personal ● 675 words ● 4 minutes read

After I Left Social Media – First Month

It’s been about a month since I left social media. I promised to write about how I feel after leaving social media regularly but I think I reached the place I want. First of all, I need to tell you I deleted my Facebook account which I was keeping for sign-up/logins and then I said to myself is it really about these stuff? No! I’m a user and nothing is more important than me so if a website does not provide a regular sign-up option with email, so I won’t use it or at least I’ll search for alternatives. The other thing is I deleted my Instagram account (which I was reactivated it to save my stuff) too. So, I’m totally clean now and I think I only have a GitHub account which I run this weblog on and some open-source projects and an email account.

So What Happened

The thing is after GDPR a lot of European and also American services updated their privacy policy I thought finally European Union is doing something. Nothing is more important than people and technology giants are forcing people to agree with their policies which not all of them are protecting users.

All of us now we don’t read privacy policies or ToS or any other license agreements. They’re so long and full of stupid legalese phrases that it scares users, so they decide to use the service and hit the agree/accept button without reading it cause they think it wouldn’t hurt them. They didn’t put a sentence that is saying if you agree with our terms of service we own your house, is it? No, so let’s hit that agree button and use Gmail.

But it’s important to me. I don’t want Google to read my emails or track what I search for. I decided to delete my Gmail account and no longer use Google.com for search and move on to DuckDuckGo. I also am trying to move to open-source be more active to create more open/free projects.

New Privacy Concerns

I heard that AOL and Yahoo (which they are owned by Oath, a subsidiary of Verizon Communications) and also Google are reading emails of users. Verizon and Google say that no one is reading emails and it’s just bots to maintain and personalize services but CNET says:

Yahoo and AOL just gave themselves the right to read your emails (again) Oath, the media division of Verizon that runs both AOL and Yahoo, is finally unifying the privacy policy of its two giant legacy Internet brands. That means an updated set of privacy terms and policies for hundreds of millions of users. And in an online world where privacy expectations have been radically reshaped in light of Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica mess, it’s more important than ever to read the fine print on those splash screens. When we logged in to a Yahoo Mail account Friday, we were greeted with the privacy policy you see below Jason Kint had pointed to the policy earlier on Twitter). In it, Oath notes that it has the right to read your emails, instant messages, posts, photos and even look at your message attachments. And it might share that data with parent company Verizon, too.

There’s also a report from Wall Street Journal that says Gmail app developers have been reading emails. The Verge says:

Third-party app developers can read the emails of millions of Gmail users, a report from The Wall Street Journal highlighted today [Jul 2, 2018]. Gmail’s access settings allow data companies and app developers to see people’s emails and view private details, including recipient addresses, timestamps, and entire messages. And while those apps do need to receive user consent, the consent form isn’t exactly clear that it would allow humans — and not just computers — to read your emails.

Anyway, I care about my privacy and I deleted my accounts from Google and Yahoo. You can do it too. It’s important and there’s a plenty of alternatives to use.