Politics Personal Privacy {A Rant}

Tom

An Old Friend
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Location
Gulf Coast
Society's Assumption of Forfeiture of Personal Privacy

This year (2020), I have noticed an uptick in society's need to know my personal business.
Its not really a new thing because the internet has been collecting information on my browsing habits for years .
Supposedly to give ME a better internet browsing experience but mainly to spam me with ads and trackers.

My Windoze 7 computer recently had a catastrophic hardware failure. I used it daily, flawlessly, since 2012.
Since my entire entertainment system is based on my computer and internet high speed connection, I was forced to make a fast replacement. This means instead of taking my time and building a system as I want it, I was forced to buy an out of box system locally.

I made the purchase based on the hardware specs so I bought a gaming system. Its lightning fast but it comes with Windoze 10. Windoze 10 is the most ambitious violation of privacy I've ever experienced. I've had this system for nearly 2 weeks and there hasn't been a day yet where I haven't had to tweak something. I even had to open a Microsoft account to start the set up process.
I have it pretty well tweaked now but it still wants me to go to Microsoft daily (in one way or another).

My thoughts on this are purely personal.
1. I bought this computer. I'm not renting or leasing it from Microsoft (or Nvidia, Intel or any other company).
Its MINE.
- I don't care about improving other user's experiences.
- I don't want Microsoft to save me time or help me do anything.
- When I install a program, I expect it to be there when I boot up again.
- I don't want to or need to save power.
- When I tweak my internet connection I expect it to stay tweaked.
- I don't want advertisements in my programs (I'm not going to buy anything anyway, especially if ya pester me to do so).
2. I pay for my internet connection. I expect it to be there even if I watch a movie, play some music or spend time doing data entry.
3. I don't want to share my computer with anyone. If I choose to have networking with my gaming system or my other computers, I will set it that way.
- Windoze 7 had the option to enable remote connections with the internet if you chose to enable it. Why must I disable that feature in Windoze 10? Why must I disable it after every update? WHY...Is it activated by default?

Windoze 10 is a personal privacy violation.
Nuff Said / Moving on...

In my mail WITH my water bill, the city sent me a form which "Must Be Filled Out".
The paper asked a series of questions as follows. I added my answers exactly as I responded.

Account Number__________________ (Already on my bill, so you already have it)
Name On Account_________________(Obviously, already on the bill you sent to me)
Billing Contact_____________________(Same person who signed the check you cashed)
Service Address____________________(Same address as it has been for the last 8 years)
Mailing Address____________________(Obviously you already have it since I know what to pay by when)
Email Address______________________(You Don't Need It)
Phone Number_____________________(You Don't Need It)
Cell Phone__________________________(You Don't Need It)
Secondary Contact________________(You Don't Need It)
Secondary Phone__________________(You Don't Need It)

The address, account name & number and the billing address are already on the bill. This information is readily available to them and has been since I had the service turned on when I moved in.
My bill is always paid on time, in full and I pay in person, face to face. I have proof of every payment in my records including a copy of their register receipt. The office where I pay has cameras so they even have my likeness they can match to my paid reciept timestamp.

There is absolutely no reason why they need my email information. I don't need city generated advertisements. I'm not interested in special deals or services. Its a freakin water bill. I'm not interested in getting offers from their 'partners'.
I don't want them calling me. I don't want my number available to their partners to offer me special deals during dinner or when I first wake in the morning. I don't want them at all.
There is absolutely no reason they need a secondary contact. Its not a medical system or life insurance. Its the water company. I don't need to be notified there isn't water service, I can figure that out on my own when I turn on the taps.

What this is...This and Windoze 10, is a pavilion response generated privacy intrusion. Most people will fill out and submit this information without question. Most people will buy the "Better User Experience" lie without thinking.

Get This: Last week I received a letter from the VA billing dept. They said they suspended billing during the spring to help people with the pandemic because they care about the veterans. I never got a single bill but in that letter they say they are resuming billing on the first of the year. They also noted any late charges and penalties will also resume. That I can get a jump on the billing if I want to pay my balance in full now. They then listed the total charges since the spring that I am responsible for.

1. I didn't ask them to do this. If they wanted to do something for Vets, bill them but give them a choice to pay or defer. Suspend late charges and penalties. At least send them a running tally.
2. Its funny that they did this for us vets to help with the pandemic but its the end of the year and they want to balance their books so I guess the pandemic is over? Guess what, other people would also like to balance their books by the end of the year but a lot of people are still out of work!
3. I'm on fixed income. I pay my bills every month. Most of the time there is little left over for other things but since I always pay my bills first, I know exactly how much cashflow is available. Without a bill not only do I not have a list of the charges, I have no idea the charges or running total. I paid their lump sum because I had some savings set aside for a car. Many vets do not have that cushion. Many live week to week or month to month.

