Rethinking our own personal data
Over time, perceptions of "privacy" have changed. A private space was nearly always tied to a sacred, closed-off environment, your own little world. A home. Now, homes are full of 24/7 wiretap devices (courtesy of Amazon Echo) and at least half a dozen devices with cameras, interactive screens, and direct links to the entire world. All day every day there is unceasing, constant input, spin, and marketing. And this is affecting us all, even if we think we are in control.
It's very easy in this day and age to lose focus of what our psychological sovereignty truly means, and what it feels like to have a genuine private moment or a sense of quiet inner peace. I believe this is something we shouldn't allow to fade - the more we connect ourselves to the corporate information extraction machine, the more numbed we become, and the more we lose control of our current and future decisions. As our thoughts and actions are slowly manipulated for the sole purpose of profit by large, faceless entities, our personal freedoms crumble. And ultimately our free will diminishes.
"Taking control of your data" itself has been appropriated as marketing for yet more profit-driven ventures; the growing awareness of privacy concerns amongst the wider public in the last few years has become part of the machine.
We must learn to opt-out, say no, and disentangle ourselves from parties wishing to convert our sacred human experience into lines of zeroes in a spreadsheet. The first step to taking control of your data is to stop letting it flow out of your brain and into the surveillance capitalism algorithms.
Do you need to connect X to Y? Does this website need to store your preferences? Do you feel comfortable with how long this service holds onto the information you've given it? What is the worst thing this party could do given everything it knows about you? If someone wanted to get the better of you, could they? How do you feel when you close your eyes and think about every part of yourself that exists all over the virtual world, and how fast it all comes crashing into your private physical space? Are you at ease with that?
Start asking yourself these questions every day and collectively we can begin to regain control.