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I Shrugged
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Privacy

Post by I Shrugged » Fri Mar 26, 2021 9:10 am

How concerned are you about privacy?
What things can a person do right now to protect their privacy?

Do you feel that "I don't worry about privacy, because I have nothing to hide?" Is that the same as, "I don't care about freedom of speech, because I have nothing to say?"

It seems like the smartphone is the number one culprit right now. Followed by Facebook and Google. I think that dumb phones are no longer going to be allowed onto the carriers in the very near future. So if you want a cell phone, it will be smart.

What about banking and credit cards? One big bank provided "geofenced" purchase data to the feds to help locate people who were in the area of a demonstration. Of course, just wait until there is Fedcoin.

What about DNA, do you want to know that you are 42% from central & eastern Europe? That you have a 5th cousin in Peoria? Do you care if your DNA is being sold to governments?

What's a person to do? Is resistance futile? Help me out here with some livable solutions.
murphy_p_t
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Re: Privacy

Post by murphy_p_t » Fri Mar 26, 2021 11:33 am

Big picture, I think your concern is correct, that resistance is futile. Even if you're not carrying any kind of mobile phone... Cameras, license plate readers, credit card trails...

Having said that, I did small little things like using start page or duck duck go rather than Google search. Deleted photos off Facebook. Started Protonmail.
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pugchief
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Re: Privacy

Post by pugchief » Fri Mar 26, 2021 11:34 am

I'm concerned, but there are better things to worry about. Like the push toward Socialism in the US, for instance. TomFoolery is the expert on this topic and I'm sure he will chime in.

Myself, I only use DDG and no third party cookies. Some precautions with my phone, but there are limits if you use data.
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Re: Privacya y

Post by tomfoolery » Fri Mar 26, 2021 12:18 pm

Use a prepaid phone that isn’t in your real name, paid in cash, don’t give anyone the phone number, don’t use the phone as a phone, use 3rd party encrypted messaging apps like wire and signal. Use a VOIP service to make calls or place SMS texts to people who aren’t using encrypted apps but understand those communications are in plaintext stored somewhere forever and may be used against you in the future, out of context, when social standards are different.

Use cash, don’t use credit cards.

Register your car in a trust or anonymous LLC so license plate scanners can’t track your whereabouts.

Put your home in a trust or LLC and never tie your name to your home address. Get any mail that’s in your name, such as a drivers license, to a different mailing address. Anything tied to the actual home address like internet, should be in a pseudonym or trust or LLC. If you already have a house in your real name, you need to move to get Max benefits.

Don’t use social media. Most facial recognition pulls from social media scrapes.

Use a VPN at the router level for your house so all internet traffic is encrypted from your ISP.

If you’re not going to go “all in” then be strategic about the areas you put effort in, to avoid wasting effort. Don’t put a $300 asa abloy lock on a $2 wal mart chain.

Specific examples: don’t switch to a prepaid phone and use your credit card to buy more minutes on it.

Don’t switch to a prepaid phone in a fake name and give out the SIM phone number.

Don’t take your old phone with you to the cell phone to buy the new prepaid phone.

Take take your new prepaid phone into your current house that is tied to your name already.

Don’t buy a new house in an anonymous LLC and give your realtor your real name. Or have Amazon ship a package in your real name to the new house.

The concern is putting in a ton of effort, but not maximum effort, and a weak link destroying most or all of the value from the effort you did put in.

It’s tough because going half-in can provide some benefits but the cost benefit analysis isn’t there unless you’re really strategic about it. For example, the cost of you moving right now to buy a new house in an LLC is enormous. If you won’t also put the additional cost to get a new cell phone, then it’s futile because anyone with $200 can pay for your phone location data (since they already know your legacy phone number) and find the new house.

So going part-in can provide some benefit but the true synergies lie in going all in. It still helps to do part-measures. Even if all you did differently was buy everything in cash, then to track your purchases, someone (or an algorithm) would need to take your cell location data and sync against point-of-sale data at every store you went to, to query the level 3 transaction data for cash purposes made during the time you were in the store. Not difficult but a hassle, and an unsophisticated attacker won’t be able to do it, and a lazy smart attacker won’t bother.
💉P💉R💉I 💉D💉E💉
murphy_p_t
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Re: Privacy

Post by murphy_p_t » Fri Mar 26, 2021 12:23 pm

Perhaps one of the biggest things we can do to maintain some semblance of privacy is to use cash payment at retailers. I only use cash in restaurants / bars. By keeping cash alive, at least a small amount of privacy can be maintained.
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Re: Privacy

Post by drumminj » Fri Mar 26, 2021 7:06 pm

murphy_p_t wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 12:23 pm
Perhaps one of the biggest things we can do to maintain some semblance of privacy is to use cash payment at retailers. I only use cash in restaurants / bars. By keeping cash alive, at least a small amount of privacy can be maintained.
+1. It also keeps the banks from taking a cut of the transaction and puts more money in the pocket of the local business (or yourself)
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Re: Privacy

