Who owns the data you generate? That is a basic question that anyone that uses the internet, or an electronic device in gneral for that matter, should be asking themselves.
When I snap a photo on my iPhone, use Instagram to edit the photo, then upload it to Twitter, who owns the photo? Who can reprint it? Who can look at it?
Here’s another example; if I take a picture, upload it to Facebook, and then someone extracts the metadata from that photo to find out where I like to hang out, is that illegal?
Data is what everyone wants: companies want data to better sell us more products, law enforcement wants data to know where individuals of interest are and what they are doing, theives want data to know who might not be home or what valuables you may have. Data is everything.
In my work I see people everyday that are worried about the wrong things. Worried that people are watching them from their cellphone cameras. Worried that the NFC chip in their phones are leaking financial data. Worried that the their fingerprint will fall into someone else’s hands. Meanwhile, no concern is given to the fact that their password is easily guessable, that they use unsecured wifi, that they have no passcode on their phone. The important inconveniences are ignored, while the vauge theoretical possibilities are focused upon.
Having control of our data should be at the forefront of any discussion on rights in the 21st century. A free society also means a private society. Saying you have nothing to hide is a fallacy; being private means not having to disclose which park your children play at, what you bought from Amazon, which cat videos you choose to watch, or what conversations you had with your significant other.
It isn’t about stopping terrorism. It isn’t about catching kidnappers. And it isn’t about bringing you services.
It is about your data.
We have given up so much already, why do we shrug our collective shoulders and walk away when it comes to the data that forms our very lives.
So, what happened this week?
- On the above topic, for the United States, if I may encourage you to write your representitives! Just check here. Also, register to vote! It is primary season, and it is an election year.
- I finished my 4-Part story this week. Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.
- Continuing my coffee recommendations from last week, if you are ever in San Luis Obispo, CA, please check out Bello Mundo. A surprising amount of this blog has been written there.
Good luck this week everyone.