We live in digital servants, exchanging privacy for convenience


Think a second: compared to your grandparents and your parents, what do you really think? own outright?

Why own when you can rent, grant a license or register? This seems to be the new mantra, in which nothing is permanent, but everything is convenient. This is the digital nomad's era and, consequently, it is also the digital servant's era. The masses of servants in the feudal period in Europe provided the job, and the owners of the property collected the profits. Today, work is largely data and properties are digital.

Before immersing ourselves in digital servitude, let's take a look at what is actually happening now. The percentage of families without cars is increasing. Ride-hailing services have multiplied. Netflix boasts over 188 million subscribers. Spotify earns ten million members paid every five or six months.

The model of "impermanence" has become the new normality. But there is still a place where permanence finds its home, with over two billion Active monthly users, Facebook has become a recording platform for the connected world. If it's not on social media, it may not have even occurred.

The Scandal of Cambridge Analytica he discovered how a large amount of Facebook user data was taken and used to influence and influence public opinion. It is transforming the public's perception of the true nature of the social contract that they have signed upside down. As worrying as it is, it has not really influenced Facebook user numbers or levels of engagement. And the recent revelations just scratch the surface of how much of our identity and our work we gave away for access and convenience.

Our digitally enhanced lives have put tracking points on each of us. On every website we visit, our clicks and our actions are extracted without our knowledge. Over 3.7 billion humans today use the internet and the ways we use it are more and more personal. We make purchases, we count and store the photos. We use the search for almost everything and the GPS to get almost anywhere. Cheap? Absolutely. Sure? Not exactly.

How many times have you participated in a silly free online quiz like "what kind of cat were you in your past life" for a while, while fun unknowingly giving up access to personal data from unknown sources? (Full disclosure: I did it myself!)

Nothing is free

The problem is not an online quiz about cats or our digital lifestyle. The problem is that we are slipping back into a feudal system as we barricade into the future.

Such as? Not paying attention to the first law of economics – nothing in life is free.

By engaging with online platforms, networks and digital intermediaries, we voluntarily exchange our identities for services, access and convenience. We have converted our business and our work into profit for these same platforms. WWe freely offer our ideas, personal information and personalities to the world.

We are the 3.7 billion human beings who use the Internet today, serving as producers of unpaid content for platforms such as Facebook and Medium. Our interactions, transactions and daily ideas are now stored in third-party clouds, making the ads appear and gaining millions for these organizations.

By doing so, we have again become serfs. Not like the servants of feudal times, who apparently were free because they worked in the properties of their lords and earned enough to live, but not enough to improve their conditions. In this case, our servitude serves to work at digital field. We willingly trapped in a cage, but in a digital cage, chasing sympathies and clicks in a relentless cycle.

When you search on a major search engine, have you ever seen a disclosure about how the platform chooses to offer you ads and information to generate revenue based on the information it collects from you? When you download a new app and require a long list of permissions – to your contacts, photos and microphone – you accept these intrusive (and often excessive) requests and download it anyway?

In our digital-dependent world, what other option exists? That haulage service you use almost every day records who you are, where you go and when – but you need it to move. And the thought of not backing up your important documents on the cloud seems irresponsible. In order to enjoy any comfort in your timed life, you are forced to hand over your most personal information in order to use services that, for many of us, feel essential.

Even something as simple as banking transactions, there's a reason that so many credit card promotions appear on your screen. It's about giving you benefits to access your payment information. With it, companies rely on about a trillion dollars in annual transaction fees that feed that industry. WeChat too and Facebook have climbed onto the bandwagon of the payment platform.

In the developed world, we think little of this. We are used to having monetary transactions through intermediaries, so people tolerate the friction of transaction fees. It is interesting to note that it is the emerging economies that may be the first to experience a certain freedom from this.

Take control and privacy

About two billions people are not accepted, so their financial and purchasing data are offline. Most of these people are in developing nations. Blockchain technology is often cited as the ability to allow these communities to bypass traditional and invasive networks of financial institutions. Exciting and liberating, of course, but the first technology is not without problems.

Bitcoin, for example, has been celebrated with great fanfare as a response to privacy and quick and easy money transfers. The miners used this cryptocurrency five years ago and are actually neither private nor efficient. Because of mining, Bitcoin consumes an exorbitant amount of energy. In fact, the energy used bitcoin mining in 2017 it has exceeded the energy consumption of Ireland and most of the African nations. Furthermore, it is not private at all. The data are stored on a public accounting register, which can not be changed.

Most blockchain they are not actually decentralized. Bitcoin and Ethereum, for example, use "miners" to verify transactions and have mostly been confused in a handful of vast large mining pools, reducing security and performance. That was not the pure initial intent of design.

Technology continues to evolve like the nature of trust. Intermediaries were created to establish trust between unrelated parties, but in or wasf Equifax losses and Cambridge Analytica scandals, things are destined to change again.

In this phase of digital evolution, truly decentralized solutions will not be verified by data mining pools but instead by the devices networks themselves. This allows the localized ownership of digital resources. This puts control and privacy back into your hands.

In the end, no matter how much or how little you have in the future, your data and your identity could be your most precious resources.

If you can help, do not leave them for a free email account, a free credit card or a free quiz on cats. Know your value and evaluate what you own.

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