Does awareness make a difference?

imageI read this in hope that I would discover some juicy, new revelations about how we are spied upon, classified and fleeced. There were many details and specific examples of governmental, military and commercial surveillance, but no stunning news.

The book is divided into 3 sections. Part One: The World We’re Creating, Part Two: What’s At Stake and Part Three: What To Do About It. Since the author has significant security experience and credentials, I expected to get some useful tips in that last part, but no. I already use DuckDuckGo to prevent Google from keeping me in a bubble. I have never owned a cellphone and our car is too old to leak much data. No Facebook or Twitter for me.

We live in a surveillance society and most of us aren’t worried that information collected about us will be used to harm us. That can change, of course, if future political, religious, legal or economic environments change. Data is forever.

The author feels that we shouldn’t stick our heads in the sand, that we should do the work needed to defend our privacy. This reader is sympathetic, but skeptical that any of us really have the time or expertise. It’s ironic that intrusions sold to us as necessary for security and convenience have become a danger and a nuisance.

Data and Goliath
The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World
by Bruce Schneier
383 pages
W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. 2015