Adam

@surfcoderepeat

Becoming anonymous on the internet and gaining back your freedom

March 27th 2018

Since the Facebook election campaign saga it seems thousands of people are getting more conscious about being more private on the internet, more articles are written about it every day.

A few days ago @iamdylancurran wrote this tweet that went viral, even Edward Snowden retweeted it.

I decided to take that TweetStorm and turn it into a site with simple yet actionable tips for the average non technical user to start gaining some of their freedom back, here is a sneak peak from @iamdylancurran tweet:

Google stores your location (if you have it turned on) every time you turn on your phone, and you can see a timeline from the first day you started using Google on your phone.
This is every place I have been in the last twelve months in Ireland, going in so far as the time of day I was in the location and how long it took me to get to that location from my previous one
Google stores your search history across all your devices on a separate database, so even if you delete your search history and phone history, Google still stores everything until you go in and delete everything, and you have to do this on all devices
Google creates an advertisement profile based on your information, including your location, gender, age, hobbies, career, interests, relationship status, possible weight (need to lose 10lbs in one day?) and income.
Google stores information on every app and extension you use, how often you use them, where you use them, and who you use them to interact with (who do you talk to on Facebook, what countries are you speaking with, what time you go to sleep at).
Google stores all of your YouTube history, so they know whether you’re going to be a parent soon, if you’re a conservative, if you’re a progressive, if you’re Jewish, Christian, or Muslim, if you’re feeling depressed or suicidal, if you’re anorexic…
Google offers an option to download all of the data it stores about you. I’ve requested to download it and the file is 5.5GB big, which is roughly 3 million Word documents!
It includes your bookmarks, emails, contacts, your Google Drive files, all of the above information, your YouTube videos, the photos you’ve taken on your phone, the businesses you’ve bought from, the products you’ve bought through Google, your calendar, your Google Hangout sessions, your location history, the music you listen to, the Google books you’ve purchased, the Google groups you’re in, the websites you’ve created, the phones you’ve owned, the pages you’ve shared, how many steps you walk in a day…

What to do?

  1. Go to your Google Activity
  2. Click on Delete activity by and choose all time and all products
  3. Click on submit to delete all the data they stored on you on all their major apps

Delete “personalized” ads targetting

  1. Go to Google Ad Settings
  2. Click on the button to disallow ads personalization
  3. Confirm

Disable reporting location on your mobile phone

Wether you are on Android or IOS you can go to the settings and disable the location reporting. This will avoid Google and other companies knowing where you are at all times.

Checkout the becoming anonymous website for the complete guide

BecomingAnonymous.com -it’s open source, completely free and super short, I divided it into 5 days of 10 minutes each because from experience people on the internet are lazy :), the end goal is to have at least some people become more aware about privacy so they continue to spread the word to their friends are family.

Feel free to contact me on twitter @surfcoderepeat or contribute to the code on github with any suggestions 🙂

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