Post by murphy_p_t » Fri Mar 26, 2021 9:52 pm

Drumminj.... The reasons you listed are the primary reasons I pay in cash at the independent restaurants... Keeping Cash alive / privacy concerns are bonuses. Oh, also, I don't like handing my card to someone to swipe out of my sight. and then having to sign something, and then reconcile a receipt later.
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Re: Privacy

Post by pugchief » Sat Mar 27, 2021 6:49 am

murphy_p_t wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 9:52 pm
Drumminj.... The reasons you listed are the primary reasons I pay in cash at the independent restaurants... Keeping Cash alive / privacy concerns are bonuses. Oh, also, I don't like handing my card to someone to swipe out of my sight. and then having to sign something, and then reconcile a receipt later.
Ya, not sure why they don't insist on handheld terminals at the table like they do in Europe. It would cut down on a lot of fraud.
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I Shrugged
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Re: Privacy

Post by I Shrugged » Sat Mar 27, 2021 9:07 am

Tom, thanks for the exhaustive list. That's too much for me to do, but I am going to think about how I could apply the 80/20 principle to it.
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I Shrugged
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Re: Privacy

Post by I Shrugged » Sat Mar 27, 2021 9:07 am

murphy_p_t wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 12:23 pm
Perhaps one of the biggest things we can do to maintain some semblance of privacy is to use cash payment at retailers. I only use cash in restaurants / bars. By keeping cash alive, at least a small amount of privacy can be maintained.
That and not carry a phone with you.
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Re: Privacy

Post by Kbg » Tue Mar 30, 2021 8:34 am

A bit of a side street, I wonder how many apps in the iphone ecosystem will essentially force you to be tracked for the app to work after they implement their new blocking of advertisement tracking feature? I'm going to guess a lot.
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Re: Privacy

Post by sweetbthescrivener » Tue Mar 30, 2021 11:35 am

I Shrugged wrote:
Sat Mar 27, 2021 9:07 am
Tom, thanks for the exhaustive list. That's too much for me to do, but I am going to think about how I could apply the 80/20 principle to it.
This is a really important point. The only way to do it right is to make it your new all consuming hobby. You might have to drop a few of your old hobbies to get it done. By the time you are privacy-competent, you might as well be a privacy consultant.

In addition to all Tomfoolery said, these things are constantly changing, so you have to stay up to date on what works and what doesn't. Amazon and other sites get wise to privacy measures, and block accounts or don't let you register in the first place, not to mention that law enforcement is likely to wonder what you are hiding on that anonymous phone or encrypted hard drive.

This podcast by former cyber LEO Michael Bazzell will tell you more than you want to know about privacy.

https://inteltechniques.com/podcast.html

I listened to this for months and there was always something that had stopped working or an app that got compromised or something.

He might do a whole podcast on VPNs, and then end the show by saying that many of them are run by government intelligence agencies.

Such a desperate battle it all is. We have these machines designed to record everything and share with each other and we buy them and then try to make it so they don't have any useful information to share. Total war of attrition if nothing else.

The main takeaway for me was it made me see the costs of being plugged in, and has taught me to adopt a policy of as few devices and memberships as possible.

What a concept, live your life in person as much as possible and use cash.

That may not even work forever. If all cash goes digital, Bazzell has as much concluded that privacy will be dead.

His book, available at linked site, might be worth a look for those who want to make privacy their new priority, and don't mind lying about everything, the full disclosure, he admitted that though it is only a year old, he has written about a hundred new pages of updates for strategies that no longer work.
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Re: Privacy

Post by Tortoise » Tue Mar 30, 2021 1:56 pm

sweetbthescrivener wrote:
Tue Mar 30, 2021 11:35 am
If all cash goes digital, Bazzell has as much concluded that privacy will be dead.
I doubt it's so cut and dried. Privacy is a cat-and-mouse game, just like computer security is.

In computer security, adversaries and criminals develop increasingly sophisticated methods of digital attack, and people respond by developing improved security measures to counteract them.

Similarly, in the realm of privacy, some people develop increasingly sophisticated methods of exploiting a lack of privacy, and other people respond by developing improved privacy measures to counteract them.

We may currently be in a world of very little digital privacy, but that is opening up big opportunities for privacy entrepreneurs. Some of them will eventually figure out relatively simple, user-friendly ways to regain some of the digital privacy we've currently lost.

Necessity is the mother of invention. Give it some time.
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Re: Privacy

Post by Kbg » Tue Mar 30, 2021 7:44 pm

Two good posts just now.

On #1, yeah way too hard/much work for me. It is an endless cycle I think.

On #2, that would be awesome. Unfortunately, see #1 above. I'm not hopeful.
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