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How to explain why (electronic) privacy matters[Bearbeiten]

Most of geeks currently (2014) have difficulties to explain to their family and friends why privacy matters. For example: "why using Facebook is a bad idea".

This page is made to receive ideas of arguments, stuffs to show them, in order to give them a idea of what we (geeks) mean.


How to answer to the "I have nothing to hide" argument[Bearbeiten]

While not protecting yourself (ie: your computer) you let also spying your friends by the messages they sent to you.

  • As he/she has nothing to hide, ask him/her very private questions. He will no answer to all. Then tell he lying, he has things to hide to some people. His/her sentence should be "I have have nothing to... corporation(s)/governement(s)", then the sentence become very strange, notice him/her that and to think about.

Simple arguments like "I have nothing to hide" are hard to defend against. This is why they are so effective. Consider that people generally want to be polite and avoid trouble.

  • Requests to share information, like from social media, are worded in a friendly, nonthreatening manner. There seems to be no reason to guard against these requests. Corporations involved in data mining have ulterior motives, but not every body believes that. Sharing your distrust with others may make you seem paranoid to them. They may start to distrust you or even become your enemy. Think before you start getting confrontational with others.
  • Requests from authorities are very threatening. People want to end confrontations like this as quickly as possible. They may neglect more appropriate actions by attempting to prove their innocence. While not always true (why?), people should not try to prove their innocence. Transparency is foolish with these adversaries. You will become guarded when asked about truly sensitive information. Ending participation at a certain point in conversations is an admission.

How to explain briefly why Google is NOT your friend[Bearbeiten]

.. please help ...

Visit with them the following web URL: (this is the URL of their searches, you friend will see that Google has a huge memory and remember things that himself/herself has forget).

How to reply to "It's too late, there is no alternatives" argument[Bearbeiten]

Hummingbird says: There are some but you ignore they exist. Why? : in our economic system accumulating your personnal datas makes money, learning you how to avoid it do cost money. This is why you have to search this kind of knowledge by yourself.

How to explain them to be careful about free web services[Bearbeiten]

Repeat and repeat (and explain) the sentence: "If you are not paying for it, you're not the customer; you're the product being sold." (Andrew Lewis, wrote later a book (Goodies shop).

Show the great picture The "Free" Model drew by Geek & Pokes (2010). About business model of internet companies provided services to users for free.

Additional comment:

Paying for a service does not exclude the risk of being sold as product. In fact, one must think carefully, what reason is there to actually trust any service. If there is a free web service, one should seek the answer to the question:"Why are they offering it for free and how are they making the money to pay for their bills?"

There also exists the freemium business model, which focuses on upselling premium services. For maximizing the revenue there must be a balance of about 15%-18% paying users and 85%-82% free users. This allocation seems to be optimal for spreading the utilization of the service and creating the highest revenue. (As stated, for example, in the book "Free: The Future of a Radical Price" (ISBN-13: 978-1401322908 / ISBN-10: 1401322905))

How to understand why so few people act against their loss of privacy[Bearbeiten]

... to complete ...

Throughout human history, injustices have been normalized and accepted by mainstream society. According to Marx, nearly every social norm and custom is deeply rooted in the prevailing socioeconomic system, or mode of production. To be simplistic, slavery was acceptable in slave society because the economy depended on it, nearly all existing institutions (including the state) endorsed it, and quite simply put, it was profitable. The same applies to feudalism and to our modern capitalist society. It's profitable to sell people's personal information to the highest bidder and the state is okay with this because it too violates people's right to privacy on a massive scale. It's just "the way things are" and like slavery, people just don't care enough about it either because it doesn't effect them enough or because they have been conditioned by society think it is okay. Abolitionists in early America were radicals just as privacy activists are today. Another way to look at it: imagine being aware of the necessity of soap in the 15th century. You understand how viruses work, how bacteria spreads, how it's all around us as a fundamental part of the world we live in but no one seems to care or believe germs are as bad as you say they are. A strange example, but an interesting one. -Red


Educational materials[Bearbeiten]


  • 2003: The Corporation. If you still think that large companies are reasonables, so they will not do things too much unpleasant to their (ex)customers.
  • 2013: "A counter history about the internet". IMDB page about this movie. This movie only exist in French ("Une contre-histoire de l'Internet") and German ("Eine Gegengeschichte der Internetze"), but a english subtitles file exist:
    Use iMule ;)


Wikipedia (general articles)[Bearbeiten]

Entertainment materials[Bearbeiten]



Educational and entertainment materials[Bearbeiten]

A letter from Anonymous (2010. Mainly about free spech and internet censorship)[Bearbeiten]

  • On iMule:
  • On Youtube

Ressources for geeks[Bearbeiten]