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How not to be tracked

25 Nov

I just completed several completely untrackable searches and movements about town. I slipped by Google, Microsoft, Asian hackers, global mobile device corporation IT departments, data mining specialists, even Homeland Security and CSIS. And I’m willing to share my techniques with you. In layperson language, easy to understand and with step by step instructions that even tech-challenged information users can follow.

The enormous divide in levels of privacy between inputting queries to the web and my method is startling. You know it is, from watching “Mission Impossible” and all the newer films about what can be quickly discovered about anyone who uses the internet, cell phones, credit cards, GPS equipped vehicles and other devices, membership cards, and even digital home electric meters. Think about that…with the meters, for example, someone can remotely tell when you’re home using your appliances, and when the house is likely empty with the lights dimmed. Vehicle and mobile device GPS is good for ascertaining your location on the move, credit cards or store membership cards good for tracking location plus purchase habits and linked characteristics, such as whether you have children and their approximate ages, special dietary needs in the household, pregnancies, sexual activity, physical or mental illness, reading and viewing habits, and occasional or frequent incontinence.

With Microsoft supplying laptops and Google supplying Chromebooks to schools and developing a plethora of student-friendly apps, classrooms are also a trove of trackable data. When linked with lunchroom records, attendance and activity logging and eye movement trackers, it’s only a matter of time before the corpsy corps that run that part of the Cloud will be able not only to test kids keyable knowledge, but predict test results ahead of time. As well as determine every market-relevant trend coursing through school kid culture.

Those of you who see all these changes with giddy acceptance, as the “smell of progress” (what our great grandparents called the stench of the pulp mills and factories of that era), can stop reading now. The rest is only for those interested in restoring some portion of their private lives and narrowing the circle of society that is able to watch over their comings and goings.

When I share my techniques, they’ll be surprisingly familiar to you, but you may see them in a whole new light, as I did–as beacons of freedom, places of safety in a hostile world, havens from the rat race, miraculous privileges conferred instead of just your right, your natural right. These practices may be known to you, but they are in danger of being lost to this generation. So this is in a sense an opportunity to re-skill.

First there’s the travel aspect. Whether you choose to walk, ride your unregistered bicycle, or pay cash fare to ride the bus, you will be minimally tracked in each case, dependent on the number of security cameras along your route.

Second, it is sometimes possible to purchase goods at stores or markets and pay with cash, avoiding giving one’s phone number, membership card, or zip code. No one but the merchant need know, and they have too much to do to remember anyway. Trading and bartering is even better, as even your bank need not know you are making an exchange.

Last, it is possible to obtain information and cultural content without being tracked in several ways. The most secure source of information is your own mind. Your mental repository of experiences, memorized facts, figures, music, skills, and methodologies may be out of practice, but the human mind is a powerful tool and can be reconditioned. Even more powerful is the resource of contemporary community knowledge which we may access through sharing information with other live human beings using the medium of spoken or unspoken language. Further non-trackable information and other types of searches are possible with the use of books, radio, an other free broadcasting, while those media continue to exist.

Perhaps, like me, you already joined FaceBook or some other social media site and listed your birth date, educational, employment, residence and travel history, your list of family members, friends and associates, all your likes, and personal photos, for the benefit of the Facebook advertising department, and are now receiving startlingly relevant advertising popups. Even if you later removed your information, it’s no doubt been collected and is being stored by someone for some purpose or other. Well, it can’t be helped. But this is the first day of the rest of your life, and the whole world is still open to you. Enjoy it, and may we never know anything about it unless you want us to.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on November 25, 2014 in How to, Ideas, Media

 

Tags: , , ,

2 responses to “How not to be tracked

  1. jdawgsrunningblog

    November 26, 2014 at 5:33 am

    Another amazing, breathtaking piece of writing—the tone had this brisk lightness–and eerie bite to it–the language soared and leaped off the page–the pace zipped and zinged—and then, the content, message, and theme blended in so seamlessly it felt like the most fleeting of lucid dreams.

     

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