Hi Peeps. I know I had a Friday Fairytale thing running and it fell apart with the death of my soulmate. It may come back but I’m actually not ready yet to retake writing. (Many reasons, the most obvious being that so much of him is in those stories, and I have a commitment to complete the Solar Wind / Shooting Star saga before getting fully stuck into something else.)
So I thought, to start a new blog tradition for this site, why not discuss an idea every Friday? Fridays are interesting, traditionally they were my homeschool holidays (we always finished all the work in the first 4 days of the week); they also have a special meaning to the Studio, I didn’t teach on Fridays because people missed their lessons too often – instead I made Saturdays a solid teaching day. This split weekend has been working for us for years.
The idea I’d like to bring to the table today:
Privacy online, a data company’s interesting take on it – and my take on that 😀
My regular blogfriends know that debates are always welcomed here. I’m inviting you to pepper this concept with everything that comes to mind. It’s like an open discussion group.
Little P’kaboo Update:
After the beautiful love story “The Blue Between” is now in print in Durban, it is in the process of being processed to Amazon and Smashwords. I would love to ask for a round of applause for our wonderful associate in SA, Les, who pulled off the entire paper publishing route of this book alone. And how beautiful it is! Annemarie Luck is a super writer, the story is one of those who sparkle their way into a heart. Her cover artist did a fantastic job too, and between her and Les we now have this:
Congratulations, Annemarie Luck, and well done TEAM!!
And now our Thinktank topic.
…sounds like a contradiction in terms.
Ten years back we all understood this. “Online” is a public platform. Privacy consisted of taking a pseudonym / pen name, and only saying online what you wouldn’t hesitate to say out loud to a crowd in a market square.
Like, for instance, “I’m an author and I’ve written a series that’s all about pirates in a futuristic setting. Any takers?” That’s perfectly good. You wouldn’t dream of posting something like “my boss seduced his secretary last night”. Of course not!
We were naturally suspicious of anyone who wanted to take our personal details. What does some stranger want with my phone number? Rob me or stalk me?
Ten years have gone and defenses have been dropped. Facebook spread the vibe that “I have nothing to hide so I can post my entire private life on Facebook”, and “honest people don’t need to hide behind a ‘fake’ account or alias”.
Actually honest people do need to. What are they hiding their data from? Criminals. I have to think of Kaa from the Jungle Book, singing “Trust in Me” to Mowgli, when Facebook calls on people to delete ‘fake’ accounts or insists on them using the name on their birth certificate. By what right, anyway? Who are they? The law allows me to take as many pen and artist pseudonyms as I like; I could even legally change my name from what it was on my birth certificate. These days, you can even sign contracts legally as an alias! (https://www.quora.com/What-is-a-non-disclosure-agreement-Can-I-sign-one-with-a-pen-name-pseudonym-if-I-wish-to-protect-my-identity)
But fast-forward, and through countless channels all the data a thorough crook would need on you is all available online. Remember that all data, all programming is really 0’s an 1’s on a very fundamental level; a criminal capable of machine code can override any program that exists, and break into the data servers of any company. There is only one operating system that is resistant to that (literally, “unhackable”), but it is not commercially available. So how to protect billions of people from the massive data heists and smaller hacking, stalking and targeting crimes?
GDPR is Europe’s way of trying to unscramble that egg. The data are already online. Everybody’s personal data. Who put them there? You did yourself! So now we need laws. (Not that laws ever stopped real criminals. They just keep the bored teenagers out.)
There’s a company that came up with a protective app, called “digi.me”.
Here is how they explain how they plan to protect you (even from themselves) :
It’s a cool vision.
Better even, that someone cares enough to write a whole program to try and protect people from data mining (by, ironically, data-mining first).
My 3pence worth (there was inflation) :
… someone wrote an option into that program, that wherever it finds the data online, it first pulls it to your personal computer (not “private cloud”, another oxymoron), and then permanently deletes it where it found it?
What if every private internet user, every person like you, or me, were to use this program do delete their entire internet history and personal data?
We’ve had a bit more than a decade (ok I know the internet has been around longer, but the social mass media only started up around then) to get used to what the internet does with our valuable data. That a criminal can track my child to her school or home or friend via her own smartphone. Wouldn’t it be a great idea for everyone to have a second shot, this time be judicious what to share, because we already know how deep the corruption can run? What would happen to the internet if…?
People would actually deal with humans again instead of programs. Corruption would become traceable again. One could learn again who is trustworthy. Old-fashioned concepts. Worked for centuries.
And everybody’s private network of connections is everyone’s private network of connections. Not everybody’s shared connections with everyone else. Sharing is nice – if you are sharing your lunch with your friend. Not if you’re sharing out your friend to advertising companies for eBay. Without even knowing it or having any choice.
How would the internet have to adjust? Who’s up for discussing this a little? 😉