A place to discuss privacy and freedom in the digital world.
Privacy has become a very important issue in modern society, with companies and governments constantly abusing their power, more and more people are waking up to the importance of digital privacy.
In this community everyone is welcome to post links and discuss topics related to privacy.
- Posting a link to a website containing tracking isn’t great, if contents of the website are behind a paywall maybe copy them into the post
- Don’t promote proprietary software
- Try to keep things on topic
- If you have a question, please try searching for previous discussions, maybe it has already been answered
- Reposts are fine, but should have at least a couple of weeks in between so that the post can reach a new audience
- Be nice :)
much thanks to @gary_host_laptop for the logo design :)
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lol I was going to write this
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My parents and siblings got it this way: I explained them that if for example I had to buy myself a health insurance in the near future, I might pay a premium because the insurance company could know our family medical history, just because we were discussing it on some sketchy messaging platform.
Yeah that scared me.
Maybe start by not calling them “normies” .-.
If you want to get the attention of a group of people and expose your ideas to them, it’s generally not great to address them as some funny nickname lol.
Anyways, regarding the question itself, I try to probe whoever I want to expose the pro-privacy ideals before actually approaching them, in case we don’t know each other already. Just try to see what they value a lot (their country, their money, their time, etc) and present cases that, in a way, “exploit” those aspects. The word is strong and it kinda sounds bad, but it’s crucial to filter out information when first introducing someone to something new; you can’t just dump a whole wagon of facts and pros/cons into someone, as they will most likely just be bored and leave. Probe and play your cards accordingly.
Another thing is to make comparisons between digital and physical scenarios, where the latter would be unacceptable by today’s standards, while the former happens all the time. Stuff like “Would you be comfortable with having a government official and a Google/Apple employee sit right next to you every time you meet with friends and have a chat? Would you be comfortable with them taking note of every single thing, even the most deep, personal or controversial topics? Would you be comfortable with them then using those notes to shamelessly exploit you financially, and by other means?”, and so on.
You should also argument that the ruthless algorithms that drive the major social platforms nowadays are, without a shadow of a doubt, extremely effective at their purpose: keep you tethered to the service. The amount of time we, in general, spend (or waste; depends on the case and point of view) mindlessly scrolling on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, and the likes, is stupidly large. Ask them if they have a hobby they’d like to have more time to do, or a new skill they’d like to learn, etc, then ask how much time they spend on social media, and if it is quality time. Try make them realize that the platform is way too good at spoonfeeding them low-quality, filler content, and that that is ultimately bad for their health and habits.
Another side effect of the effectiveness of these algorithms is that anything ideological becomes extremely polarized, like politics. Our natural bias allied with the deep knowledge of our interests possessed by the complex digital brain that drives big social media platforms is a rather destructive combo. People tend to like things that go with what they already believe, and these platforms feed us with stuff we like and follow. It’s a vicious cycle. This is, as we know, a major problem in the USA, where, on top of having just two parties (representing completely opposing sides of the political spectrum), you have the “invisible” forces of social media polarizing the scenery even further.
Additionally, you can explore the idea that governments are not always the same, and history has proven that oppressive regimes can occur and that they make heavy use of information. Every detail counts when a group of people with power want to marginalize smaller communities (be it races, religions, genders, ideologies, etc). Lending all our information all our lives (some people don’t even know another reality) to governments is, essentially, dangerously playing with fire. One can talk of governments as one can talk of big corporations, driven by interests other than their customers’ well being and rights.
This also ties into the problem of centralization of power and how that is, in some ways, very much against the concept of democracy, a right fought time and time again throughout history. Explain to them that these platforms can change their policies and modus operandi (and some are living examples of it), and either start doing the oppression themselves, or leak information to institutions that will (again, remember dictatorships and the like).
And it doesn’t just have to be oppression of minorities, it can very well also be exploitation of their users’ content for their own benefit. Take YouTube as an example; it sometimes has rather shady reasons to demonetise content creators, but no one can really do anything about it, since Google’s platform is by far the biggest stage for video creators to share their works. Sure you can try using Vimeo, or any of these newer and more open platforms such as PeerTube, LBRY and removedute, but will you ever be as successful, with the same content, as you’d be on YouTube? Of course not, and this is a huge problem.
The Internet and World Wide Web were conceived as an open and decentralized network of services, yet what we have today is essentially a handful of websites, controlled by a bunch of USA corporations. Search? Google. Videos? Google. Social media? Facebook and Twitter. Music? Spotify and Apple. News? Google and Reddit. Movies and series? Netflix (and some other newer ones). Maps? Google. Chat? Facebook and Discord. Shopping? Amazon. Hosting? Amazon, Google, Microsoft. Operating system? Microsoft, Apple and Google. Even email, an amazing technology, living proof that decentralized systems are pretty cool, can be summed up into Google and Microsoft. This is not alright.
