There Are Three Types of Privacy Nerds
Some digital consumers have placed a piece of tape across their webcam – and perhaps even across the microphone. Some buy smartphone covers, which can prevent access to the phone via wifi and bluetooth signals or clothes preventing cameras from recognizing them through facial recognition software. While others – actually hundreds of millions – use adblockers that prevents cookies from being placed on their gadgets, or have purchased a VPN-service, so they can control their location and protect their communication.
What they all have in common is that they engage in a form of digital self-defense to avoid the massive collection of their personal data. But there is a big difference how much control they actually have on their privacy, because it is demanding to maintain a private life and get reasonably control over one’s own personal data in the digital era.
As privacy becomes more and more in demand, we see different versions of privacy strategies. Everything from the hardcore to those who perhaps can barely use an adblocker. But one thing is certain; when analyzing the recent consumer surveys, we see that consumers are not only concerned about their privacy. They have also begun to act.
We see three different kinds of privacy nerds.
There are the hardcores, who follow what Edward Snowden recommends. That is for example emal services, where not even the police with a warrant can obtain access as they are based on so-called zero-knowledge; the don’t keep any data, they erase it on the go. Or they use the TOR browser from a Linux operating system, with VPN and with a fake identity, so their browser behavior can not be traced and are in line with top criminals. That is totally okay to do. We all have the right to privacy. Privacy is a universal human right, and it’s certainly not just criminals who have a right to privacy peace.
Then we have the group I will call the Fakers – this is the group I belong to. They try to spread their tracks, obfuscate, confuse algorithms and keep what they find private completely away from the digital world, or at least away from their real name, but in turn promote their professional digital identity. It may be that they use pseudonyms on social media that they do not use professionally, such as Facebook and Instagram who both over consume and capitalize on our personal data and hide it in endless hard-to-understand privacy policies, which are constantly changing. They might use a variety of tools such as VPN-services, where they can encrypt their communications and even determine their IP address so their location will not be revealed (and they can get cheaper rates by searching from cheaper countries).
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