I’ve talked before about digital privacy — among other places, here and here and don’t forget here — but after making some choices then to help myself (and the ongoing effort to help my family) get some of that, I find myself coming around to revisit it again. A bit of a freshening up, as it were.
I recently, completely accidentally, discovered the podcast Firewalls Don’t Stop Dragons, which is a blog and podcast combo about digital security and privacy. I’ve only listened to one full podcast episode so far, posted four years back, about annual Data Privacy Day (January 28). What it means and is and represents and some calls to action to help lock down your data from it getting into the hands of not just people but companies who could (and do) exploit it. I mean, let’s face it: There’s a reason Facebook and Google, as just two examples, each make hundreds of billions of dollars a year, and it’s not by letting you keep and control your personal data.
That older episode of the podcast referenced a TedTalk by Glenn Greenwald specifically addressing digital privacy and why it matters and why we should all care about it. It’s a 2014 clip but if anything has only become more timely and relevant. Whether you think you’re in control of your data and just want to reinforce why you do, or don’t care about your data and are ready to learn why you really should, take the 20-odd minutes to watch the full video.
Fun fact Greenwald reveals: Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who stated that ‘Anything you do with the expectation of no one seeing you is perhaps something you shouldn’t be doing,’ found his own privacy invaded, much to his dislike, when the online publisher CNET issued a lot of personal information about him that was found exclusively through Google searches and using other Google products.
So your privacy shouldn’t matter to you, but his does to him.
Guess he learned the hard way that there’s actually something to this privacy thing after all.