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    While I agree change is needed - let’s (on the topic of language needing to be updated) call “the dragon’s appetite,” and “ambient privacy,” what they are:

    People freely handing over information and (continuing) to have conversation in the public discourse.

    Until there is change, we should own our behavior and stop expecting a government (who we have so little faith in anyway /s?) to slap the hands of those (who are just operating according to the principles of the free market /s?) we can’t stop freely giving information.

    I have no pity for those individuals; especially after they post articles like, “I tried to stop using Amazon, or Google, BUT IT FELT SO GOOD and IT’S IMPOSSIBLE.”

    You would find a way, if you can’t, start solving the problem by removing yourself from the public commentary.

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      I have no pity for those individuals; especially after they post articles like, “I tried to stop using Amazon, or Google, BUT IT FELT SO GOOD and IT’S IMPOSSIBLE.”

      Well, it’s been demonstrated in the past that at least some companies would build and maintain a profile even on non-users, based on data collected about them from other people. And I’d be surprised if it weren’t still happening today.

      Browser fingerprinting and “supercookie” techniques are such that unless you have well-above-average knowledge of how the technology works you’re unlikely to be able to use the web without being surveilled and profiled. Merely installing an ad-blocking extension, for example, is not enough, and some of the supercookie techniques exploit things (like HSTS) that are deliberately not meant to be blockable.

      So even someone who’s intelligent and reasonably tech-savvy likely cannot avoid inadvertently being tracked, profiled, and so on by major tech companies. You say you have no pity for those people, but I do. And I wonder why it is that they should have to completely disengage from modern society just to have the sort of basic privacy people took for granted a mere generation ago.

      You would find a way, if you can’t, start solving the problem by removing yourself from the public commentary.

      Being exiled from society should not be the cost of suggesting that we should improve society somewhat.

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        I can’t agree more. The information assymetry between the “big dragons” (Google, Facebook) and an individual user is staggering.

        The analogy with the environment drawn in the article is apt - everyone needs to breath, eat and drink water. If these resources are threatened by environmental degradation, you can’t just tell people to stop breathing.

        Privacy is higher up on Maslow’s hierarchy, but it’s still a right as fundamental as being able to breath without getting sick.

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          Being exiled from society should not be the cost of suggesting that we should improve society somewhat.

          But it should - absurdity for absurdity.

          There was no cost to the individual to make the suggestion in the first place. “Suggestions for free” is a bizarre notion upon which to build real societal change.

          Substitute “cost” for “effort” if you please, for this scenario.

          In what absurd world do we expect something for nothing?

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          I must wonder if I am worthy of your pity.

          While Google+ existed, I had a profile there. I didn’t want one. I didn’t make one. But enough other people uploaded their address books that Google+ knew I existed and knew who a whole bunch of my friends and acquaintances were, even though I didn’t want it to know of me. In the end I claimed my profile just so I could write that on it and to tell people who had me in their circles to please not share things with me on there because I wasn’t going to see them. Hooray. How successful do you think I would have been if I emailed all of these people and told them to please either not use Google+ or to selectively not share the data they have about me with Google+?

          Facebook does the same thing, but secretly, and calls it “shadow profiles”. How successful do you think I’m going to be if I try to convince all my relatives to stay off of Facebook or not upload any photos or other data that includes me?

          Aside from that, there is a whole bunch of social activity I have self-excluded myself from because I refuse to use Facebook (or one of its other properties). And I’m glad I’m no longer a student, because if I were, that wouldn’t even be possible. How successful do you think I’m going to be if I try to convince the people in my ballroom dance class not to use a WhatsApp group?

          I’ve never so much as looked at the signup page for GMail, but GMail nevertheless has probably 80% of my mail, because it’s the mail service used by so many of the people I send mail to. Is it feasible for me to refuse to send mail to my boss because he uses GMail?

          It goes on and on.

          The problem is this: I do not exist in a vacuum.

          I may have individual choice in what data about me I give to tech giants, but I can’t feasibly tell everyone I send an email to to not store my address in their address books (and certainly not in their inboxes, if their mail is hosted by GMail), or similarly control everything other people know about me.

          I do all I can do block adtech and other tracking on the web and generally to keep my data profile low. But if my parents knowing who I am becomes a potential privacy breach, the problem isn’t with my individual choice and consent.

          And I said that I may have individual choice in what data about me I give to tech giants – but actually I don’t. You dismiss the notion that it’s impossible to quit the tech giants, but it actually is. Check out this article series about trying to block all of one’s traffic to them, and specifically the experiences with Amazon and Microsoft: because they sell services to other businesses (in a very big way), you cannot possibly elect to avoid at least those two. And to a somewhat lesser extent the author found this to also apply to Google. (The only tech giant the author found feasible to opt out of is – surprised? – Apple.)

          So:

          start solving the problem by removing yourself from the public commentary

          Yes, and move to the desert, and become unborn by your parents. If you aren’t willing to move to the desert and to have no relationships and to never participate in society, then you aren’t interested in privacy and shouldn’t be talking about it.

          The emptiness of this notion of privacy is the point of Maciej’s essay.