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Let's fight surveillance capitalism on Data Privacy Day.

Google and Facebook are major tracking machines. It's time to quit.

2020-01-28
The statement "I have nothing to hide" is very popular. So is reversing it: Give me your bank account login, your email login, your Facebook login. Most people will refuse instantly. But why do they still share their data freely with huge corporations like Google and Facebook? It is time to quit these tracking machines and fight against surveillance capitalism.

Why people don’t protect their privacy

Privacy and data protection are basic Human Rights protected by Article 8 of the European Convention. When the Internet started, companies like Google and Facebook seized their chance to build huge corporations, all paid for by harvesting and selling people’s data.

Lack of knowledge

To this day, people sign away their right to privacy by agreeing to unread Terms and clicking away privacy warnings. The reason for this is simple: We have learnt that that’s just how the Internet works.

We - as users - asked for an ever easier internet. We were trained to hate clicks. We were trained to hate reading Terms. Companies, of course, facilitated this indifference towards Terms and privacy rights by using the most complex language and phrases on their Terms pages.

Thus, the internet we have today is quick, easy - and the enemy to all things privacy.

Most people do not know that a different Internet it possible.

Corporations deceive

Corporations that thrive on abusing users' data like Facebook and Google, fuel this lack of knowledge: They don't want people to know that an internet without tracking and with privacy-respecting services is possible - and already available.

In recent years, privacy is becoming more important to people. We could even say that the privacy-era has started.

So now, Google and Facebook tell everyone that they do everything in their power to protect our privacy. When looking at their marketing, one could start thinking that they've given up their business model of selling targeted advertisements based on tracking and profiling their users.

For instance, Gmail now offers a confidential mode, which fools lots of people into actually believing that their emails with Gmail are now better protected than ever.

One might start wondering if Google and Facebook are the new defenders of privacy?

Upon closer inspection, we will of course learn that this is not the case. Nevertheless, many people are being deceived.

Alternatives are gaining

Slowly, but steadily, however, privacy-friendly alternatives are gaining traction. The awareness that privacy matters and that we need to fight for our right to privacy is constantly rising.

Tutanota's secure email and calendar services, for instance, are gaining new users by the minute.

Tips on how to protect your privacy

On Data Privacy Day, we'd like to share some easy tips on how to safeguard your private data online.

The most obvious - and also the most dreadful - tip is to read the privacy policy and manage the privacy settings of the services you use.

As much as you hate doing this, it is a must if you want to protect your privacy. Why not just do it while you're bored of surfing the web? This happens often enough anyway so why not use the time for something useful?

And once at it, install a browser extension like uBlock, Ghostery or Privacy Badger that block online tools designed to track you across the web.

Then, if you're still motivated, read our post on how to leave Google, Gmail and Co to stop surveillance capitalism and take back your privacy.

Here are some privacy reasons why Tutanota is much better for emails and calendar than Google:

Reasons to quit Gmail and switch to Tutanota.

Let's take back our data and fight surveillance capitalism on Data Privacy Day.

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