I don't go too far or wide on the internet these days, but I've noticed more and more sites are asking me to share my location with them. How many of you are noticing this trend?
My concern is that once I agree to that, what else are they going to ask for? Access to my pictures folder? Access to my documents folder? Or, being that I already agreed to sharing my location, they just go in and take it?
They say information is power, and so many companies these days are requesting so much personal information it's scary. Yup, the quest for power and information has reached unprecedented proportions and it should be sounding alarm bells to us all.
I don't know exactly what this location request is about, I just deny it. I don't use a VPN so my IP address should give them my location anyway.
If you use a smartphone you'll indeed notice that apps want access to your camera, microphone, location and other things you might not want to share with them. Since smartphone apps are supposed to be sandboxed they have to ask for permission. Regular Win32 programs can in theory access those things without asking because there is no sandbox.
I don't like sandboxed programs which are being pushed on the desktop too, because they are dumbed down compared to regular programs, but on the smartphone all apps are "dumb" anyway so sandboxing may be a good idea there, especially if the permission system is granular.
Some apps don't ask for permission because they are installed by default. Someone mentioned that he switched from standard Android keyboard to Hacker's Keyboard and saw a reduction in network activity... I don't know if this is true, but the devil is often in the details and sometimes the most important things are those they don't tell you.
It doesn't help that our governments are complicit in the largest collection of personal data in the history of mankind.
I try to use open source software because it's harder to hide nasty stuff in there. I do believe open source could solve our privacy problems. However, just as JcRabbit pointed out in another thread, making money off open source software is very difficult so it's doomed to free software offerings and those projects have to rely on donations or ads which isn’t ideal.
I think there is some similarity to the web. Ten years ago most websites were free and relied on ads. Then came the adblockers en masse and the ad model was no longer a sustainable model. So now there are more paywalls and less content is free. And websites also became aware they could make money off data collection so surfing the web "anonymously" today involves a lot of work. I just use an adblocker and let them have their cookies on my machine. Sometimes I clear browser history, but I don't care too much about browser tracking. It's a way of giving back to websites which can't rely on ad revenue any more.
Whatever you use you have to give something back; it's just a question of what, when and how.
Unfortunately, greed causes companies to want your money AND your data.