Privacy vs Convenience

As a current Linux only user, I am going back to having Windows on a dual boot (may even switch back 100%, using Linux in VM's or rely on Ubuntu on Windows with bash.) For various reasons I don't want to get into right now.

That got me thinking into all of Google's services, (Maps, Photos, Drive etc) that all requrie you to hand over your location, personal information and so forth.

And of course, Windows 10 and all of it's privacy concerns.

Would like to hear what you all do when it comes to what services you use daily, and which ones you avoid for privacy/security.

Privacy ALWAYS over convenience. For everyone else:


Makes sense.

To clarify: I am of course asking this with the idea that, typically, having more privacy is more time consuming and in some cases cost you money.

I could answer this in one word but the forum wouldn't let me.


We "give up" privacy every day for many things, most you don't even consider an issue (someone photographing you in public because you left the house for example). But its about weighing the options. What do you want to keep private? From who? For how long? Why? What would be the outcome if it wasnt kept private? Who will you share it with? And can they be trusted to keep the information safe from people who you don't want to have that specific info?

The answers will be different for almost every piece of info you consider.

@CrossCarbon said privacy over convenience, but you post in this forum. Analysis could be done on your writing style to identify you across the net and other mediums, IP information can pin point you to geo locations, and ISP traffic can then be gathered to profile you (assuming you had access to that info). But you might consider that kind of targeted surveillance against you to be minimal, so you've given up some privacy for the convenience to post on the internet.

On the other hand most people dislike ads and use ad blockers, partly because ads are shitty and partly (though probably to a lower extent, because of profiling).

But some people dont mind specific types of profiling. Amazon for example does extensive profiling based on all sorts of stuff. Some people find it useful, some don't mind because it (should (not checked) be limited to amazon.

I can see us going to a universe like some ive read in books, where day to day life is pretty much an open book but the stuff you really want private can be kept private through accessible highly secure encrypted mediums.

The issue we still have isn't necessarily that we are losing privacy, I think its more that easy to use private mediums are not easy yet or entwined in our lives enough. I imagine that's why this question is "privacy vs convenience" and not "privacy vs publicness"

Yeah, let me come up with a example which I'll post in the the first post, but I think you've got the point. This is an eaxmple I've experienced today.

I have an Android phone, am signed into Google, have location on, and am traveling in England. Boom, right there, Google 'knows' you are in England instead of the USA.

Earlier I asked google for Coffee Shops near me, and then I had several coffee shop locations and it knew where I was/the distance to these coffee shops.

I found that inccredibly helpful, and it saved me some time, a true convenience.

Privacy all the way, if you give them an inch they will take a mile, it gets worse and worse everyday. This isn't tinfoil hat stuff. People who say they care more about their security over their freedom/privacy don't understand how bad it can get (or how bad it already is).

Another thing I should add.

Going with privacy 'all the way' means a few things. Do your colleagues use Google Drive (which mine do?) To have true privacy, you'd have to actively not use Drive and that can cause problems.

I am traveling to England with my family, we take selfies and what not, and they post the pictures of us on their Facebook page. Not true privacy.

I'd argue, in this day and age anyway, to have true privacy, you would have to not use the internet, smart phones, etc. But I could be wrong, of course.

So I suppose to me, the question is: Do you want privacy all the way, or privacy all the way that you CAN control?

While i think corporations are partly responsible , the biggest issue faced today is the coders and programmers who will do anything for a dollar and face no responsiblity for their actions. Actions which directly promote the current war on privacy.

And these programmers/coders need to get a pay check, like anyone else to take care of themselves and family.

If I was offered the job to work for Google, where I knew i'd be doing some anti-privacy projects, versus not getting a job, I would pick the former.

Perhaps it's selfish, I don't know.

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Taking moral stance on something is never easy, and it usually benefits everyone else other than you ? Better personal control of one's privacy would be step in the right direction.

It depends: If you take that job to help feed your kids, you do help others.

I do see your point. and agree. I would very likely take a job at the Linux Foundation, NextCloud, or any of the large-scale open source projects over a big corp.

"Please don't read this as me being rude"

Just because it can be done doesn't mean it should be, Let me ask (unless your a malicious hacker) why do these things occur? What benefit does the average Joe, or hell why even does the govt. need to know I searched 1080p cameras on Amazon, or tell people on this website that I think the whole political system is rigged.....those are my privacy searches and my opinions, not theirs, and just because I have an opinion that may not agree with their agenda doesn't mean I am a criminal, And don't give me that whole "terrorist safety BS".


You have to pick and choose on a case by case basis because you can not have both, but you can limit some of the more aggressive privacy concerns through choices, others you can not, like this forum if you want to be a member and participate then you are going to give up a few things in that process, life is full of choices...choose wisely!

It is just something kicking around in the back of my brain ? Ask questions......... Like ... What if ? The programmers and coders banded together and started refusing to develop all this spyware. ( Open source is one group taking a more responsible/adult approach ) I wonder how some sleep at night knowing they have committed basically Digital Rape against their users ?

Damn that's deep.....

Personally.. I think "because we can" is probably the answer. Who knows what kind of info they are scoping up.

There's definitely an issue on on the collection of data, and i think the majority of the issue is either because the companies cant be trusted to keep it safe, or the governments are completely incompetent to be trusted with it.

The fact is although ways of gathering data have increased, so have ways of keeping it private, which is a good thing. The ability was always there, the internet was never private.

I've no idea where some of these decisions come from, I imagine plenty from from well meaning thoughts, but implementations have far reaching consequences and terrible side effects.

On the other hand at the current state of things, analysing your writing style probably isn't on anyone's agenda but googles so they can give you more services and keep you on their platform. Unless your specifically a target of course.

You bring up a point about not meaning your a criminal which is a good point. All this data collection may have no consequence now, the government might hover up a bunch and not care, there only looking for specific things. But what about future governments?

One thing they all seem to disregard is how the data will be used in the future, you cannot guarantee it wont be misused. With google you at least have an option to delete data, decide whats public and private, with government you don't even know what they have.

An issue as well even if you decided to open up information about you, you put yourself at risk in other countries, since even though where in this weird data collecting spying prying "think of the childeren" age, many countries are in the data gathering spying prying "oh look you dont like off with your head age"

A little side route, but its why certain privacy reaching laws, re important, human rights laws, data protection laws, computer misuse laws, consumer laws. People forget about them, but in this day and age they are part of the barriers stopping out data being misused.

You know, there was a point when I was pro privacy on everything. But I've noticed that lately I just don't care anymore. I'm still against it and I'm still appalled when new features that get added that further invade my privacy. But fighting it is getting to the point where not using those services isn't worth the frustration that comes along with it. I still use Google services and MS Windows. I don't think I'll switch to linux unless it gets DX11/12 support. Google Drive is an invaluable tool for me.

For right now convenience > privacy.

Agreed, and to me its because of the other people in my life.

That sounds like I'm putting the blame on them, but I'm not.

95% of the other people in my life are not techies, and would not even consider doing homemade solutions for drive, etc. Why should they?

So much of this.