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This is not supported by polling data. See for example:


"Some 81% of the public say that the potential risks they face because of data collection by companies outweigh the benefits, and 66% say the same about government data collection."

Asking people whether they care and making them prove it by subjecting themselves to the slightest inconvenience may result in different conclusions.


I only know two persons in real life (other than me) that care about data privacy and act on that. Of course if you ask most people they will say that yeah they care about privacy, but their actions tell a different story.

Most people simply haven't learned the hygiene yet.

It can be as simple as showing them to open incognito for specific searches or topics, or to install a trusted tracker blocking extension like ublock origin and set it up for them.

Managing app location privileges is a big one too, iOS is really good about nagging for background location permissions and I appreciate that a lot, but a lot of people don't realize if you give Facebook or another app "while using", you can bet money it will use it whenever you open the app.

https://business.financialpost.com/technology/tim-hortons-ap... The Tim Hortons app logged this guy's location 2,700 times in 5 months. He didn't find out until the iOS 13 background location warning.


People care, most of them just aren't as literate as the typical HN user so they either don't have a clue what's really happening, or simply throw their hands up in the air.

> Most people simply haven't learned the hygiene yet.

There's an entire class of problems you cannot solve through 'hygiene.' Equifax, for example, collected data on you without your consent, and got in trouble for unintentionally giving it away when they're supposed to be getting money in exchange.

Ignorance was a stronger argument a few years ago, I think now it's just an optimistic take by privacy advocates.

Vast majority of people today know Google/Facebook is Big Brother and that knowledge doesn't matter to them nearly as much as some hoped.

> Most people simply haven't learned the hygiene yet.

This whole pandemic kind of proves that we haven't learned the real-life hygiene, after decades and decades of that being drilled into us, and real-life hygiene having actual life-or-death consequences.

Don't hold your breath about digital hygiene.

But what if you could improve your privacy without any inconvenience at all?

That's essentially Apple's marketing pitch on this subject, and this poll shows that there are a lot of people with whom it will resonate.

and the solution is not to say (or imply) that people have messed-up priorities, it is to figure out how to make the right thing as convenient as possible.

How many of those 81% are willing to delete facebook, messenger and instagram though?

Probably very few if that’s what their friends use, but that doesn’t mean they don’t resent it.

A billion people might use Facebook, but 1.3 billion use iMessage. I think this is a significant risk for services that don’t respect user privacy.

I call bullshit on more people using iMessage than any of facebook related services. In this case, I feel like you've a very North American point of view. Majority people who have a smart phone has one of fb/whatsapp/instagram accounts, while iPhones don't even make up for the majority of market share when it comes to smartphone.

Huh, that's interesting. I'm a Brit with a Chinese wife and spend a lot of time over there as well, so I'd hardly call my views America centric. There are a dozen countries I've spent more time in than the USA. It is possible I have a geographic bias, Facebook is barely a thing in China.

But China is an exception. This link says Whatsapp has 1.5 billion active users!


That's a bad metric. I find Facebook a privacy disaster (and user hostile and i am less happy when I use it). But am I willing to delete it? No, because if I meet someone I can friend them on FB later, and it's my only means of communication for some people. If a better communications network were available I would switch, but since there isn't, I can't.

There you go, you find it to be a disaster but you still find value in it. It's benefits outweigh the concerns you've. IMO it's actually a metric that shows how many people are actually willing to give it up for the sake of privacy.

How does having these apps on my phone hurt my privacy?

Expressed Preferences vs. Revealed Preferences

>19% of the public uses google and/or facebook services.

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