How to Advocate for Data Privacy and Users’ Rights

your facebook is no longer a public fire hose of information about your family and social life. Your cell phone is as do-not-track as it gets. They cover your webcam lens when not in use.

In short, you have done what you can to mitigate the ways in which the current world seeks to share and disclose your personal information. It takes energy and knowledge to break away from the defaults of digital devices, social networks and retailers looking for more and more information. But you did it, at least what you can. You feel pretty good about protecting some (but not all) of your private data and being proactive about it.

So what’s that nagging feeling in the back of your head? Do you sometimes feel like you could do more to protect citizens from the encroachment of data scrapers and tech moguls who prioritize monetization over individual rights?

It takes many dedicated people to fight these battles in courtrooms, in the digital marketplace, and on the platforms themselves (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, among others) that have become battlegrounds for our data. You could be one of those people: a privacy advocate who actively works to keep us all safe.

Advocacy near home

Getting your own house in order in terms of privacy can literally mean getting your house in order. For example, setting up a VPN (virtual private network) service for your entire household can provide your entire family with some protection from online prying eyes, including threats from hackers, although you can find a reputable service with strict privacy policies that also doesn’t protect yours Data mining can be a challenge in itself.

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If you have children who are old enough to join social networks (the legal age in the US is 13), take the time to help them set up and understand their privacy settings, especially on social networks that have a poor record of doing so Have a track record (such as Facebook and TikTok). The same goes for online gaming networks they might play on, like Nintendo Online or the PlayStation Network, not to mention popular games like Roblox and Minecraft (which is owned by Microsoft, which also operates Xbox Live, which also has social features).

Also, stay up to date on new policies and legal changes that could affect the way companies handle your children’s information. You should also learn how your child’s school and district handle issues such as data on school devices, software in schools, and security cameras on campus.

You don’t want to be the person posting fake news about how Facebook will use your photos and information, but spreading information from legitimate sources to extended family and friends about good privacy hygiene is one way to raise awareness of the issues involved exist. The United States Privacy Digest from the International Association of Privacy Professionals, The Hacker News, Privacy International, and — not to blow our own trumpet — WIRED’s own coverage of privacy issues are good places to educate yourself or search for specific stories on these topics Looking for.

Make your advocacy public

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (or EFF) is a nonprofit civil liberties organization founded in 1990 in the San Francisco Bay Area. Since then, she has carried the torch in the fight against threats to free speech and privacy. The EFF says it has recently seen a “huge surge” in interest from people wanting to protect privacy on their phone; For example, there are 100,000 views for a post about disabling Ad ID on iOS and Android devices. “We clearly see that people are increasingly concerned about digital rights,” said Karen Gullo, Analyst and Senior Media Relations Specialist at EFF.

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The organization offered WIRED a list of things you can do if you want to become more privacy advocates.

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