Digital Surveillance in the age of FAGMA- Field Guide Part 1 Emails

Do you have an email account? GMail or Outlook or Yahoo?  Guess what? Unless you are paying money for that free account it does not belong to you. Violating their terms of service means they get to shut you down. They own your information. They can shut you down for any reason. And they do not have to explain. And unless they decide to play nice, your information is gone. Who even knows if they have read it or not?

Lesson 1: Back up your personal information and emails on an external hard drive if you are using free email. If the big boys decide they want to close your account then you won't have lost the last email your mother sent you before she died. And if you're extra smart you'll back that up somewhere else as well. Hard drives die too. I am becoming a true believer in the value of paper copies.

Think your emails on your account are private? If your company uses GMail and they control the administration of the account, employee confidentiality does not exist. This means they can read your emails, including any human resources based emails. Confidentiality in a GMail business is dead.

Lesson 2: Don't use company email for private business. They own the information, even confidential information and you don't.

One solution for your personal email privacy is to buy a domain name from a provider but you'll be paying someone. (I've looked it up and they say don't use GoDaddy.) But guess what? You are using a service. Yes you are paying for it, but there are rules for using people's stuff. If there is a privacy policy read it!

This is what GoDaddy collects on you- for a service you pay for.

GoDaddy collects "Cookies and similar technologies on our websites and our mobile applications allow us to track your browsing behavior, links clicked, items purchased, your device type, and to collect various data, including analytics, about how you use and interact with our Services. This allows us to provide you with more relevant product offerings, a better experience on our sites and mobile applications, and to collect, analyze and improve the performance of our Services. We may also collect your location (IP address) so that we can personalize our Services. For additional information, and to learn how to manage the technologies we utilize, please visit our Cookie Policy." 

Sadly this privacy policy was revised on April 4, 2019! And you pay for this service. All in the name of them "delivering better service." So they can spy on you with your permission, and you have given them money for the privilege.

If you still want to use free email go ahead but the number one thing you need to do before you use a FREE program is read the privacy policy!!!!!

Mail Chimp is free.
Here is their privacy policy:

Uh Huh- you read that right. They collect information on you when you use their service. They also collect information on you from other sources. They check you out on social media. They collect third party data on you. And by signing up for their free service you have given them the legal right to mine your data.


Here is the policy for Drop Box, a file sharing service that a lot of us use.  They have received awards for this company in terms of its usefulness as an internet application, but have gotten criticism for loosing account data and security breaches. On a positive note they don't sell your information which is why I have included them. When you sign up to use a service look for the following lingo:

"We may share information as discussed below, but we won’t sell it to advertisers or other third parties."



Lesson 3: Don't sign up for any free or paid service on the internet without having a long look at their privacy policy. Read the fine print and if it makes you uncomfortable don't use the service. I'm just repeating the advice Chris Gilliard gave us all earlier in the course. 

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