Arguments for privacy / against mainstream apps

Hi /e/ friends!
I have a new project, and I think it’s relevant to all of us. So that’s why I’m asking for your help today!

My project is this: I’m sick of trying to convince people to give up Goolag, Msoft, Fbbok, Whatsaap, without a concise argument to convince them. The list of these apps is endless as you well know.

So I decided to make a site that would show people the core principles behind boycotting these services, so that they would be so genuinely disgusted that they would voluntarily leave, not having to be dragged.

Do you have any good arguments to leave these services? What brought you away from Goolag, to /e/?
So interested for you feedback on this project!
Thank you very much!


Hey, you can talk about the repeated scandals of Google and company, privacy, tax optimization, dubious monopoly practices (Android and Google) And the philosophy of free software, Linux and all that kind of stuff, or you’re in control and not the other one. There are as many reasons as there are people, after all it’s not easy it’s true but it’s a fantastic world and very rich and accessible without any knowledge of computer engineering. Even the basic command remains quite simple, it’s reliable, solid and very well designed, an example: on Windows you have to go get a software (hoping not to get a virus) and install it praying that there is no error, Windows is not talkative: an error has occurred. OK and ? on Linux: sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y, or sudo apt install -y program which says better?


And you can say them that when they agree that google can read their mail, they are giving away their principles and the more basic rights in exchange of some useful stuff, just like a whore.


Edward Snowden leaks, PRISM, XKeyscore.


I will tell you about my “Eureka Moment”. We visited a local garden centre, phone in pocket not being accessed. I got home and there was a message “Tell us what you think about your visit to [the garden centre]”. I thought WTF is going on here. That was the end of my "Google love affair. So users are being tracked 24 - 7 and I don’t think they know [or even care]. Good project idea but it is an uphill battle.
ps. I have never had a Facebook account.


Another anecdote. I helped run a little group of about 30 guys and set up a Telegram Group to keep them informed of upcoming events. I managed to get 2 [two!!] of them to sign up.
Another group with a similar demographic running WhatsApp has the majority of members involved.
Dunno how we can counteract that. :upside_down_face: :upside_down_face:

You could start collecting arguments why organisations/companies decided to move away from certain products.
I am sure there are many stories to collect, ones such as the United Nations who recently decided to bar WhatsApp usage


In Europe there are the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is place that frames some basic user rights in European Union on user data. It is just a basic regulation but it brings up pretty interesting debates. Such as the one on Win10 or Office 365. It is amazing to observe how complicated it is to get ‘state of the art’ Microsoft products compliant with GDPR and not sucking user data.

The Dutch Government found out a year and a half ago that the telemetriy data were sent to US servers and finally forced Microsoft to improve the software. In Germany there were vivid discussions on whether using Microsoft products in public services and public schools. With Covid-19 this discussion slowed down a bit.

In very brief: GDPR compliance seems possible now, but to make Microsoft’s software not sending telemetry data out in the world is rather complicated and not feasible with every version (that mans as well: from most versions there’s user data skimmed and shared with Microsoft servers).

Really interesting is that those debates are happening for instance in German or Dutch but very little in English. That’s why I will share German some sources (just a brief selection), if you are interested just ask DeepL for translation.

1 Like

I like to compare the online tracking with a physical tracking: imagine somebody following you all day long in the street, taking note of every gesture you make, every hesitation, every shop/house you enter… If he cannot see what you buy in this shop then he’ll try to pay the shopkeeper or your bank to find out…
And actually there are several persons representing several companies following you and sharing their notes.


I love your comparison - very well (succinctly) put :+1:
May I quote you please?

Hey All, don’t get too enthusiastic as all these apps come from just one country for which I will be banned for mentioning, criticizing or poking fun (On-Topic) at its leader, as it is against the imaginary rules of this forum.
Hey Guys, check it out for yourselves – check rules on the FAQ and then head on over to Topic “Government Surveillance” you will see that it has been closed even though 1300 visits. So I ask – can any meaningful discussion take place now to help @donut3
Seven years back Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, DropBox and Apple give the NSA direct access to its users’ information. Special Source Operations codenamed S35 is a division in the American National Security Agency (NSA) which is responsible for all programs aimed at collecting data from both inside the US and abroad, and also through corporate partnerships costing the taxpayers of 9-Eyes – you and me – millions of dollars! Its existence was revealed through documents provided by Edward Snowden to media outlets in 2013 and, according to him, it is the “crown jewel” of the NSA. It might horrify you to know that smartphones double as tracking devices even when the GPS is turned off – techrepublic

Phew! No wonder my post got taken down!
Before this gets taken down – thanks to all the above who have contributed to this thread here thus far? Could I point you to the app and location permissions granted under microG on your ephone and check out golem de thread before continuing? Do you believe your ephone is secure? Questions, questions ……? Open discussion or debate is good?

It could be costing contractors their lives to keep the facebook surveillance machine going whilst keeping facebook staff safe at home

