A Sobering Guide To Giving A Fuck About Online Privacy
Every time I hear someone saying that they do not care about privacy because they have nothing to hide I risk a transient ischemic attack. This is the real motivation that leads me to write this essay. It is first and foremost a way to prevent an early death–either mine or that of my interlocutor. In the second instance is a rant-guide for all those of you motherfuckers that do not care about privacy. So here we go with a sobering guide to giving a fuck about your online privacy.
History Repeats Itself
Have you ever read a history book and found yourself bewildered by the fact that people keep doing the same shit getting the same shitty results? Like invading Russia during winter.
Yeah, we all think we are above all that, but are we? If you are not 100% sure, then you better think twice before you say that you have nothing to hide. Think for a moment what would happen if someone like Stalin, or Hitler could have the technological apparatus of mass surveillance that we are putting in place. Correct, you’d be fucked.
Information Is Power
Today we work, chat, journal, and engage in all sorts of activities of dubious taste, like watching videos of people helium huffing their brains into oblivion. Because we know how lame we are, of course we do not think that our digital footprint will be of any interest to anyone. However, even garbage has its value and there are companies ready to buy your garbage for a hefty price. All the meaningless activities that contour your life might make no sense to you but they certainly do for companies interested in turning you into a brainless paying invertebrate.
Let us pause for a moment to clarify this point further. Whatever goal one sets, in order to pursue it, one must adopt a strategy. That is, one must devise a sequence of causally connected actions that will “logically” lead to the desired result. For this, the access to your garbage is essential because the more information one has about oneself, others and the context, the easier it is to predict what actions should be carried out.
Now we have established that your garbage has value, and that you normally navigate the internet with the awareness of a shellfish, I hope you’d realize the danger that you are in. These damn psychologists are getting better at spotting your weaknesses and finding ingenious ways to make you buy more products you don’t need.
It’s A Slippery Slope
The issue is much broader than making you buy a pair of umbrella shoes. The same techniques are being used by a host of other vulture industries like insurance companies and HR companies, and of course politics. Have you ever wondered what happens to popular sovereignty if those who have the media (be it the government or a private company) are able to identify the undecided, understand their fears and desires, and dedicate to each of them, based on their profile, personalized stimuli that cause them to opt for a certain candidate? Correct, you get fucked, well, probably were fucked.
NB: Keep in mind that violations are like cherries, one follows the other. We start with manipulation and we easily end up with banning profiled citizens from basic services.
Now that we reached this point my friends, let me ask you one more question. Would you accept delegating most of your individual choices, even the crucial ones in your life, to someone other than you, like a slave in ancient Rome?
Although I’ve been treating you as an absolute brainless shellfish I still hope that by now you would have realized that if the answer to the question is no then you should be concerned about your online privacy. This is not an intellectual physique, it is survival 101!
Written by: Cypherpunks Are Alive
Winner of the CPG Writing Contest