Up For Debate - How seriously do you take Data Privacy?

Written by Chad Norton on Tue, Jan 28, 2020 5:11 PM

It’s data privacy day! Or #DataPrivacyDay if you're a fan of smashing Like & Subscribe buttons. So let’s celebrate Data Privacy Day by debating over the long-running conversation that started since the very birth of the internet, or you know, when those pesky corporations signed a deal with the devil, in blood, in order to steal our emails and plaster the web with their targeted ads.

We mostly want to hear what exactly you do to keep your data private on the internet, if anything at all, but here's our take on it:

As the internet continues to grow and evolve, so does its users, and along with that growth comes the ever prevalent topic of data privacy. I’m sure most of us have heard of VPN’s, Adablockers and all sorts that promise to protect you online. But are they even worth it? When using public WiFi, a VPN is certainly invaluable as any other user could access the data shared on the public WiFi. But, at home, a VPN doesn't have much use outside of illegal downloading, those folks who love nothing more than a good sea shanty.

I sometimes find the argument “if you’ve got nothing to hide then what’s the problem” a bit irritating. How would you feel if a random stranger knocked on your door and asked to look around your apartment? Would you welcome them with open arms and offer a cup of coffee? Or would you politely say no and close the door on their face?

Though data privacy is a lot more than just VPNs or AdBlock. Certain companies and websites will offer their own protocols on data privacy: Facebook, for example, is getting more and more strict with its privacy and security protocols regarding how much you share with others and the company itself. Or secure passwords on multiple websites: there are a lot of services out there now that generate passwords consisting of letters, numbers and symbols that are arranged into complete, incoherent gibberish. You can even further enhance your password security by generating distinct ones for every website you log into.

The distinct problem here, and the one which most people tend to focus on, is the issue of companies taking your data and selling it to third-parties who then target adverts back to the user depending on the information provided. It’s a moral issue here and certainly one to think about for a long time (but more specifically to think about today, hashtag-data-privacy-day and all that). Obviously people hacking into your accounts/computers and stealing your information for nefarious reasons like identity fraud or theft are an inherent problem when it comes to technology and the internet itself. But then isn’t that an issue for data security not data privacy? Which is a totally different topic to talk about.

What do you think? Should all data be private? Or should it be open for everyone to see on the internet? Or do you believe there is a sweet spot in the middle which we should aim for?

Whatever your stance on data privacy we want to hear from you what exact measures you take (or don’t take) in order to protect yourself online. Are you a VPN connoisseur? An AdBlock junkie? Or are you one of those free-willy types who doesn’t care because you have nothing to hide?

And please, remember to drop your credit card details, PIN numbers, the name of your first pet, the street your grew up on, and your mother's maiden name down in the comments section below!

Do you regularly use a VPN?

How much effort are you willing to invest to research and update your privacy settings?

Do you think all data should be private?

Login or Register to join the debate

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13:16 Jan-30-2020

i mean if a FBI guy wanna look at me watching porn by all means... do so. You only hate your privacy being sold if you have something to hide

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14:19 Jan-30-2020

Absolutely true.

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18:34 Jan-30-2020

That's such a stupid statement usually uttered by completely ignorant or stupid people. You know, maybe people like to value some form of security. Place to relax and have private conversations, and keep private their health, ...

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18:34 Jan-30-2020

...financial and relationship situations and be able to share them to people they like or keep them for themselves. If you really think you've nothing to hide why don't you give me all the information on your ID card, your parents first...

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18:34 Jan-30-2020

...and last names as well as your main 2 bank accounts, account number, pin code and the security number. And then tell me why won't you do that and why are you comfortable with the same information being sold without your say in it?

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07:44 Feb-02-2020

i can still relax and have private conversations even though my information is sold... don't want anyone listening in? well i'll just remove all phones from the room i am in with my friends :)

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11:48 Jan-30-2020

collect my data but don't link me or any of my personal info with it. I understand data is necessary to provide free services.

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17:38 Jan-29-2020

Because I use adblockers, tracker blockers, VPNs, etc - it's hilarious how bad the ads I get (say on TV or certain apps, where blocking doesn't work efficiently or I've not yet set it up) are. The ad world has no f-ing clue what to offer me xDDD

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15:35 Jan-29-2020

In my opinion, if you use any products of google and facebook, then there's no such thing about privacy. Not that I care, I don't really do interesting things.

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15:03 Jan-29-2020

Ofcourse I take data privacy seriously. But the flipside is wherever I go, travel to any country or heck even check websites, the only option I am given to access anything or exercise my basic rights is I'm asked to give up a ton of my info

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08:35 Jan-29-2020

I don't take it seriously at all because it does not take me seriously, so we are even

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03:36 Jan-29-2020

I have learn to leave few traces wherever I go on the net, also avoid sharing any info with ANY kind of site.


Also I'm not to fond of digital wallets an such, so for me is just like there isn't much to lose besides docs.

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03:49 Jan-29-2020

And as someone else stated in the comments, I also input fake info whenever I can. Must say I don't use Instagram, facebook or any other way to upload important photos/videos about my life either

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01:29 Jan-29-2020

I have been growing more and more aware of my privacy recently. I've started to replace many apps I used with Open Source alternatives and I even switched search engines to DuckDuckGo. I'm now working on getting rid of my Facebook stuff.

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00:38 Jan-29-2020

well i ran to my sister elementry school when i was 5 & naked so my privacy isn't a big deal.

