We already know “they” have our personal data. So, what comes next?
It was 2010 when I got my first iPhone, an used but mostly new one coming from my big sister. Everything seemed so exciting, new and futuristic. I was creating accounts inside all cool networks I could find. Facebook was already with me, but any kind of fun social thing would get my email and other info that didn’t sound at all harmful back then.
Years passed. As a journalism student (class of 2014), I was online all the time and the internet was my work place. As a young adult, the internet was my amusement park, and the “share” button a way to validate who I was and what I believed in. As a young adult leaving my mom’s house, the internet was (and still is) my tool box.
Access your bank account, the easiest way to finish a purchase (pay it with a click), buy this, buy that, sign up to get 10% off, sign up to get free shipping, sign up to know more, give all the data to apply for a job, a scholarship, a prize, a freelance gig, sign up to buy your tickets, click here if you want to remember your password for this website, enable geolocation, download an app to count your steps, help you exercise, drink water, compare prices.
My old and abandoned hotmail account holds more than 18k emails, with spam going up until where the eye can catch a sight. Companies that got my permission to email me represented around 20% of all the crap I have in there. All the rest? From penis augmentation tools to weight loss pills, there’s a world of companies and bots that had access to my data without me even knowing.
Paranoid much? Yes. Fast forward to 2018 and we are finally (FINALLYYYY!) realizing — even if it’s via scandals — that our personal data matters, that it’s money and safety, and mostly, it’s OURS.
Going around Medium, I came across this short and extremely useful piece:
So it’s not even about being “paranoid” anymore. Putting a sticker over your webcam isn’t exaggeration, and looking out for other ways of “staying social” but secure is a quite plausible thing to do. Yes, we reached a point where we are not even thinking about leaving Facebook for the “next cool thang”, instead, we are leaving it for the option that will better safeguard our data.
On this piece, Robert Epstein gives some useful and easy tips on how to start taking matters into your own hands. But besides that, it showcases some new and others not that new companies that are promising privacy at it’s best. So, is “paranoia = fuel?”.
The answer is yes. But at the same time it’s really important to transform the “freak out moment” that comes when we realize that Google has access to all of our emails content and actual steps into intelligence and practical actions.
[Sad face] But is all this fear bad for the tech industry?
OF COURSE NOT!
The answer to this both technological and commercial puzzle now, is to treat people’s data with radical and total transparency. Also, new startups, fintechs, entrepreneurs and for sure big corporations will have to be water, my friend. Adapting isn’t easy, and facial recognition is not as fun as it once seemed, but for sure there’s a rich and creative path to be taken in there.
Between companies trying to extract every bit of information out of us in order to profit, and half scared half angry clients/users, there’s where the beauty of innovation lies.