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thoughts on digital privacy

skelegorg

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personally i am disgusted by the sheer amount of corporate spying people are actively inviting into their lives every day. this is all without mentioning what the government is putting on you but people voluntarily bring in alexas and google homes and the like to their homes to listen to everything they say and do. mobile voice assistants as well- why the hell does anyone want their phone live-streaming their mic to a company 24/7. then the omnipotence of google tracking scripts and such- hell, there are even google scripts on this page.
i'd be interested to know the extent people go to try and salvage what digital privacy they can. i use duckduckgo (although i'm not happy with them after they started censoring search results) on firefox with a handful of extensions to help and my only google association at the moment is my spam gmail account i made years ago. analytic data from any service can shove it and if you block protonmail addresses then i'm out. perhaps worst of all is when a service blocks you for using a vpn or anonymizing protocol, its just taking advantage of people who don't understand what a vpn actually is and think all they do is give you japanese netflix.
generally i try to avoid closed-source software although sometimes i have no choice but to use it for school.
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i know that what i do might not get me very far but at least i'm trying. richard stallman completely rejects javascript and apparently accesses webpages through html he emails himself using a remote computer (source: his personal website). while i'm not willing to go as far as him, id rather go down with petty fighting than by just taking it.
 
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feeble_world

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i use duckduckgo although i'm not happy with them after they started censoring search results
What do you mean about censoring, could you elaborate?
 
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LincolnJames

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I'm with you, I have no idea why anyone would allow an assistant into their home or on their phones.
As for things I do, I use older tech. Old thinkpads running Linux (some with custom BIOS to neuter the management engine), keep bluetooth off at all times, never use public wifi (phone tether/ hotspot instead), and some old blackerry phones. firefox in the past but now ungoogled-chromium (some extensions: umatrix, CAD, https everywhere, localcdn, web rtc blocker, no http referrals), paid email/vpn service. searx > ddg > yandex > google. I compartmentalize my online presence, I keep an old ipad for all the crap I need to be signed in for: e.g. banking.

What do you mean about censoring, could you elaborate?
they started fucking around with results to support ukraine. something early on that they said they'd never do.
 
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mydadiscar

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What do you mean about censoring, could you elaborate?
1648022352659.jpeg

I am sure that this has no ulterior motives whatsoever and will totally end here, instead of being a slippery slope.
 
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feeble_world

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Search engines present an ordered list of results. No matter what, there will always be some algorithm that decides what goes first in the list, and what goes below it. That's how lists work. For some example query there might be a thousand results of varying usefulness and a million results of crap, and something has to sort it so that the useful stuff is at the top, otherwise it wouldn't be a very good search engine.

There has always been an algorithm that has placed some items on the list below other items.

I do agree with you that this PR announcement is mildly concerning - but my point is, this certainly isn't anything new. DDG's algorithm has always been a black box that's impossible for outsiders to know the workings of. Whatever kind of down-ranking will occur here, they have certainly deployed in the past for other websites, just without making a PR announcement about it in those cases.

As an aside, there was also that time they stopped a specific search term from turning up LITERAL CHILD PORN in the image search results. Is that censorship? Hmm ...I guess it is????
 
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LincolnJames

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As an aside, there was also that time they stopped a specific search term from turning up LITERAL CHILD PORN in the image search results. Is that censorship? Hmm ...I guess it is????
Yes but there's a big difference between csam and truth. One is illegal and one is inconvenient to the globohomo. Censorship is the term that is thrown around but I think what most people have a problem with is not censortship but the disinformation that is pushed. Althought I believe in truth and free speech, there are countless things that I would advocate for censorship. That doesn't mean that I'm pushing a certain narrative through manipulation. My dear mother uses the internet and I don't want her seeing the horrible things we cowboys saw in the early, wild west era of the internet. That doesn't mean that a certain narrative is being pushed to her. You don't need see the results of a .308 used on someone to have an understanding of the results. In this case ddg is deciding what is Rus disinfo and suppressing it. What about western disinfo? Remember kids, Putin is unhinged and mentally unfit but has somehow masterminded rigged elections in the US, the Hunter Biden laptop, etc. etc. It's all so tiresome.
 
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Mist Demodisk

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Maybe I give up too easily but I got to a point where I just can't bother to care anymore. I've hated the feeling of being watched and studied by algorithms for years, but these things are never going to change or go away.

