Nobody Needs Privacy
Nobody Needs Privacy
June 8, 2019
Except you and me

Firefox Confronts Chrome and Facebook with Enhanced Privacy via @martinibuster

While navigating through real life, your ability to keep secrets, as well as the potential to become or remain anonymous, is what keeps your boat afloat. Without privacy, the physical you would have nowhere to hide, no safe path to experiment and learn, no room to grow, no reason to take a risk and reap the benefits. In other words, in the absence of privacy, you would have no way to distinguish your self: no chance to rise, or to lay low when the circumstances call for it.

Contrast these options with your online life -- another name for the time you spend in front of your computer, connected to the Internet. To most people, the most exciting part of using the web is the freedom it seems to afford to navigate a world without boundaries, to experiment, to discover, to say and to do anything without the social consequences that the equivalent physical actions would entail in real life.

However, thanks in part to the way modern browsers work, the freedom that the Web grants its users are vanishing. By now (mid-2019) your privacy and your anonymity are on their way out. To be honest, such privacy and anonymity may never have existed in the first place -- since the inception of the Web.

Irrelevant of what you say or do online, someone, or something, is tracking you.  While a computer cannot technically see you, it turns out that everything you say or do in and around it ends up painting a picture of yourself: a picture that's more revealing than anything a connected device would be able to gather if it was actually seeing you.

A new reality, which mixes concerns of security and personal privacy, is making its way into the broader public consciousness. It is indeed now abundantly clear to anyone that all the data which individuals are dripping into Google Chrome (and any other invasive species of browsers, for that matter) can, and likely will be used against them at some point in the future. Evil will come in many disguises and equipped with a solid portfolio profiling anyone who has ever used a connected device for an extended period of time.

In part because of a growing dependency on digital product and supporting devices, the typical web user knows of very few ways to fight back when it comes to confronting privacy issues.  It doesn't help that while there are dozens of perfectly viable alternatives, the Chrome browser hold the worldwide market in a stranglehold, with around 70% of the pie. All the other browsers' market share has been in decline since 2015. Microsoft and Mozilla's Firefox each hold 10% of that same market, leaving mere crumbs to the rest of their remaining competitors.

The Firefox team decided to take the bull by the horns and to attack Chrome on its weakest link: privacy. The latest version even blocks Google's analytic harvester by default. This is a

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