As a last resort, you could also make the argument that all this shady data gathering makes programs heavier (both in storage and computing power), thus making your devices overall slower. However, this is, in most cases, a feeble argument.
I hope this helps you in any way, shape or form, and if anyone disagrees, please comment, as I’m glad to discuss the matter.
I may add more stuff if I remember, I’m sure I’m forgetting basic things :P
Edit: some language corrections. also, I had a brainfart and left a paragraph half written o_O
Imo you can’t really. If someone is interested then you can offer to help them but i find that most people simply do not care.
I recently decided to divest from the apple ecosystem and nearly all my friends and family are imessage users. I invited most to join me on signal and a lot did.
how do you get people to care about global warming? they do. but they don’t really get it. or they don’t care.
it’s similar type of ignorance that you need to engineer around.
Recently I started employing a simple two step aproach. People ask for my for my contact on a popular proprietary communication network and I simply responde that (1) I am not part of this network, and that (2) I use a better one called matrix. I try to convince them that it is a cool app using arguments adapted to the situation.
Other times, if the person is reasonable—a lot of people throw reason and common sense out of the window—I say that I did not accept the terms and conditions to this app and that it did not let me use it. From there I explain what I do not accept, and why using Matrix and Fediverse is acceptable for me and probablt them too, and how it improves privacy andand personal data control. If the person is interested enough or says that either has nothing to hide or is not so important to be tracked, I explain how are manipulated to make money for profit driven companies at the expense of their mental, physical and financial well being. Suggesting movies and documentaries, real life example helps a lot.
What movies and docs do you recommend?
Recently the “The Social Dilemma” which is kinda both. A documentary call “Confessions of a Time Traveler - The Man from 3036” weather the story is true or not, we are heading in a similar direction. And probably any cyberpunk movie.
Here’s one that’s pretty good. https://www.thesocialdilemma.com/ - it’s on Netflix.
Ill see it, thanks.
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We already discussed this a lot, e.g. in your topic here: How can we convince normies that their privacy is important?
“if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear”, that’s just how normies operate
But I’m not black so I don’t have anything to fear! 🙃
My first impulse was to reply that normies have a mindset that doesn’t want to embrace new things/concepts or to go against the crowd. Then, I reflected for a minute, and realized that i personally change my habits most when I realize that CHOICE and MONEY can be affected because of privacy. EX: Supposedly, based on which online subscriptions or searches you do, your hotel and airline fees can be higher (they know you likely can afford to pay more). We all like keeping our money when possible and not being the sucker who is tricked into paying more than others. As far as choice is concerned, if my online history is leaked, I may have less of a choice about which landlord rents to me, which school or private club I am accepted into, which company will hire me… You can be put on private vigilante-type lists for the comments you make online. With the population getting more easily offended by the day, what may be a somewhat acceptable word or statement today may be seen as sheer blasphemy in the near future.
Great point! Money speaks. Who wouldn’t mind saving some extra cash?
I tend to tell people who are not convinced that privacy is important these things:
I used to make everybody in my friend group paranoid. I told everything happening currently and what would happen in the future with the world, then after being the embodiment of anxiety I tell them how to avoid it. Apparently I’m very convincing, they agreed that this was scary, and they’re willing to use matrix to speak with me.
since I my deepest fears when I was little was being watched. I thought about this alot, and I kept searching about privacy on the internet, at one point I couldn’t sleep because of intel management engine on my thinkpad. I’m well informed about these stuff.
However, my friends are ambitious people that feel importance in themselves. Those kinds of people are smarter and willing to do what they can to better their chances at life. The more a person don’t care about themselves, the harder it is. (it may be also that It’s a coping mechanism)
I improved my speaking skills since I’ve gone through trial and error. I think there’s no other way to truly learn convincing people other than trying to do it first-hand.
There is a youtube channel called charisma on command. You can feel alot less pressure knowing a thing or two about charisma.
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True. I believe the correct term is just “people”, and that includes you and me!
Yeah I don’t care about privacy either
But “ignorant fuckwits” doesn’t go down terribly well either.
I don’t think we can easily. But we can gently push them into the direction of privacy focused apps and show how easy and similar they are to proprietary software. And then you can always mention the privacy aspect.
Many people know and are concerned, but feel helpless to stop it or guard against it.
Helping them see that it isn’t an all-or-nothing task seems smart. Even improving their privacy by 5% each year may add up. I personally put it off because I thought it was too hard, so broke the tasks down into smaller chunks. I still need to get rid of Google and at least stop commenting on Youtube so much - especially on controversial topics. But, allowing myself to climb this privacy mt. everest step-by-step is what allowed me to begin. Its a daunting task considering new tracking tactics are created so often now. Techlore’s channel on YT is how I begun - he breaks it down in a cute, simplistic way.
I feel that once the data is out there, you can’t put it back in the bag.