Igor Bubelov About Blog Photos

Own Your Data

December 25, 2019

Taking control of our personal data was one of the key things I was thinking about during 2019. The rise of cloud computing and centralization of web are big threats to our economy and our personal security. We have to remember that other people will always try to prioritize their well-being over ours, sometimes it’s just a zero-sum game (although honest business is definitely not, but some bad apples are casting a shadow of doubt on every other market participant). All of that marketing bullshit like “we need your data for your own good” is one of the biggest lies in history.

We can clearly see that there is a huge demand for the idea of giving people control over their data, and times are changing. I’m talking about GDPR, California Consumer Privacy Act and other legislative efforts to limit the damage that data-hungry tech companies do to their users without their clear consent (“it’s in a 100-pages user agreement” is a bullshit excuse). I believe that things will get better in the future but there is actually no need to wait: it’s entirely possible to take back control of most of our data now, thanks to cheap hardware and entirely free and verifiable software.

Raspberry Pi 4

Raspberry Pi 4

This beast sells for $35, and it can do a lot of stuff, including storing our personal data. It can also be a great learning tool for anyone with an interest in Linux but who isn’t ready to install it on their main PC. Raspberry Pi allows anyone to play with Linux computer without worrying about driver compatibility, lacking documentation and other typical Linux issues.

Nextcloud

Nextcloud is a great platform for hosting your own data. There is no need to give your contacts to Google, Nextcloud can store it for you. Also, there is no need to use Dropbox or Google Drive, the same things can be done using Nextcloud for a fraction of a price, and you’ll stay in control of your data. It has a gallery app, an RSS reader, an instant messenger and many other things that can come handy and that usually require leaking your data to third parties. It’s a very cool project, and it can easily replace most of the Google services without compromising your privacy and security.