Screenshot of Chris Pinchen from The Privacy Agency (top) speaking with Delano’s Aaron Grunwald about during a Delano Live Chat, 26 August 2020. Watch a replay of the webcast below
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to protecting yourself online, a Luxembourg-based computer security researcher and digital literacy trainer has said in a livestreamed interview with Delano.
During a Delano Live Chat on Wednesday, Chris Pinchen of The Privacy Agency spoke with Delano’s Aaron Grunwald about online safety and security. The webcast series is organised by Delano’s sister outfit, the Paperjam Club.
Pinchen began the interview by talking about The Dating Brokers project, where the pressure group Tactical Tech legitimately bought a million real online dating profiles for just €136 (ostensibly to set up their own dating website). The data haul contained all of the details shared by users on a existing dating site, including personal preferences and profile pictures. Pinchen said he often cites The Dating Brokers when people ask why they should be concerned about their personal data.
According to Pinchen, there is no single privacy toolbox that will work for everybody. “The important thing to remember about privacy is that everyone’s privacy is different,” he said.
Pinchen stated during the webcast:
“The important thing to think about technology and privacy and security is the balance. We’re using this platform now to be able to conduct this chat, even though we’re locked down…
This is a great convenience. We have to judge against that, what is happening to our data in this context. Livestorm.co, what are they doing with our data? What are Paperjam and Delano doing with our data in this context? So we always have to look at these kinds of contextualised things.
Many, many people today, their business exists because they can use Facebook, Instagram, Etsy, whatever it is....
It’s important to be informed about what these companies do, what happens with your data. It’s important to be informed about your privacy, about your rights, what you can do, and then you can make an informed decision about the degree to which you will use the technology [and] the aspect of the technology you choose to use because it’s beneficial to you, not necessarily beneficial to them....
Privacy and security is always going to be a balance, online and offline. It will be a balance between usability, practical applications, the value that that brings to your life, the value that it brings to your business, to your social life, to your education, and the ability to balance those things [to achieve] the privacy that you want.”
During the live chat, Pinchen also spoke about the changing risks facing remote workers during the covid-19 pandemic, how parents need to build trust around digital issues with their children (particularly teenagers), reading the terms & conditions and privacy policies of apps and sites (which sometimes contain cake recipes), and how technology outfits use algorithms.
Next Delano Live Chats:
“Drafting a new career blueprint”: Laura Ho will discuss her transition from lawyer to writer, as well as her breakout debut novel “Last Tang Standing”, Wednesday 2 September at 12noon
“Looking forward with data science”: Lisa Veiber of the University of Luxembourg and Research Luxembourg’s covid-19 task force will discuss data monitoring during the pandemic, Wednesday 9 September at 12noon