Is 100% Privacy Possible?

Is 100% Privacy Possible?

So you’ve got a VPN. You use a browser that blocks ads and website trackers. You use two-factor authentication. You use a messaging service that utilizes end-to-end encryption. You’ve got this privacy stuff figured out. Right? Don’t get me wrong, these are all good to have, but I asked myself the other day, “in this digital age, is it even possible to be 100% private?” Quite simply, and very sadly, the answer today is no. The “why” behind it, however, is a lot more interesting. We’ve boiled it down to three things:

One
You’re likely using services from a particular Silicon Valley-based company that is both a verb and a noun and allows you to “search the world’s information.” This company uses all those searches you’ve searched to create data sets, then mine them for behavioral patterns based on your profile and serve up ads that meet your specific profile. Don’t believe me? Click on the link below and take a look at just some of what they know (and don’t say we didn’t warn you, it’s…frightening): adssettings.google.com (you need to be logged in). It’s important to note that this company is far from the only one that constantly mines for your personal information.

Two
The second issue is: there’s already a ton of stuff out there on you, and unless you know how to scrub it bit by bit (or byte by byte), the world has eyes on it right now. What’s worse is that there are many businesses whose entire business model is predicated on collecting and selling your personal information. They are called ‘data brokers’ because that is what they do–market and resell YOUR information. Businesses are creating digital dossiers on you based on the websites you visit, shopping habits, and even what you watch on YouTube. You can control what you post online, but unfortunately this isn’t enough. If you are wondering what I’m talking about, check out this link:

  • People Search Now – you can get a whole lot more info about someone than you would think by inserting a simple name (or phone number), including home address, previous addresses, age, relatives, and occupation.

You
This is the hardest news to break, dear friends, because one of the issues that is making your privacy even harder to achieve is…you. Or put differently, what you do on the daily, digitally. Your daily digital habits make you very predictable based on what you post or what you search for; these become algorithms used by companies to serve you ads for products that they think you will buy based upon these habits. This includes services you’ve turned on willingly but fail to change the privacy settings because they are hidden (like all the privacy features from social channels you haven’t bothered to go back and change). Do you accept cookies, block them; opt-out/opt-in; eat them? Your confusion is not surprising, as even well-resourced experts are struggling.

Is all of this information making you go a little numb? We promise that wasn’t the intent. Knowledge is power, right? Arming yourself with what is going on, we think, will make you a more informed citizen. We think it will also help you better understand how important privacy is (or at least, *could be*) to your life. And though it may not be possible to remain 100% private today, OSOM is intent on changing the status quo. We don’t want you to give up on your privacy; we want you to own it.

#OwnYourPrivacy