“Playing Data Privacy is a Team Sport”

I recently added a quote to the front page of my blog from an article posted by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).  I was so astounded when I saw it.

“…Protecting digital privacy is a job no one can do alone. While there are many steps you can take to protect your own privacy, the real protection comes when we recognize that privacy is a team sport…”1

It is my pleasure to introduce the EFF to those who haven’t heard yet.  I was working in the Silicon Valley after college when EFF started, so I cannot actually remember life before them.  I grew up in a union town, and I sensed that EFF was important, but I didn’t fully understand the vision behind an organization that intended to “…work to ensure that rights and freedoms are enhanced and protected as our use of technology grows.”  It wasn’t until around 1995 that I realized the Internet would level the playing field for people with ideas.  They actually now had a route to making their dreams a reality.

The article, “FOR DATA PRIVACY DAY, PLAY PRIVACY AS A TEAM SPORT”1, a commentary by Geenie Gebhart, January 27, 2017, describes how end-to-end encryption works, along with the bigger issues around whether or not your community is using it.

“…don’t just change your back-up settings to prevent unencrypted cloud storage of your messages. Talk to your contacts about changing their settings, too. If any one participant in a conversation has cloud back-ups turned on, then copies of your conversations with them will be stored in the cloud unencrypted…”, Gebhart writes.

As the article outlines, the team sport applies to the emails we share, how we all use encryption, how we resist tracking by all using Privacy Badger, how we use social media together, and how we manage community activism.

In 2012, it was discovered that Apple Apps were not asking permission before uploading a user’s entire address book to it’s cloud server.  The LinkedIn mobile app was also gathering and sending calendar and meeting notes to it’s cloud server without notifying users explicitly, the transmissions were in plain text, and were used to synchronize connections or possible connections between users. 2,3

Last month, TheIntercept writer Sam Biddle exposed Uber’s use of data, which it bought from Unroll.me, to “gauge the health of archrival Lyft”.4 Unroll.me is a service people might use to manage unwanted email, but it’s selling user data to advertisers without users knowing.
After reading through Sam Biddle’s article, and looking at the related links like the Slice Intelligence Blog, I agree with the following statement regarding the founder of Unroll.me:

“…If your privacy were important to Jojo Hedaya, the contents of your email, even if anonymized, would not be for sale. Were he ever serious about keeping your inbox private, an apology blog wouldn’t have been needed to begin with…”4

iExchange Software has a built-in countermeasure to the issues described above for it’s iXMessage Social Media Platform.  The iExchange company mission subscribes to the “Team Sport” concept already by breaking away from the established norms of social media.


Socializing online does not require the exposure outlined on the right side of this image.  iExchange Software has chosen to architect a trusted environment for girls to socialize with when using the iXMessage app.

As parents, using iXMessage and asking your family and community to use it as well, is a joint commitment to “Play Privacy as a Team Sport”.

1FOR DATA PRIVACY DAY, PLAY PRIVACY AS A TEAM SPORT, commentary by Geenie Gebhart, January 27, 2017
2Apple Requires User Permission Before Apps Can Access Personal Data in iOS 6,  Jordan Golson, June 14, 2012
3LinkedIn’s iOS app collects and transmits names, emails and notes from your calendar, in plain text,  by — Jun 5, 2012 in INSIDER

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