business model that most of the Internet is propped up on does not prioritize the interests of you or our society.
Let’s use Gmail as an example. It’s a free product that allows you to send and receive mail through a user-friendly interface. It's accessible nearly anywhere in the world and you don’t have to pay one cent for this account at its most basic level. But there is no such thing as something for nothing. In the fine print, Google claims access to your emails for a myriad of unnecessary and insufficient reasons. Your privacy is the cost of these products.
Most people don’t believe we can go through life without getting tracked by data harvesters or the government. But that’s what data vultures want you to think. Even worse, they want you to believe that what they are doing is good.
Since I started this project, Facebook leaked over half a billion users’ information. Big tech companies are not held responsible for data breaches the way that they ought to be.
What happens to our private information and how it’s used is like learning about The Matrix. Once you see it, you can’t unsee it.
That’s why I started to find out how we could do more than protect ourselves. We must protest the surveillance economy in favor of more ethical approaches to personal data use. I want to show that resistance is not futile, it’s essential.
The data vultures are circling but it is my goal to use this newsletter to show you why your privacy is worth fighting for and discover the tools to reclaim it. These are the things that data harvesters and some of the biggest companies in America don’t want you to know.
Together, we can reclaim what is ours and work towards a future of technology for good.
First Steps: What Browser Are You Using?
Google Chrome is far and away the world’s most-used web browser. Google, being the data collection behemoth that it is, does not have your privacy as its top priority. So, switching browsers can be one of the quickest and simplest ways that you can start to regain your privacy.
One of the more popular privacy-focused browsers is Brave. The browser boasts 3x the speed of Chrome thanks to built-in shields that block ads and trackers.
Opera is another good choice and it even has a built-in Virtual Private Network (VPN) function. You’re more secure with this on, but the extra function does noticeably slow down the browser.
Tor is the most secure and private, especially paired with a VPN, but law enforcement is wary of Tor users. While they can’t see what you’re doing, they know that you’re using the service.
5 Browsers That Value Your Privacy More Than Google Chrome:
2. Mozilla Firefox
1. Tor Browser
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