2020, right? It’s a thing. Just saying the year out loud seems to evoke feelings from people who don’t typically catch feelings… Pandemics aside, the loss of our digital privacy seems to be viewed as collateral damage.
It’s extremely important for current and future generations that as the world evolves we don’t give up on maintaining our sense of privacy. There are many rapid digital privacy changes happening right now from Section 230 to the advent of contact tracing. Apple launched a pop-up window for iPhones that asks people for their permission to be tracked by different apps, and even Facebook has said that it has hundreds of its engineers working on new methods of showing ads that don’t rely on people’s personal data. And although Google announced plans to disable a tracking technology in its Chrome web browser, that doesn’t mean the company will stop collecting or using your data.
Despite the fact we know that our privacy is being trampled upon, it doesn’t mean we don’t get to fight back. I’ve always believed in the pendulum theory. We swing one way, then another, and eventually we end up finding middle ground. The same is true for our digital privacy.
The biggest thing I would like people to understand about privacy is that we view our mobile phones as a means of supplying information when this is not exactly true. Your smartphone takes as much information from you as it gives, if not more so. Every app, every tap, every web page you hit is meticulously tracked, and so using tools like secure web browsers with incognito mode, for example, are always a good way to counteract the egregious affronts to our digital privacy.
I have been doing professional TV appearances for a few years now and I’ve spoken about privacy more than any other topic because complacency is the enemy. Educating people on ways to fight back is something I am very passionate about.
Please enjoy some of my latest TV segments on the topic…
- KHOU Houston, Channel 11 – Easy Ways to Protect Your Privacy Online
- Cleveland WKYC NBC – Keeping Your Online Presence Private
- Fox 47 News – Keeping Your Privacy While Working from Home
For more information about me, my writing, or for more past appearances, please visit my personal page: AnneAholaWard.com
Follow the great work the EFF is doing every day.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2020 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness in December 2021.