Going Alone and taking control of my data

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You see so many horror stories about companies such as Google, Twitter and Facebook. About how they use your data to whatever end they want. I heard a story once about how through facebook’s various smart algorythms, someone’s profile had inadvertantly been made an endorser for something inappropriate to their own mom!Now I’m not saying that these companies are super evil. Infact it is simply their business model to use you for the collection of data; to learn everything they can about you; to sell that information to their real customers – why do you think Google, Twitter and Facebook are all free?As Aral Balkan from Indie puts it: “you are the quarry being mined”Take Google for example. The services that they give you for free are great. They give us maps of every place in the world imaginable… every place; free photo storage; free document storage; free email. Great. But at what cost is free?I became aware of the importance of owning ones own data through reading about, and implementing several principles of, the IndieWeb. On top of this the work that Aral Balkan and his team have been doing at Indie has inspired me to take a more pro-active approach to my data.Like I said, I have already begun implementing several aspects of the IndieWeb: I write any potential tweets as notes on my own site first; I reply to other people’s tweets from my own site first.The next logical step for me is to move away from using Google for many of the things I currently use it for. This is quite a lot.EmailPhoto StorageDocument StorageCalenderBooksStreaming MusicMaps and its associated location trackingYoutubeSome of these I will still use. But many of them I will be finding other alternatives.EmailI have been using protonmail for about three months so far. And so far I really like it. Take a look at their security details to see why I have chosen them them to go with.Photo StorageWhen I take a photo on my Nexus device, it automatically gets synced to my google cloud storage. While I love the convenience of this, I’m going to be putting together an alternative where I will store my photos on a home server – with automatic backups – and the only ones online will be ones that I upload to my website. As with my syndication of notes/tweets, I may syndicate images out with notes that I make.Document StorageAs with photos, I will be looking to store any digital documents on a home server.CalendarI am yet to look into this. Although I very rarely use any form of calendar, it may be nice to have a personal one. I may decide to build my own – possibly incorporating it as a secret area of my website.BooksStart buying physical books again as opposed to digital downloads. That’s a pretty easy one.Streaming and Storage of digital musicThis is one thing that I wont be changing. I love how I can have all of my owned albums digital stored in the cloud. On top of this I also love how I can pay eight pounds a month and get unlimited streaming and download of countless artists and albums. Many of the artists I now listen to have come as a direct result of just randomly picking an album to listen to.MapsGoogle maps is probably way out there in front of its other competitors. However I love the idea of Open Street Map. So this may be my alternative in the near future.YoutubeI will continue to use youtube as normal as it now comes with features exclusive to Google Play: All Access customers.

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