Get This: Disability notified me of the largest cost of living increases ever. I checked, I will get $20 more per month. That's LESS THAN a dollar a day? Um....From my calculations, the cost of living went up significantly more than a dollar a day. Funny how my Medicare premium went up $30 per month for the exact same coverage?

Get This: My Auto insurance company sent me emails telling me how with fewer people on the roads during the pandemic they saved a total of 560 million dollars then again an addition 390 million dollars. They passed that savings back to the customers... I receive a check for $15 and some change. Oh wow. I'm just rolling in the cash now! I've not had an accident ever with this insurance company. I'm driving the same vehicle and driving fewer miles and less duration yet, my insurance bill goes up every single billing cycle (I pay every six months).
According to what they wrote, that's pretty close to a BILLION dollars they saved! WHO IS GETTING ALL THE LEFTOVER MONEY? Plus, This insurance company is for American service members, vets and relatives.
If they can SAVE almost a billion dollars in a few months from the pandemic, they are Obviously charging too much to its account holders.

So, there's My Rant.
I welcome anyone else who has observations of a similar sort to add to it.
The Pavlovian response to privacy intrusion is a common society trend lately.
You probably do and don't realize you do it.
I hope people Wake Up!
 
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Kevin

Code Monkey
Staff member
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
At least in regards to the new computer, you don't have many options these days unless you go with a Linux setup. Of the current 'big' operating systems, Microsoft, Google, and Apple all have glaring privacy concerns with them requiring to have an account for their services. A Linux setup with locally installed apps is likely the most secure setup you'll get to prevent any leaking of personal info.

For the auto insurance thing... Our company hasn't even made a token $15 refund let alone address the situation in any manner. I really need to find a new company.
 

Jethro

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 21, 2013
Would also point to a Linux setup for privacy concerns, though there are a staggering number of distribs to choose from. Have a linux setup downstairs, Mint distrib, which can be set to a gui mode that is amazingly windows like.

Have windows 10 on this PC, an operating system designed for non-tech amongst us imho.

For those interested, and it is car related, our sales have exploded over the last couple of months in one of the seven countries we sell into. Not entirely sure what's causing that, sales down in all other locations.
 

Tom

An Old Friend
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Location
Gulf Coast
I have windoze 10 tweaked now. Not having anymore issues?
Yeah, open source s still great but I have what I have and I have worked 'round the stuff freakin me out.
Its basically working like windoze 7 now. Good enough for me.
It did take a lot of tweakin to get it where I wanted it tho.
 

luxefaire

Scout
Joined
Mar 9, 2020
linux is the answer or at least as much control as you can get. its good to have "cold wallet" machine that never ever goes online, is not even capable, a cheap laptop, do transfers with usb stick only. that is only way to keep some data safe, but if they want it, they will get it, the patents are totally freaked out concerning how they can read computers from a distance, edward snowden told us allllllll about that:


check out the nsa catalog of spyware they use to spy with, and the nsa is in both slc AND dca, all electronic communications are now recorded forever, the nsa is the marriage of church and state.

and this:


more than just in your face, really. in your head. nano plasmas on hypodermics to react with active auroral technologys, much more, very bad, what they always dreamed of, its here:


personally speaking they owe me about two hundred mill for the experiments they have done on me in nm since 2003. i doubt if i will ever collect, but i take lots of pix, and i am certainly not their friend. nm is ate up with this activity, the non-lethal weaponry directorate is here, been here long time, the more they do to these people the less they believe it is being done to them.

finally, bill gates is on this list below, and so are many others you might not expect, ronald reagan, billy graham, spielberg....on and on.


when people are knighted by the queen thats for service to the queen, not america.


this is domestic terorism, but they want the guns, so they are making up storys and events to suit their needs.

good luck, best wishes.....b


TVKID (copy).JPG
 
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Tom

An Old Friend
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Location
Gulf Coast
Modern culture lives in a world of media over-exposure. We are surrounded by it.
Radio gave way to television then the internet came along. Now, exposure has become personalized and sold to the public as a benefit.
I find it amazing how quickly people (in general) will defend their media habits.
You can actually get hostile responses if you suggest putting the phone away or having cable, satellite or internet shut off for a month.
I myself have become 'addicted' to the internet but I have stopped watching TV and listening to radio. I won't visit any website which required I turn off my adblocking software. I don't put my banking info, nor my credit card info into my computer. I'm careful what I click.

Gaming systems, smart TVs and radios capture your habits, capture video, record your ambient sounds, record your interests and are connected wirelessly. My sister was telling me they have a new smart TV. Her and her husband were discussing buying trail cams in their living room. Right after that, they were bombarded with advertisements for trail cams. She said she even received paper ads in the junk mail for them.

