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The Art of Invisibility
Forfatter: Kevin Mitnick
Forlag: Little, Brown and Company (USA)
A former hacker delivers a gloomy account of our privacy at a time when technology giants are absorbing all the information about you. Some simple precautions can be beneficial.


Being invisible on the web sounds almost like a utopia. Most people have accepted that every click is stored by technology giants like Google and that not only our browsing is stored, but also GPS sites and Wi-Fi networks we visit.

Fetus in the details. Former hacker Kevin Mitnick shares his insider knowledge The Art of Invisibility; a shocking look into the world of online privacy. But why should you care about protecting yourself from online tracking? What can companies do with the information collected about you and others using their services? Let me give you an example: A company called "Target" started sending pregnancy brochures to a family in the United States when they assumed their daughter was pregnant. The father was furious, but her daughter later admitted that she was actually pregnant, according to a New York Times article. The target of Target, Andrew Pole, is cited in the article, where he explains how his company identified 25 products that together indicated pregnancy and probable term.

It is even possible to buy lists of rape victims.

Big Data is not just about analyzing clicks; Big Data actually predicts events in your life that affect your consumption pattern, such as pregnancy, relocation or a new job. This allows companies to offer the right products at the right time. Big Data is immensely an effective means of predicting human behavior, simply because of the amount of data. The data on anyone on the internet can be used to create a model. More data means better predictions and increased sales.

Sending a brochure can seem like an innocent example of what companies can do with forecasting analysis. But what if you haven't shared the happy news with your spouse yet, or if it was a rape that caused the pregnancy? Then it feels extremely invasive to receive baby supplies. Even worse is when the company uses data for other decisions with more fateful consequences, such as who should be offered health insurance and not.

Groceries and property. So-called computer brokers buy and sell lists of personal information from around the world. It is even possible to purchase lists of rape victims, according to CEO Pam Dixon of the World Privacy Forum in an issue of the Zembla journalistic journal. The price for the name of a rape victim? 7,9 US cents, Dixon said. Any company with membership or online account can profit from the data by selling it to a data broker. Any company with a website can actually sell data, depending on their discretionary guidelines. Many such privacy policies already includes the right to collect, sell or share specific information with third parties. Sales of data may eventually become more profitable than the other products or services of a company. You may think that a company simply sells dog food, real estate or protein snacks, but the most important source of revenue may actually be the company's user data. The financial incentives associated with the increasing availability and affordable cost of using Big Data are good reasons for most people to think about whether they should hide some – or all – of the information about themselves Online.

Complete anonymity requires a standalone computer with a new operating system.

Security measures. And this is it The Art of Invisibility coming in. In my opinion, everyone should read this book and use the guidelines it presents. Or as Mitnick says: “You may not have any secret secrets to share. But you might fight your ex in a litigation. Or you may be in conflict with your boss. You can contact a friend who is still dealing with an abusive family member. ” The book makes it clear that being anonymous online is extremely difficult. Complete anonymity for beginners requires a standalone computer with a new operating system (Tails) and new browser (TOR) that is paid in cash. This computer can never be used to log in to your email or social media account and can never be turned on at home or at work. If you're not looking to hide from the boss or ex, but just want to minimize your digital footprint, there are several easier things you can do, according to Mitnick. "We can think before we post that image with a home address that appears in the background. Or before we provide our profile on social media with a real date of birth and other personal information. Or before we surf the web without using the HTTPS Everywhere extension encryption tool. Or before we make confidential calls or send texts without using an end-to-end encryption tool like Signal. Or before we send a message to a doctor via AOL, MSN Messenger, or Google Talk without features like OTR (Off-the-Record). Or before we send a confidential email without using PGP (Pretty Good Privacy Encryption Program) or GPG (GNU Privacy Guard). ” Tools like these, and some simple vigilance, are not exactly overwhelming security measures. It only takes a few minutes to install a Chrome extension or get a secure email address. As your personal information becomes more valuable and tracking becomes easier thanks to developments within Big Data, I suggest you download this tool right now!

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