Today every single site on the web is talking about your online privacy protection and taking the oath that they will take more than gold.
But do you think they do that? Not sure? No problem, let me solve this query.
Online Privacy Protection: Truth or Myth?
Before answering this question, let’s find how exactly these things work.
At first, let’s talk about your smartphone and its applications. This is because your smartphone is the main door of your online privacy breach.
Have you ever paid attention to the pop-up while installing any app from the Play Store?
If yes, then you might have noticed that many apps ask for absolutely irrelevant permission. For example, a flashlight app asks for permission to access your contacts.
Now, the question is, what is the need for contacts to switch on or off the flashlight?
I wonder when I see apps asking all available permissions that are directly related to our privacy.
But who cares? I need that app, and so, give all permission that it is asking for. This is our mentality.
Now, talking about popular and so-called trusted sites like Facebook, Google, etc. What do you think?
Are these sites safe?
According to a Pew Research report: If you set the privacy setting “Who can see my stuff” to “Friends of a friend, you share information with 156, 569 people.
Well, I wasn’t sure before the Cambridge Analytica data breach case. But, now I’m 100% sure that our data is not safe.
And the sad part is Google and Facebook know about you more than you and your relatives.
Let’s see what they collect.
Recently a new study report from Gizmodo says that Facebook is creating “Shadow Profile” of those people who haven’t shared their information on their own.
Facebook is doing this by integrating user contact information to increase the accuracy of their ads.
Do you know why Facebook, Google or other websites/apps collect your real-time location data?
Well, let’s understand this by an incident that happened to me.
One day I visited a showroom of a certain brand. When I returned home, I noticed that I saw ads only of that particular brand or related products everywhere.
But it’s not the end. I often get notification from Google maps like Hey Deepak! Recently you visited this place, how was it?
It can be plenty good to feel at that time.
But It is astonishing and shocking in terms of online privacy protection because I don’t want anyone to monitor where I go and whom I meet.
Personal data? What type of personal data? And what would they do of my personal data? These are some questions that people ask when say all websites collect personal data of users.
So, does personal data mean the name, date of birth, etc.?
Yes, but they collect more than just name, gender, and date of birth, etc.. It can be your relationship status, hobbies, browsing behaviour, shopping behaviour, favourites, interests, health status, Your Facial Data, and much more.
Facebook also collects data from other devices connected to your network. That means even if you are not using Facebook, but Facebook is still watching you.
These are all done to show you specific ads based on your interests and behaviour and more targeted ads.
Audio and Video.
Here is what former FBI director said when someone asked why he uses tape to cover his laptop camera:
“I hope people lock their cars,” he said. “Lock your doors at night… if you have an alarm system, you should use it.”
“It’s not crazy that the FBI director cares about personal security as well,” “So I think people ought to take responsibility for their safety and security,” the FBI director added.
Apps with access permission to your camera and microphone can switch on the camera and mic anytime without your knowledge. And can do what they want to do like clicking photos, recording videos, and audios.
For example, have you tried virtual assistants like Ok Google, Alexa? How do they work?
When you say Ok Google! It gets active and starts replying to your queries. It means it is listening to you even when you are not using your phone.
Can’t it record those audio sounds?
Of course, yes! These apps can record audios and videos, make calls, delete files, and a lot.
Now tell me how private you are?
Where is your online privacy?
A former Detective at St Louis Metropolitan Police in answer to a Quora question explained how you could be tracked even if your phone is switched off. He said:
If your phone is connected to a power source…i.e., the Battery or the car charger, it can be “tracked” continually. It doesn’t matter if the power is on or off the phone is connected to a power source will continue to “ping” the nearest cell tower and be handed off from one to the next as you travel.
And, he is not the only one who said this.
An Americal hacktivist Edward Snowden also said:
Government Can Access Everything On Your Cell Phone Even If It’s Turned Off! And the irony is that they can do all these without your service provider’s knowledge.
Millions of data breach incidents happen behind us, but we are totally unaware of it.
“76.20% of the total breach in 2018 was done through social media.” So, ask yourself where your online privacy protection lies.
When you monitor your apps’ behaviour, you’ll notice that your apps are spying on you instead of helping. We think Facebook; Google is free, the Internet is free.
But, the reality is that nothing is free. Some are selling their own products, and some are selling us as their product.
And that’s why people in developed countries like the USA started Delete Facebook campaigns to make them realize their fault.
In my opinion, Online privacy protection is just a myth, and we should accept it. What do you think about online privacy? Leave your answer in the comments.
And.. the most crucial thing share this post to them who think they are safe online.