Hi, I recently have started caring less about privacy and fell for convenience as I installed and started using Google and Huawei apps and services on my phone.
I am not sure what shifted my mind, I no longer feel like the companies are up to no good and that they spy on me in particular in harmful way. This might be because my mental illness has gotten better, which made me paranoid with some other things too.
Wanted to hear your thoughts regarding this decision and privacy, free software and mass surveillance. Am I being a fool “giving up” ? I know its important that journalists and politicians have privacy, but does it matter to me that I’m no longer sure of.
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.
much thanks to @gary_host_laptop for the logo design :)
Update: I did not feel good with so many apps relaying on cloud and how invasive they were connecting to google account, I went back to more private setup by removing gapps. However I kept some proprietary apps like Google translate and text-to-speech and Huawei health, those apps seem to work fine with revoked internet access, only negative is HMS(huwei mobile services) said it does wifi scanning and it was not possible to disable (unless revoking internet disabled it). Also I wonder how dangerous is Phone permission…
No, definitely not.
You’re making a decision, and at the moment you decided to stay relaxed and enjoy those products. While privacy is undoubtedly an important matter, it is no life or death question.
I had a similar problem in the past. I was constantly looking for privacy discussions, was a lot concerned about every single app and product I had installed on my phone or on my computer.
I started being more relaxed when I actually realized I had to use privacy products not because they’re private, but because they’re inherently better in a lot of ways. Then I tried to switch, slowly but steadily, on FOSS solutions. Those are free to use, free to inspect and free to modify, and they will rarely betray the user. At first it wasn’t simple, but I was becoming more and more productive on those new platforms.
In the end, I’m very happy with private products, but of course, because they work very well. Just be balanced and don’t be too much stressed on privacy, try to focus on what matters, for example getting things done and productivity.
As a rule of thumb: if a privacy respecting product and a non-respecting product have the same features that you care about, always pick the privacy respecting one.
I think it’s better to focus on your mental health for sure. I also use Huawei and Google apps but I donate to GPL licensed privacy apps and use them with friends and family where there is interest to. I hope we’re the generation that experiences true privacy on the internet but if not we can lay the foundation for the next generation.
I think way too much importance is placed on privacy (and I’ve noticed this happens way more on the Fediverse)
I’m not saying one should deny or disregard it, bit I think it’s more important to be aware of the monopolies that exist and the power they yield as regards filtering and biasing of data.
What’s more important I think, is to realise how easily hypnotised and thus unconsciously influenced we are in all walks of life.
I think it is important for everyone to do what is in their power and knowledge level to better their privacy. If your privacy measures affect your professional or personal life, then I think you went too far. If it’s just a matter of convenience, then maybe you would want to revise that aspect and see if you go the privacy or the mainstream way.
For example, if using whatsapp is needed for work, or for communication with your family and you refuse to use it due to privacy reasons, that would be taking it a step too far. Not all of us are in the position of making such sacrifices for privacy and ethics, although I admire those who do so. But if you use Google Maps once a month and you keep using it because Osmand+'s search function is annoying to use, then you should have a look and see if you really need GMaps or not.
Privacy and how far we go to keep things to ourselves is 100% a personal (private) thing. What is most important is to be aware of how much of it we are giving away to big tech and then what they are doing with the information in order to manipulate us. We need to be able to take an informed decision on what we do with our information.
Agreed, except that privacy isn’t a 100% personal thing. Others might have more urgent privacy needs than you (for whatever reason) and are unable to hide in the mass if the majority doesn’t care about privacy.
In a sense privacy works a bit like herd immunity to take a current metaphor. Only in a general population that ensures some base level of privacy it is possible for especially vulnerable persons to have a higher level of privacy without sticking out too much.
In addition I think that people with the technological know-how have a responsibility to go ahead as a good example even if their personal privacy needs might not require it that much.
I have never thought about it this way. Not related to current comment, but whenever I hear more of “I have nothing to hide” or “I don’t care if they have my data & suggest me ads” people, it’s easy for corporations and states to do their deeds, while people who need that privacy are impacted.
By personal I was referring to privacy needs only, as in some may have a higher need / desire need for privacy than others. I must have expressed myself in a weird way. I completely agree with everything you say, especially the last point. I am trying to hit a balance between promoting private alternatives and not being “the privacy nut”.
Please refer to my threat model guide ASAP. Evaluate where you stand, and how much privscy you need. This is a fundamental mistake privacy seekers make and end up being obsessed to unhealthy or critical points mentally. https://lemmy.ml/post/34223
Thanks, your guide was helpful.
It’s a political issue more than a personal issue according to me. More a company or organization knows about you, more they’ll have power over you. If the facial recognition data would be in the hands of the state for example, the consequences can be a disaster.
I personally care a lot about it because I want to maximize my freedom as well.
Same for me. I don’t worry about anyone listening in or knowing where I go (until I do).
What I worry about is the systematic data collection and aggregation that is happening at an unfathomable scale, and what that will end up doing to global society. The amount of data is staggering. The big corporations have the ability to model and predict societal and individual trends to an unacceptable degree.
I’m not comfortable with Facebook, Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Apple controlling the global political landscape. I will have no part in it. That’s why I care about privacy. That’s why I use decentralised platforms and partly why I use Free Software.
Some people definitely have an unhealthy obsession with privacy, especially if they fall into the trap believing that social issues can be solved with technological solutions.
However, there is a big gulf between obsessing over privacy and giving up, and a lot of the more privacy preserving options are not only that but also respect you in other ways much more (no vendor lock in etc.).
Sure, they often are a bit more inconvenient, but most of the good things in life are not the easiest.
Can you give an example of obsession with privacy? And the trap in question?
That’s just misunderstanding threat models. XKCD is a comic strip and goes for cheap laughs.
Yes, for most part I still use privacy respecting free software it is better in every way. And I agree I could live fine life without bike sharing or convenient banking or apps that help me with health. But what I lose if I use those in addition to F-Droid apps, that Google knows my location, and health data is possibly being sold… The only negative to me is battery life, and possible data breaches.
I kind of just have stopped caring about it and so I am no longer able to see why I was so against it before. And this is so unlike me past ~5 years or so.
Yeah, that seems mostly fine then. Do what is best for your mental health :)
Just try to stay out of the typical vendor lock in traps and keep in mind that some data seems irrelevant individually, but can be used is unexpected ways in aggregate. For example your health data might end up negatively effecting your credit score sometimes in the future. Truth to be told though: having no data available can probably also negatively effect for credit score ;)
Thank you for saying that.