but we have all made a pact with the devil anyway.
We have become addicted to the internet for our shopping,
for our entertainment and for communication.
On the whole, the developers of the software we use to do this know that we are prepared to share our personal information quite happily in return for “free” services such as messaging, YouTube video content and getting in touch with friends. We love to share stuff and, in return, we have created the world’s greatest marketing monoliths in
Google, Facebook, Amazon etc.
Surprise, surprise, you have signed away your rights and, if you don’t, well you can’t be part of the conversation.
The real issue here is political. Governments don’t want us to have a right to privacy as they also want the same data. They are as happy as the tech giants to monitor every aspect of our lives. In fact, the giants have become so good at monitoring our moves, Governments adopt them as partners, or in places such as China, they simply run the whole shebang themselves without any pretence.
I don’t pretend to know the answer, but it is not enough to use GDPR as a shield. Our right to privacy and private conversations should be taken further. Apps and browsers should be built the opposite way round, with privacy built in. You should have to turn acceptance on without having to read Terms and Conditions that are incomprehensible to anyone without many years experience of law. Most importantly you should have a right not to share your data. Like the warnings on cigarette packets, it should be there in large letters on the pack. Press this button and it is against the law for us to use your data in any way and the government will have to apply to a judge to access it.
It’s the only safe way forward. Meantime, don’t kid yourself that moving to Signal means you aren’t passing your data over hand over fist somewhere else. A salute though to the builders of this and other apps that attempt to stem the tidal wave of privacy invasion.