What’s going on, what’s the big deal ?
Windows 10 is out. People are naturally curious, especially the ones that are into tech, but not exclusively. According to Microsoft, in the first 24 hours there were 14 million installations.
Many of who upgraded to windows 10, did not know of the privacy issues involved at that time. A week or so later, articles sprang up all over internet criticizing pervasive and blatant privacy/security violations Microsoft obviously know it can get away with.
Everything from key-logging, recording your Skype conversation, recording your emails, browsing history and form submitted passwords, WiFi passwords, speech and handwriting history to name a few. Many of these “can” be turned off, some can be turned off for only a short while (???) and most probably, there are a bunch of these insanely blatant privacy invading options embedded deep in Windows source that can’t be seen or deactivated. Basically, everything you do on internet, with Windows 10 – will be recorded by one Corporation. This is literally the scariest thing I’ve ever seen.
We all (at least I hope so…) heard about American NSA, British GcHQ, AND others, spying on both domestic and foreign citizens through google, youtube, facebook.. but this what Microsoft did now is a whole new level. They now literally have access to EVERYTHING you do on internet. There’s no way to disable some of the features even if use VPN, TOR or whatever else.
Ok, got it. Why should I care ?
In the past couple of days I’ve seen people discussing Windows 10, and whenever someone mentions these privacy issues, people just seem not to care, well.. most of them anyway. I’m not sure if they think “oh well.. what do I care, who wants to see my facebook or youtube history anyway” or what other reason for this way of thinking might be, but people… that’s NOT the point.
What these corporations are doing is trying to make privacy and anonymity obsolete, and to gradually condition people into willingly giving personal data to companies, and consequently to Government agencies. If people accept it, whistle blowers like Edward Snowden will be obsolete. Why would people like that exist if you are willing to give data about yourself willingly to whoever is in power ?
When America was founded, right to privacy and anonymity was a constitutional right. It was like that for a reason, and in these modern times, nobody, including the American Government could wiretap you, read your email or spy on you in any capacity without at least reasonable doubt.
This is also about control. If you willingly accept a entity that knows everything about you, you willingly are giving control to somebody else over your life.
Here are some quotes from famous CEOs, Politicians and famous people on this topic, that might help you put all of this in perspective:
Historically, privacy was almost implicit, because it was hard to find and gather information. But in the digital world, whether it’s digital cameras or satellites or just what you click on, we need to have more explicit rules – not just for governments but for private companies. – Bill Gates
Privacy is not something that I’m merely entitled to, it’s an absolute prerequisite. – Marlon Brando
Once you’ve lost your privacy, you realize you’ve lost an extremely valuable thing. Billy Graham
In digital era, privacy must be a priority. Is it just me, or is secret blanket surveillance obscenely outrageous? – Al Gore
I don’t see myself as a hero because what I’m doing is self-interested: I don’t want to live in a world where there’s no privacy and therefore no room for intellectual exploration and creativity. – Edward Snowden
Just to mention a few. Even if you don’t care, have nothing to hide, or whatever your reason is for not caring, you should resist. Out of principle. You do have a choice.