Photo by Tobias Tullius on Unsplash

Data Privacy issues — are they finally going mainstream?

Aimee Fenech
4 min readApr 23, 2022

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver covers all sorts of socio-political topics, it is watched on TV by c. 1 million people and then aired on YouTube with another 4.5 million views. Whilst the episode itself covers data brokers and not directly the websites from which the data comes from it highlights the fact that politicians using the data to target voters are not incentivized to protect our data from being exploited.

Where is the data coming from?

Your browser

You can switch to a more privacy oriented browser to better protect your data. Firefox is a great example, it is a mainstream open-source browser with a private browsing mode that includes tracking, malware and phishing protection, pop-up blocking, and anti-fingerprinting protection.

Every day websites

Even when your favourite website claims to be collecting anonymized data a study has found that with 15 demographic attributes they were able to re-identify 99.98% of individuals. That’s basically saying that anonymized data is simply not providing the assurances and protection the user needs.

In case you think I am being ambiguous I am talking about Facebook, Google, Twitter, TikTok, Amazon etc.

Just in case you are wondering, even if you are paying to be on Medium they are still collecting a lot of your data and even though they say they do not sell your data they do however share it with external companies.

Screenshot from Medium Privacy Policy found here:

Without Medium releasing this information it is not possible to check each individual privacy policy to make sure your data is not being then sold on and also find out exactly what it is used for if it is shared with yet another layer of companies.

The Medium Privacy Policy states that from…

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Aimee Fenech

#permaculture practitioner, teacher and designer, co-founder of #ecohackerfarm, writer, project manager and activist get in touch