Could I add please @Anonyme ? But advise you get an old laptop and use Tails4.5+Tor LIVE in RAM before looking at ANY on the list. Also please be advised that the consortium headed by the country I am not allowed to mention, is now at least 9-Eyes rather than 5.
Xkeyscore, PRISM, ECHELON, Carnivore, Coronavirus apps, Verus, Dishfire, Stone Ghost, Tempora, Frenchelon, Fairview, MYSTIC, DCSN, Boundless Informant, Bullrun, Pinwale, Stingray, SORM, RAMPART-A, DANCINGOASIS, SPINNERET, MOONLIGHTPATH, INCENSER, AZUREPHOENIX etc etc ……
I have never used any SocMed apps – back about 2013 I read the small print about my new S3-mini and then the small print capabilities of Google Play – I was horrified. It seemed like; give us all your data or do not use this device – so spent days disabling and removing apps and system components – just ignored all the warnings and now will buy Faraday bag to save keep removing and replacing battery to kill location for real.
Perhaps stick to criticizing China (approved by our imaginary rules) to distract from the pertinent real stuff? Oh No! Not another cunning Baldrick plan!
India’s national contact-tracing app “Aarogya Setu”. That document says the app collects users’ age, gender, phone number, profession and name. It tracks users with GPS and Bluetooth. And while that information is not uploaded to the government until a positive COVID test, “All personal information collected from you … at the time of registration will be retained for as long as your account remains in existence and for such period thereafter as required under any law for the time being in force.”
Time now for some fun – I’m heading over to Invidious Yewtube and search for that guy China loves with a “very, very large big brain” and “Why Does ***** Keep Talking About His Brain? :exploding_head: :joy: :+1:
Have Fun – Wish you all well at this time, wherever you are – Stay Safe. Yes; You and your devices!

Dear all,
Thank you very much for your contributions to my project!
I will be creating the site sometime in the next weeks. I am really grateful for the good thoughts shared by @Anonyme and @ralxx . Thank you again! You have my creative juices flowing!


As people say: “I need protection of my personal data, not because my actions are questionable, but because your judgement and intentions are.”

“I need privacy, not because my actions are questionable, but because your judgement and intentions are.”


@donut3 : also have a look to the begining of /e/ at .

Yes, thank you @DiegoM… But that page isn’t what i’m looking for. What i want is a page that argues why we should not want to use a device like this, and then prove that our devices are indeed like this, then show that there is a way out: by sacrificing comfort, we can achieve privacy.


Yes @DiegoM I did that; got the T-shirt :yawning_face:
However not as advertised - check out golem thread - find with search golem. You might need to copy and paste into DeepL for better understanding - hope this helps :+1:
Wishing @donut3 good luck (8) with your project; can’t wait! :superhero:

We do not sacrifice comfort but the “gratis” part of the offer by paying real honest money for a services (/e/ echosystem) that we use.

Make sure you are not duplicating existing efforts like

1 Like

You have already received awesome answers. But I think I can add some ideas. I try to work as a privacy consultant after 8 years studying about privacy where I came from Free Software philosophy world.
There are some main points on which all the business of those big tech of the data market are based.
Maybe I am not going to list them by order, but these are the most important ones, in my opinion of course. I am going to give you my list of main points and a books you can recommend to your “marketed” friends:

1º Data is a business and users of big platforms are the product those platforms sell to their real clients: other companies. In fact sometimes those other companies use the services of those big platforms to just change people minds or even the truth about something.
Recommended books:
(This one is very basic, not tech thing at all. Available in a few languages)
(This one is a marvelous essay telling the truth about Silicon Valley. Everyone can read it, but is not so simple and direct as the previous one. Chapter nine specially recommendable to women. Available only in English, up to now):

2º How do they make people to be hooked to Social Networks and other software so people is generating data as much as possible? Behavioral Adictions.
(Astonishing book about this matter explained in software and tech context. Without any doubt a cornerstone to understand the current digital situation. Available in a few languages):

This TED video by Tristan Harris (other person you will be very interested in) is very teaching as well:

3º How is everything working today about personal data?
(This one is a really really good starting point for profanes, but I think is only available in Spanish. It talks about the situation in Spain, but its really good):

For the general public we have also the last publication of Edward Snowden, which could be as well of interest, but the three previous books are more important in my opinion (available in a few languages):

4º Consequences of the work model of Silicon Valley. This is another criteria to oppose to the use of the products of those companies we always talk about. But, you now, if people can not make a move for their own rights how are they going to do something for others… But, anyway it is another argument and I show it (I think it is available in a few languages):

From here we can continue but now the books need just a little bit of tech knowledge. Maybe not technically but of course the reader need to understand some very basic concepts, or at least this books are for people more willing to learn about this subject.

5º The way you treat data have consequences in the results. Almost every book talking about biases and “not fair” process of data comes to refer to this book. The most “ancient” of all my recommendations (2016). But what it says is still very present, unfortunately. (Available in a few languages):

This one is very good as well. The main barrier to the general public is simply that it has the incredible figure of 692 pages :scream: But without bibliography and references it is only 525 of real text to read, so Let’s do it¡ (available in a few languages, I think): By the way, this is a really nice second hand books (there are new ones as well) website in which you can find many book in very good conditions for a more affordable price.

Lastly, if you want to recommend just a novel (science fiction, more less now, but in a few years maybe we will have to change the gender to essay) I suggest this one (the is a film too, but it changed a lot of important things in the plot, much better the book):

Of course the list of books could be like a library but this is a good starting.
By the way, in some of this books (Silicon States, for example) is obvious the role of clinic information of people using some widely spread technology and its not future but present consequences for individuals.

If you want more info you can contact me through my website:


Hey @Pablo Thank you so much for your time in compiling this excellent post in perhaps not your first language and confirming the uncanny accuracy of the lyrics: I’m The Slime (FZ 1973). Never mind the Central Scrutinizer and Who Are the Brain Police - a bit too heavy :open_mouth:
Enjoyed the enlightening lecture by Tristan Harris yet had to smile that after spending such a large part detailing how the HOOK catches YT viewers with the next video, and the next, next… as the video finishes it is telling you what is coming next and then loads it up and plays it! :astonished: Pot calling the kettle black - doing exactly what he was just railing about. Very good video none the less. :+1:
Plenty of other works listed to save me looking at this PC screen - thanks.
Do any of the vacuous SocMed - the vast majority - care; as they head into oblivion following some equally vacuous and shallow celebrity :thinking: or some cute fluffy thing :hatching_chick: we are surely all doomed :crazy_face:

1 Like