Next time you are shopping, when you pay for the purchases, look up. Many grocery stores and department stores have cameras over the register. The stores not only record your purchase history they record your credit card information. Every transaction has a time stamp. Its a simple matter to look at the timestamp then review the video to find out what they need to know.

I've watched people on the internet. They will click on anything promising something for nothing. They open all their emails and read them (or they have their email set to preview content). They answer phone calls from unknown sources. Then, they wonder why they get so much 'junk'. They click on articles and open them to read.
Most of the time, I can read the headline or the search result and get what I need to know. I don't 'go to' websites often. I never open email unless I know the person who sent it. Even then, I screen the titles and only open that which interests me.
I'm not interested in social media sites much. Especially the 'popular' ones. Still, my anti-spyware scans find hits each week. I read the results and refrain from those sites which show up. Most people can't be bothered with all that, then they complain abut how much junk they get or how slow their device has become.

I gave my water company the info as I noted above. I expected them to resend the paper with the next bill. They didn't. This is because they didn't need the information in the first place. Not a word was said when I paid my bill in person. I think about all the people who filled out and submitted the info. A Pavlovian response. It makes me wonder how many other 'requests' are auto-filled and submitted.

Modern culture has become Pavlovian. People want it all, want it now and expect something for nothing. When an OS like Windoze 10 comes along and offers a ' Custom User Experience' people mindlessly accept it as a good thing. Most never think about what privacy they give up to get what they want, how they want it, right now.
 

luxefaire

Scout
Joined
Mar 9, 2020
hi tom, its all heading toward total interactive, like william gibson and many others wrote about....the wet splice, allowing us to have all kinds of implants, memory power beyond imagining, this is what they are after, and in some ways i am ok with it, but to be part of the hive mind, well thats been done....i do wonder what will evolve. one thing is sure, no one can really see the landscape very well, the dot com devo a good case, but as you stated there is a lot of fraud and predation going on too. i had this new phone for about a day and started getting threatening phone calls from scammers, call now or you will lose this and that, well, thats the nicest part of not having too much to lose, ya know? about 5 years ago i was in the post office at hachita nm, a ghost town near the bootheel, lots of experimental craft and other oddities......anyway....i was talking to the postlady about trilobites, canadian trilobites to be exact. i went to the internet about ten minutes later and on fb were ads for canadian trilobites....i went back and told the postal lady her office was bugged, better sweep it....b
 
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Tom

An Old Friend
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Location
Gulf Coast
According to my email I win stuff all the time.
I am constantly getting secret savings or am privy to get first dibbs on upcoming sales.

I read these email headlines and delete without opening.
Facebook tells me my friends miss me.
Google has given me thousands of point bucks (or whatever they call it)
I won so many prizes from places I've never visited (sometimes never heard of)
My computer is full of spyware, I may have a virus, my computer runs too slow, I can get more for less.
Even the VA sends me junk email.

I don't open a single one. Read the title and delete. The only emails I open are the ones from people I know or companies I am expecting an email from.

I don't click on any advertisements, I didn't win a new iPod or 500 free mp3s. I buy very litte from the internet. I use a throw away secured master card for online purchases which I only put enough money to cover the purchase. I use my phone as a phone (I don't even text). My plan does have talk text and web but only 'just in case'.

I store nothing personal on the cloud. The only social media I use is bulletin board style forums. (Like AlienSoup).
I watch only videos I choose to watch on youtube, I don't look at popularity or randomly watch youtube videos. I read NEWS aggregator headlines but stay away from NEWS websites.

I stream movies and music but I have a great ad blocker and my pop-up/pop-under protection is enabled.
I don't use Internet Explorer, Edge or Chrome. I use Firefox or Opera browsers.
I use ccleaner every night and a defragmenter 1x per week. I keep my back up on an external hard drive and my passwords are written in a notebook I keep with my important papers.

I now have my windoze 10 computer running and working as I want it and so far, its working well. I still tweak as I find something but the majority of the spyware/invasive stuff has been handled.

Aside from cookies, my spyware software has not found anything critical and my antivirus has never quarantined anything since I got this PC.

BUT...
If I were using this computer like the normal user. It would be slow, full of spyware.
My personal information would be online and vulnerable.
I would be having problems with it.

Its only because I have taken steps to nullify Microsoft's invasive model that keeps me out of the trap. I have plenty of time to take steps to protect myself. I don't need convenience or a computer to make my choices for me. I don't care to help other consumers have a better 'experience'. I don't care if they say I 'won' a prize. I don't need to be told what to buy, which websites I should look at or how I am supposed to feel about anything.
 
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