Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Big Deal About Privacy

Private "Eyes" by Kalie Mashaney

When it comes to online privacy, are you a believer, a realist, or a shrugger? Don't know? Take this short quiz to help you find out then check out The Privacy Paradox to learn just how vulnerable and valuable your data is.

Through the Privacy Paradox I learned much about the mysterious and often surprising ways in which our data is harvested and used. For instance, did you know some apps access the microphone for listening purposes and others access your location for no apparent reason other than to collect and sell that information?

I also learned fairly easy ways I can carve out a little more privacy for myself such as by manually selecting which apps can access my microphone and location.

Here's the lowdown on what I'm talking about:
  • The Privacy Paradox  is a series of  5 newsletters that contain a short podcast (you can listen online or download them), tips for safeguarding your data and metadata, and a challenge toward that end. 
  • The newsletters are delivered to your inbox one day at a time. I saved mine and binge listened one Sunday afternoon.
  • The Privacy Paradox is produced by Note to Self, a podcast from WNYC that focuses on the human side of technology
  • The Privacy Paradox is not alarmist or conspiracy theoryish (two qualities I avoid like an AM radio talk show) but it does present a reality grounded in facts that is pretty surprising.
  • I started out as a realist when it comes to digital data, but now I lean more toward the believer end
Looking both ways before crossing a street, avoiding strangers offering candy, and protecting our digital identity - that's life in the digital age!


  1. Thanks for getting us thinking about our digital privacy! I took the quiz and it said I was a realist. I hope that's kinda good! I'd welcome further information about how to protect our digital identity.

    1. My pleasure! To find out more about how your data is used and steps to take to prevent it, complete the Privacy Paradox program I described above or go to
      It's pretty quick and really informative. Good luck!!