Bogomil Shopov

Human. Artist. Hacker. I care about free and open-source software(F/LOSS), cybersecurity, ethical design, privacy, and technology. 20+ experience in technology. 40+ in being human. I encourage people to become better humans with heavy metal and technologies. I also promote technologies to be considerate of humans. Let's see how it goes!

Mozilla / Privacy / Startups · November 21, 2022

‘Tis the season for Privacy

Privacy is important!

Thanksgiving and the opening of the season of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday, and end-of-the-year holidays in almost any religion and region are near.

It’s worth spending some bytes and processor cycles to encourage you to invest your money, vouchers, bonuses, and good thoughts in Privacy-related products. 

The surveillance capitalist-supported industry would love you to buy specific products they could use to track your behaviors and habits to be able to see sell you even more through the platforms you use daily.

I will share a list of resources you could explore to buy or do something good with your money and still make sure your beloved ones are happy. That’s a fair deal.



One: Privacy not included catalog

Mozilla Foundation spends a reasonable amount of time researching products and services for bad practices and privacy violations in many products and services.

You can see the catalog here, which includes hundreds of products and marks the ones where Privacy is not included. Every product contains a description of what could go wrong and lots of resources you could explore on your own if you want to dig deeper. 

The catalog also gives you a few ways to protect yourself if you really, really, really want to buy the product.




Two: Mark II

Voice assistants are everywhere. I am sure you have one and maybe use it occasionally. Most of them align with bizarre privacy terms and conditions that no one reads.

Mycroft offers you an alternative to that. Their Mark II was in the works for almost two years and is now ready to come to your home and serve you fairly. Oh, it’s also open-source.




Three: TOSDR

Talking about the bizarre terms and conditions, you could give the gift of ensuring everyone in your family and friends is protected. This website shows you what the websites and apps you use could do with your data while using them. Are you still surprised that if you mention vacation in your WhatsApp chat, the next moment, you see an excellently targeted ad for Italy on Instagram – your favorite destination from Facebook? Visit TODR and check what is going on with your data in a human-readable language. You are the product in most cases, which is heartbreaking because you deserve better.




Four: For Makers

If you are a software maker, please think about our privacy. Principles like Privacy by Design will guide you on what we want and explain how and why they should be applied. It’s good for your business too.

I went through many training recently, and the one I could recommend, especially if you are an engineer, is the privacy engineer certification from Data Protocol. They combine short explanatory videos with on-hand experience with a virtual Linux terminal.

If you are not part of any product now but still want to use your skills, explore my article on how to contribute to open-source projects.


Affiliation

I support TOSDR and Mozilla foundation financially because they do good for humanity. I also own shares in Mycroft, but none of the links will profit me. If you like this article, you can follow up on this link and buy me a coffee/beer.


Photo by Chad Madden on Unsplash