Without your permission, or even your awareness, tech companies are harvesting your location, your likes, your habits, your relationships, your fears, your medical issues, and sharing it amongst themselves, as well as with governments and a multitude of data vultures. They're not just selling your data. They're selling the power to influence you and decide for you. Even when you've explicitly asked them not to. And it's not just you. It's all your contacts too, all your fellow citizens. Privacy is as collective as it is personal.
This is an extremely timely and important book. Unlike the similarly themed "The Age of Surveillance Capitalism" this is completely readable by a non-academic. Utterly free of highfalutin verbiage. It is refreshingly plain. Véliz sets out her thesis and logically follows through all the arguments.
Véliz expertly takes the reader through a journey which is intended to radicalise them into taking privacy seriously. Your data is being used without your consent and it is having a disastrous impact on you and your community.
Again, unlike Zuboff's "Surveillance Capitalism", this contains practical actions an ordinary person can take. As well as political actions - it contains concrete steps. I'm happy to say they're things I've talked about:
- Use and Ad Blocker.
- Give fake details online.
- Use a password manager.
- Lie to public WiFi providers.
- Use a unique email for every service.
It is essential that you read this. Even if you think you understand the arguments for privacy, there will be stories in here which will shock and enrage you. It will give you the tools to defend yourself and sets out a decent plan for the future.
As Véliz says:
"We use fire doors to contain possible fires in our homes and buildings, and watertight compartments to limit possible flooding in ships. We need to create analogous separations in cyberspace."
Grab a copy, now.