I have been writing about technology, specifically consumer technology, for over ten years, and one of the areas of tech that has piqued my interest is security and privacy. That wasn’t the case ten or eleven years ago. Back then, you could find me toeing the talking point that Google and Facebook were private companies, and they could do what they wanted.
But times have changed, and the way companies use our data, and the data they collect from us has changed. More people are becoming aware of this, and many are not happy about it. But becoming aware and being unhappy about the situation doesn’t change much.
Privacy is what we want
Over the past few years, I have noticed many people voice concerns as I have written dozens of pieces on privacy and security. But I also have seen that behaviors haven’t changed that much. Even friends and family who ask for advice on making their lives less accessible to big tech aren’t implementing the advice given to them.
Why is that? Why is it so difficult to delete a Facebook account or switch away from Gmail? The answer is simple and, at the same time, frustrating — convenience and ease of use.
Companies like Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and others have spent a lot of time, research, and money to create services that make our lives more convenient and products that are easy to use. Even before the internet, the civilized world has been on a continuing quest to make life easier.
The horse and carriage gave way to the automobile; the manual pushing lawnmower gave way to a motorized version; the ice box gave way to refrigeration; and the telephone has given way to online communication methods.
There is no question that technology has made our lives more convenient and products easier to use. I’m old enough to remember cars without power steering and brakes. I was not old enough to drive them, but I remember family members commenting that they couldn’t wait to get a new car with the new power-assisted steering and brakes.
Convenience is what we love
We have become so acclimated to making our lives easier, giving us more time to enjoy the “fun things” that we are quick to embrace whatever is put in front of us that makes the mundane things faster and easier.
To be clear, I am certainly not innocent here. I have also covered myself with the blanket of convenience and easy-to-use products. I make a living reviewing such products! I’ve convinced myself that using the faster, more convenient service or product will allow me more daily time for things I want to do. Marketing has also done an excellent job of pushing us all that way.
But what we’ve all failed to see, or ignore, is the cost to our privacy and data. I have family members who dismiss this and accept that they no longer have private lives. And they are OK with that. After all, that service from Google is “free,” and it’s so easy to use. But is it free?
And that is why privacy and data rights may never favor the user. Our desire for things to always be convenient, easy, and free is just too strong. If your goal is to get as much privacy and remove as much data from big tech as possible, you almost have to disconnect completely. And that is not such an easy thing in today’s world.
What do you think? Will we ever have a say or control over what data and information companies can collect and use? How are you actively trying to protect your privacy? Have you reserved yourself for big tech taking what they want because the product is too good? Please share your thoughts on any of the social media pages listed below. You can also comment on our MeWe page by joining the MeWe social network. Be sure to subscribe to our RUMBLE channel as well!