Ep 89: Can Online Privacy Exist Today? – with guest Rob Shavell

online privacy

We all understand that with technology today, a certain amount of our privacy has evaporated. Our phones track our location. Stores know what we are looking at – both when we are browsing in store or on-line. But do you realize how much of our privacy is compromised? Do you realize how much various organizations know about you – and how much of this information is available to anyone who is willing to pay 99 cents?

Some of us might think this data is “anonomized”.  Does that make us safe?  Probably not.  In fact, anonymous metadata is enough to identify individuals in many cases.  There is one amusing example where, if the British Crown had access to metadata of citizens of their American colony, they might have been able to identify Paul Revere – and put an end to his midnight ride before it began.

Then there is facial recognition.  This is being used to identify protesters or on social media – and is becoming increasingly worrisome for privacy advocates.

Today I’m talking to Rob Shavell. Rob has thought a lot about privacy and how we can protect it – both in person and online. He is the co-founder of Abine, an online privacy company. I talk to Rob about what exactly happens when you make a purchase online, go shopping in a store, or give your email away to yet another website. We talk about ways to protect your personal information, as well as what kind of laws can be put in place to protect consumers.

For patrons of the podcast, one of Rob’s companies, DeleteMe, is offering a discount code for subscriptions.  DeleteMe is a way to remove your personal data from online locations that sell your personal data to third parties.  You can find this discount code on the Patreon page.  If you are not a patron and want to become one, you can join at Patreon.com/sparkdialog.  Thank you all for your support!

Some of the background music you heard are clips from:

summertime instrumental 1 by Analog By Nature (c) copyright 2008 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/cdk/13112

Xena’s Kiss / Medea’s Kiss by mwic (c) copyright 2018 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/mwic/58883

Mellow by Darkroom (c) copyright 2008 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/mactonite/14897 Ft: admiralbob77

Mr. Wozzie by Robbero (c) copyright 2015 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/Robbero/51883

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