Hi! I’m James Kotecki, a writer and video blogger who’s passionate about technology. Personal has invited me to guest blog here with an everyman’s perspective on personal data and online privacy. Let me start with a confession: before I met the folks at Personal, I didn’t think too much about those issues.
Sure, I’ve read about data breaches at massive storage facilities that house customer data, and I think it’s creepy that Facebook ads target my relationship status (see Rule 8(c) of Facebook’s own policies). But I figured I had to give up my personal data in exchange 21st century conveniences.
Maybe that’s why I never treated my own data with much respect, relegating accounts and passwords to various Word documents spread out across my hard drive, and leaving digital records of myself everywhere I go on the web. I’ve long accepted that many companies have a better handle on my data than I do. I just never knew there was anything I could do about it.
But my friends at Personal put it this way: if corporations are cataloguing and profiting from your data, shouldn’t you be able to do that too?
After all, my personal data isn’t just a set of abstract numbers – it represents the foods I eat, the places I’ve lived, the movies I like, the people I know, and even my plans for the future.
In a very real sense, my data is me. Shouldn’t I decide how it’s used? (Spoiler alert: yes.)
So now I’m on a mission. Through occasional written and video posts, I’m going to explore who’s got my data, how they’re using it, and how I can take back control.
Hmmm . . . I wonder how I’ll do that…