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22:43 Jan-28-2020

I actually don't use VPN, I would consider one if I was doing anything like torrenting stuff and so on, but I kind of don't really feel the need. As for research, it depends entirely on what data I am trusting company with. But mostly, I am not terribly concerned and only check settings if company is collecting something big... hell, I didn't even bother to turn telemetry off on Windows 10,...

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22:46 Jan-28-2020

... so you can imagine I am not too concerned. But then again, I trust MS to not abuse my data far more than Google and I use Android phones since I got forced off Nokia phones with physical buttons to get new shiny stuff. Still one thing I will always advocate for is user choice in terms of what data should be shared and allowed to be used and for what. I definitely thing this should be a thing.

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15:37 Jan-29-2020

I don't mind telemetry data as long as it's for bug fixing. Sending actual data, like browsing history (looking at you, chrome in incognito mode) is something of a whole new level.

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22:26 Jan-29-2020

Yeah, Google is huge offender. Also I believe on Android phones, if you use Google searches, it will get your location any time you search, even if GPS is off, though in that case it will get network based location, which is bit less accurate, but anyway. So with Google I take those privacy sliders more as placebo thing. :-D

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20:58 Jan-28-2020

I believe in the right to privacy in general. You should not be snooped at for private information, and anyone who does that without consent should be punished for it. That said, I think big data, and internet/consumer data is necessary and it funds many of the free services we all enjoy on the internet.

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21:03 Jan-28-2020

Yeah I don't want you to have the coordinates of every photo I take. But I dont care if they extract the type of phone I'm using,what kind of OS I use, or how many visitors from X country go into Pornhub. Its useful data to develop and improve services and products as well as advertise them to specific groups who have interest in them. The data should be collectible so long as its NEVER linked to a person/account/phone/computer individually. Its up to us to chose to buy stuff

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20:53 Jan-28-2020

Privacy on the internet? Thats a good one. Also even VPN´s get hacked and you really dont know 100% they dont sell your data.

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21:17 Jan-28-2020

Correct. Want privacy? Remove your internet cable and turn off the wi-fi :D

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12:40 Jan-29-2020

Just use protection when you plug it in :)

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19:26 Jan-28-2020

I value my privacy above all else, which is why I refuse to use certain services, nearly always use a VPN, and go with an "Opt-In, default deny" strategy when presented with privacy options. I blanket deny everything, and then go through the list and only allow what is needed for function. I remove any and all telemetry, dig into group policy editor, use false information etc. I have nothing to hide, but I also don't think it's cool for companies to abuse my personal data.

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19:30 Jan-28-2020

^ What is said.


Forget anyone and everyone who thinks privacy doesn't exist. It does and I will never EVER give it up.

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20:26 Jan-28-2020

Agreed. Anyone who doesn't think privacy doesn't exist is just giving in. There are plenty of ways to protect yourself, and companies should not think it's "the norm" to collect data that doesn't pertain to the stability of the service. At the very least, they need to also default "opt-in" instead of "Opt-Out". However, alot of companies don't even offer such things. You have to go digging.

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00:25 Jan-29-2020

And here i am, on the oposite spectrum - couldnt care less about all of that xD

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18:37 Jan-28-2020

Have nothing to hide but that does not mean they have to know that. So yes i use VPN (Trust-zone) and strong paid software (Bullguard) to protect my computer. Also i have encrypted my important files on my computer. There are tools that can limit MS to spy on you, so i use that also. Privacy comes first even when you have nothing to hide.

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18:18 Jan-28-2020

Privacy is a myth these days. Ever since 9-11 we lost it...And anyone using a smart phone might as well kiss that idea goodbye!

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21:14 Jan-28-2020

Now you are just giving in. Privacy still very much exists.

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18:17 Jan-28-2020

I dont care at all :/

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18:14 Jan-28-2020

I don't really care about privacy, pretty much have a good password and that's it. Data mine me all you want. At the very least you get to advertise things I'm interested in and still ignore, so yeah.

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19:15 Jan-28-2020

Until China fully runs things and stuff you said 10 years ago is used to place you in re-education camps. Have fun.

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19:22 Jan-28-2020

Funny that what said came up when it did. Because this is something I said just yesterday-


"You may be able to influence what a person feels but you can never truly take over their emotions."


If China were to take over my country and place me in a re-education camp, I would strongly resist.


My mind, thoughts, choices and actions are my own and it will stay that way until the moment I die.

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20:35 Jan-28-2020

Oh, don't worry you can brainwash anyone with enough electricity, sleep depravation and a few other tricks.

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21:05 Jan-28-2020

Those tactics will only work if the one being brainwashed allows them to do so. They would have to lose their will to fight it for it to work.


So at the end of the day, they may as well just go ahead and kill me.

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20:32 Jan-28-2020

Meh, at least I can go in there lie in their face and get back, or don't, who cares. XD
We are censored enough as is, so yeah...

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17:46 Jan-28-2020

Privacy is a right (and should be in all places of the world) and must be respected without question.


Any company two steals data in on way or another (tracking cookies immediately come to mind) should be called out. ISPs should not be allowed to track users activities.


I could go on and on.


Privacy is a real big deal to me and should be a concern for everyone.

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17:57 Jan-28-2020

By the way, I strongly recommend Brave for private browsing. It may not come with a VPN but it will stop tracking cookies in their tracks. No pun intended. Also it supports Chrome extensions.


https://brave.com/

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04:54 Jan-29-2020

Brave is trash compared to Firefox with many tweaks and extensions.

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17:26 Jan-28-2020

I believe personal privacy is fairly important so I try my best to make sure only the information I want online is online. And I feel like I'm decent at that considering I don't see many adds tailored to me.

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