I read a lot of tweets, blogs, forums which relate to security & privacy and there seems to be a very common thread running through a lot of them. They generally consist of people complaining about one service or another and how they don't agree with the privacy of the product, service or company.

For me there is a very quick, simple and pragmatic approach to this, one that is foolproof and works everytime to protect your privacy.


If you don't like the permissions that Facebook requests on your phone then don't grant it permission, don't use the app, you won't die if you don't update your status for a few hours. It really is quiet simple people, there is no need for a huge campaign and website about the issue. Vote with your feet, if people stop using the app Facebook will have to change it, because they can't afford to lose a vast number of users.

The same goes for another complaint I saw over the new year, that Microsoft don't send all error reports over SSL and this is a huge privacy issue!, disable the sending the error reports, problem solved no privacy violated and once the error reports dry up Microsoft will have to make a change as they need the error reports to help with bug fixing.

In short I would like to see less campaigns trying to force big business to change and more information being shared about the issues. If the Facebook app is asking for to much permission e.g. access to text messages then raise the issue/concern and leave others to decide what they are happy with, everyone is happy to agree to different things, don't allow your issues about something to become the loudest issue as this will simply cloud and confuse the issue.

I am thinking of starting up a privacy/security notification website where people can post a concern they have seen so that others can become aware of the issue, without the issue itself becoming lost in the noise.

So in short, it is your phone, it is your laptop, tablet and PC, you can decide what software you install and what you let the software do, that is the magic of computers, you are in control. If you are worried by Google, don't use it or any of its products, if you don't like Microsoft don't use it, it really is very simple.

Lets have less privacy holy wars and more sharing of information, let people make up their own mind based on accurate information and voting with your feet in large numbers is still a very powerful thing to do!

Note:The above are simply examples I have seen and I am aware there are many others, I just wanted to cite a couple based on well known companies and products.