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commit a7277b1114e4ad38ca935ba70be0aa0845207740
parent 37acdbd0986c2880343807c7558e0bfb9ffff009
Author: Jake Bauer <>
Date:   Fri, 20 Dec 2019 22:28:58 -0500

New blog post

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3 files changed, 79 insertions(+), 34 deletions(-)

diff --git a/pages/ b/pages/ @@ -18,6 +18,8 @@ Below you can find links to things that I have posted: ### 2019 <ul> + <li>2019-12-20 <a href="blog/difficulty-of-privacy-education">The + Difficulty of Educating People About Online Privacy</a></li> <li>2019-11-23 <a href="blog/china">China</a></li> <li>2019-06-20 <a href="blog/qutebrowser-to-firefox">Why I Switched Back to Firefox from Qutebrowser</a></li> diff --git a/pages/blog/ b/pages/blog/ @@ -1,39 +1,82 @@ ## The Difficulty of Educating People About Online Privacy -[//]: # "Anyone who has tried to 'convince' someone about +[//]: # "I've recently been reflecting on the difficulty that I've had in conversations with people about online privacy where it is frustratingly difficult to get them to care about who has their data and how it is being misused." [//]: # "base.min.css" [//]: # <b>Written By:</b> Jake Bauer | - <b>Posted:</b> 2019-10-27 | - <b>Last Updated:</b> 2019-10-27 - -Anybody who has tried to educate someone about digital privacy issues and -exploitation of personal data knows that this can sometimes be like bashing ones -head against a wall over and over. Many people not "in the know", and even some -self-described "technology enthusiasts" use products such as Amazon's Alexa, -Facebook, the Google Suite, and more because they make some aspects of their -lives convenient and, in the case of a home assistant, they can be fun gadgets. - -The unfortunate aspect of these devices and services is that you don't have -control over the data you put into them or how these service providers should -handle your data. Even if you can "delete a post" or "create a new document", in -reality you have no clue what these service providers are doing with your data. -If you're reading this article, you most likely already know this and are aware -of the dangers that come with service providers like Facebook, Twitter, and -Google collecting all manner of data on their users. - -The difficulty of educating people about online privacy is due to three main -factors. The first is that people are stubborn. It is very difficult to get -someone who is set in their ways to change how they think or behave for several -psychological reasons on which I'm not qualified to comment. The second is that -many people are completely ignorant as to how the devices they use on a daily -basis work. Even at a basic level, many people go through life not having any -clue what the internet actually is and don't care to learn. This leads into the -third major point: apathy. Lots of people that I have tried to educate about -online privacy simply do not care to learn or do not care what happens to their -data. This is probably the most significant barrier to educating someone because -if someone has no will to change or learn it is impossible for a reasonable -person to be effective at educating them without being too forceful. + <b>Posted:</b> 2019-12-20 | + <b>Last Updated:</b> 2019-12-20 + +<em>Update: I just finished listening to the latest Jupiter Extras podcast +entitled [Brunch with Brent: Jason Spisak Part +2]( +in which they touch on this topic a bit. It's definitely worth a listen.</em> + +I've recently been reflecting on the difficulty that I've had in conversations +with people about online privacy where it is frustratingly difficult to get them +to care about who has their data and how it is being misused. + +I have given it some thought and come upon three major sticking points in my +conversations with others about online privacy (which also apply to any kind of +debate in general): + +### Stubbornness + +When someone is really set in their ways, it is exceedingly difficult to get +them to consider changing their behaviour. For some people, even mentioning that +something they are doing (or not doing) is perhaps wrong or detrimental to them +is equivalent to insulting their favourite childhood television programme. + +There are also usually many logical fallacies and other psychological effects +that people fall into which contributes to this. For example, if someone has +purchased a $100 smart home lady cylinder, they may try to defend themselves +against the feeling of buyer's remorse if you are telling them that this big +purchase may have been a bad choice. + +Usually, if you persist enough in subtle ways, you can erode someone's +stubbornness by exposing them to things like news articles and practical +examples of data breaches and privacy violations but you obviously don't want to +be a gnat in their ear constantly pestering them about this. + +### Ignorance + +To the chagrin of myself and many of my colleagues, most of the general public +are not familiar with even the most basic workings of the devices which we use +every day. Most people don't know what a hash is nor would they be familiar with +the many ways that attackers can steal their personal information. + +Even those who are relatively tech-savvy, as in those who are able to build +their own computers and install their own operating system, are not necessarily +knowledgeable about online privacy. + +This makes it really difficult because the points that you are making sound +really obvious to you but to others it sounds like you're either speaking +gibberish or being overly paranoid. If you have to give someone a complicated +and technical crash course on the topic of which you are trying to convince them +before you can even begin to convince them, you have most likely already failed +to convince them. + +### Apathy + +This is probably the worst of all three. When you are very passionate about a +subject and want to educate others so that they can better protect themselves or +be more aware of their data, the worst thing is that they will simply not care. +In my experience, there is nothing you can do about this. The only way to get +someone to care and take action is to watch them fail to the point where they +recognize that they can't not care anymore. Even that isn't guaranteed as some +people, no matter how much they get hurt by something, will just carry on. + +There really isn't all that much that we can do besides present our arguments, +politely attempt to present evidence, and let the news headlines do the rest of +the convincing for us. Sometimes getting the other person to explain their +position in detail can be an effective tactic in making them realise that their +reasoning is flawed but, even then, in the end it seems many people will always +choose convenience over all else despite the overwhelming evidence that their +choices could cause them significant harm. + +I'd be interested to know what, if any, strategies you have for discussing +online privacy with others. Let me know by [sending me an +email]( diff --git a/pages/ b/pages/ @@ -22,6 +22,9 @@ projects on the site. </a> </div> +2019-12-20 <a href="blog/difficulty-of-privacy-education">New Blog Post: The +Difficulty of Educating People About Online Privacy</a> + 2019-11-26 <a href="guides/using-rm-with-trash">New Guide: Using the "rm" Command with Trash</a> @@ -32,9 +35,6 @@ from other cool people</a> 2019-09-05 <a href="toolset">New Page: My Toolset</a> -2019-08-10 <a href="projects/morrowind-character-roller">New Project: Morrowind -Character Roller</a> - ### What is a Parity Bit? It is a bit (in the 1's and 0's sense) used in checking for errors in digital