I'm aware that solutions exist (NewPipe for YouTube for example) but they come with their own downsides that just make it too much of a headache. These solutions can also never promise to not become corrupted in the future.

Swimming against the current for so long has tired me out. I just accept that everything I do on the internet is public to some degree. Being online and having privacy are mutually exclusive.

Hello to the glowie reading this, by the way. I'm not sorry for downloading the anarchist cookbook, I was curious and it was a neat read.
 
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Jessica3cho

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Maybe I give up too easily but I got to a point where I just can't bother to care anymore. I've hated the feeling of being watched and studied by algorithms for years, but these things are never going to change or go away.

I'm aware that solutions exist (NewPipe for YouTube for example) but they come with their own downsides that just make it too much of a headache. These solutions can also never promise to not become corrupted in the future.

Swimming against the current for so long has tired me out. I just accept that everything I do on the internet is public to some degree. Being online and having privacy are mutually exclusive.

Hello to the glowie reading this, by the way. I'm not sorry for downloading the anarchist cookbook, I was curious and it was a neat read.
I relate heavily to this sentiment. If you don't want it known, don't do it online.
 
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Koshka

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People laugh at me and call me a tinfoil hat-wearer (among other things) for being so staunchly pro-privacy. Yet, every single time I ask them to tell me the difference between a peeping salesperson approaching them on the street and recommending something to them based on a conversation they overheard the person having with their spouse in the sanctity of their living room, and an advertising algorithm that did the same thing via spying on them via their phone, people always go dead silent.
 

Jessica3cho

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People laugh at me and call me a tinfoil hat-wearer (among other things) for being so staunchly pro-privacy. Yet, every single time I ask them to tell me the difference between a peeping salesperson approaching them on the street and recommending something to them based on a conversation they overheard the person having with their spouse in the sanctity of their living room, and an advertising algorithm that did the same thing via spying on them via their phone, people always go dead silent.
I think the difference is that by using the internet and these services they give permission to the algorithms to use their information for targeted advertising. Its all in the terms of service or contract, for the most part, and if it isn't it should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
I think we'd be hard pressed to find someone who went out and willingly bought a service that gave a salesperson permission to eavesdrop on their living room conversations beforehand.
 
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Koshka

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I think the difference is that by using the internet and these services they give permission to the algorithms to use their information for targeted advertising. Its all in the terms of service or contract, for the most part, and if it isn't it should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
I think we'd be hard pressed to find someone who went out and willingly bought a service that gave a salesperson permission to eavesdrop on their living room conversations beforehand.
To me it feels like people just don't realise the equivalency. No one reads terms of service anymore, and the mass-surveillance is so pervasive that it has become completely normalised. The sort of actions that you have to take just to have any chance at escaping the botnet may as well make you a raggedy lunatic hiding in a makeshift shed in the forest in the eyes of the average NORP. You are correct that no one would willingly buy a service that gave a salesperson permission to eavesdrop on them, but it feels like people mentally equate surveillance technology to be some sort of harmless faerie dust, and not the work of actual people.
 

punishedgnome

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I try to do what I can. I don't use social media. I use ungoogled chromium or Firefox, depending on the OS. I use Linux on my main machine, while maintaining a windows machine strictly for games and when I need to run Windows programs. I pirate shit instead of subscribing to services. I use a smartphone with a custom, privacy focused rom. I have a pi-hole set up as a DNS to filter trackers and ads on my home network. I'm not delusional about it, though. I know tech companies have a wealth of data on me just by virtue of me being online. I'm just going to try an ensure they have as little as possible.
 
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JihyoParkXX

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When I was a kid I've always thought that my ISP = the government and that they monitor every move I make online, like how memes depict everyone having their own FBI agent for that job. Maybe I'm being schizo but in some way I still do believe that. Amazon's algorithm seems to be very aggressive even with just browsing through the site, because of that I swear to never use their tech products. And then on the other hand for some reason Instagram sucks at its ad suggestion algorithm and it shows me irrelevant ads all the time, not really complaining though.
 
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H1ssss

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I spend a lot of my time on digital privacy, I only use "safe" software and stay away from chrome, google. It is very important to me because ive had problems with it in the past. My father was a pentester for a long time and taught me a lot of what i know. What do you guys do for privacy
 
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