cross-posted from: https://lemmy.ml/post/151310

tldr

I struggle to find balance between wanting privacy in my day-to-day, and wanting to use the newest and greatest services and products.

Pretext

This post is meant to drum up some discussion that I feel is often lost on privacy focused communities. It’s about the nexus between privacy and modern technology. I hope I don’t sound like an idiot, I still consider myself a novice at technological privacy.

I’m a fairly privacy concerned individual, not for any particular reason other than that I feel it’s my right, my data, and I should have the say over who gets to see/use it. Especially when I’m paying for a service. I find that at times, I am more privacy oriented than others. I have a Google Pixel 4 that I’ve used Lineage OS on for a while. I’ve bought an old thinkpad and have a a linux distro running on that as well. I also have, an iPhone, a Macbook, and a desktop PC used primarily for work/gaming that is running Windows 10. EDIT: I also want to recognize my privilege to be able to choose between all these devices. Not everyone can switch around so freely.

Every few weeks I tend to flip coins on the matter. Some weeks I really just want the ease of everything working, quick google searches, iMessage, polished operating systems, etc. Other weeks I want to be a total privacy nut and clamp down on all of my traffic, pop my SIM into my Lineage Pixel, and do my work on my laptop for a while.

Conversation

I want to know if anyone else goes through these types of moodswings like I do? I also want to hear your stories on how you went all the way and never looked back, or tried to and ended up somewhere in the middle. All of this back and forth for me has made me a much more privacy minded person, and the non-privacy focused products I used are about as clamped down as possible - but that’s not saying much.

@kakapo@sopuli.xyz
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10 hilabete

Apologies, I originally intended to write a longer response but had too many tabs open, which ended up crashing by browser, lol.

It’s hard to be 100% with these things, but saying “no” to bad practices even once is an improvement over nothing, so keep that in mind.

We are also creatures of habit, so I would encourage you to try to challenge yourself into using the things you’d like to be using for a longer while to see if it sticks. For me, this was easy, because I was forced into daily driving Linux and so on for years due to just not having the budget for the newest Apple products or whatever, and when someone gave me a newer computer that came with Windows 8 or something, I didn’t find any real use for it and it kept gathering dust until I installed Linux on it too.

And because social circles are really important too, I think you’ll find it really encouraging to hear that due to my “dedication” to this matter, almost everyone I care about has actually already followed me to alternatives like Matrix, so I can contact almost everyone with E2EE these days! :)

If you still find yourself feeling limited after something like that, I think if I were in your situation, I might consider running Windows inside Qubes OS or something, though maybe not for gaming due to the performance costs associated with virtualization.

@testingthis@lemmy.ml
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110 hilabete

I think the more we can say “no”, the faster things can come full circle to the benefit of everyone. This will happen eventually anyway, but we can speed it up. The abhorrent secret practices that so many tech companies have mistakenly convinced themselves as acceptable will not be sustainable in the long term – “The cloud” will not be the easiest option forever, and it was unfortunate for us to have have been tricked into that path for some years now.

Jesse
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110 hilabete

Thanks for sharing your story! A bit of an update, I’ve actually sold my macbook on ebay last night, and purchased an older Gen 1 thinkpad extreme. I’m gonna slap an ubuntu lts or kde neon (not sure yet, I really like both equally and kde neon is just ubuntu with a kde). I have also switched all of my work tasks to foss this week. I’ve been doing all my writing in libreoffice writer, etc. My plan to to make my windows desktop and my linux laptop interchangeable. My only hurdle is that I do most of my work straight off of OneDrive. Need something similar for linux, and I used to use a open source written cli for onedrive that worked really well - as long as you didn’t forget to sync through the cli before you left your house haha. Any tips? It’s a minor inconvenience really. Alternative would honestly just be to use a portable ssd. That way I actually own my data.

@kakapo@sopuli.xyz
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010 hilabete

Good luck with your experiment!

Admittedly, I rarely need OneDrive, so I’ve usually just accessed it with my browser when I’ve had to. Physical memory has gotten pretty cheap these days though, so as long as it’s encrypted with a sufficiently strong passphrase, the SSD might not be a bad idea!

If appropriate, there are also a few options like Nextcloud, but I’m under the impression that the E2EE feature on it is a bit experimental at the moment, so I wouldn’t use it for anything critical right now.

As for trying to make OneDrive itself work better, all I could find was this thread where it was mentioned that the CLI client should come with an automatic syncing feature (the --monitor flag). Have you tried that yet? Fortunately, it seems that Microsoft has been porting a few of their services like Teams to Linux lately (thank god, because I actually need to use that one regularly for work), so maybe one day an official app will be available for OneDrive as well.

Jesse
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110 hilabete

Holy shit I have not tried the --monitor flag! I think you just solved my problem.

@TheAnonymouseJoker@lemmy.ml
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-110 hilabete

Hopefully you are getting some more quality discussion :D

Jesse
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110 hilabete

Haha, yes, good recommendation.

Lionel C-R
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210 hilabete

I can’t say I went all the way but I think I’m past the middle.

I try as much as possible to own the tools I use through self-hosting (mail, mastodon, pixelfed, matrix, lemmy, blog, cloud, firefox sync, photo hosting, rss, …) and when it’s not possible I choose privacy-oriented ones but sometimes floss alternatives just aren’t good enough and I won’t/can’t sacrifice the required efficiency.

That’s the case for search engines, I use my own searx instance but sometimes I just can’t find what I’m looking for so I switch to google for those.

My biggest issue is that I could not find an alternative that suits me to Youtube, I like peertube but there isn’t enough content for me and I don’t have the resources to host it (to control the federation settings).

As for android, I used to bother with aosp projects in the past but I don’t have the time anymore so I just rooted my device and disabled as much junk as I could and use f-droid as much as possible.

Jesse
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210 hilabete

That last bit about the android is exactly what I’ve done. I’ve followed @TheAnonymouseJoker@lemmy.ml’s guide on hardening an Android and I found it super useful. As for a YouTube alternative, I also agree. The content is just too good on YouTube, but luckily more of the niche creators I follow are on Peertube.

Jesse
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210 hilabete

I got a lot of good interaction over on c/privatelife, and felt that this conversation could benefit from being expanded on here in c/privacy.

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