We don’t need data protection, we need PRIVACY

Often when companies and some authorities talk about privacy, they start bringing “data protection” in discussion which means nothing than violating people’s privacy in a nicer way.

Data protection means the company or authority can actually collect data and use them but it can’t share or sell it to others, well at least publicly. This is exactly the way Apple advertises about its privacy policies.

Even many privacy activists are promoting Apple because of its privacy policies while Apple is in fact one of the biggest violators of people’s privacy. For example, it wasn’t a long ago that we found out Apple was (or maybe still is) letting contractors (actual humans, not even bots) to listen to people’s conversations with Siri.

Privacy comes when there’s no identifiable personal data involved. A company promising that it won’t jeopardize our privacy is not enough for people. We need mechanisms and products that will protect our privacy and it comes only when they don’t collect our data.

Well of course some products only work with our data. For example, a mobile phone map application for routing only works when we give it our location. Well, as far as I know, data can be purged or even be collected in a way that no personally identifiable data would be stored or transmitted.

We have a lot of services like EteSync that provide what they intend to provide and they actually work with very personal data. EteSync for example is a service that syncs your contacts and calendar but encrypts all data in a way that nobody except you yourself can see them.

This is what we want as a privacy service/product. If a corporation like Google follow policies like ‘data protection’, they would still violate our privacy while deceiving us about how they value our rights.

We need privacy, not data protection. Nobody should have access to our data to whether they want to protect it or not.

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Ali Reza Hayati

Entrepreneur, hacker, cypherpunk.