Today is an exciting day, I finally launched my first privacy-related project, Everyday Privacy!

Backstory

After everything I’ve learned during my bachelors degree in Computer Security and just by being curious and learning about privacy and security during my spare-time, I figured it was finally time to make something of it!

There is a subject at the University of Bergen (UiB) called Project in informatics INF219, where you are sometimes able make a project yourself. I reached out to the person responsible for the course regarding an idea for a privacy and security project whose goal is to help educate people about their privacy and security online on various platforms and services. Unfortunately as this project didn’t require much programming, it couldn’t be considered as a informatics project for INF219. However, I was told that I might still be able to have it as a project, but if I found a mentor for my project myself who wanted to help me. And since you are reading this post, I was able to do just that!

Motivation behind the project

Ever since 2017/2018 I’ve been interested in finding alternatives to some of the very popular platforms and services, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google etc., and then I discovered PrivacyTools and PRISM-Break. For myself, as a fairly technical person, I found both PrivacyTools and PRISM-break very informative and helpful in my search for privacy-respecting alternatives. But whenever I tried to be informative to friends and family, I’ve been mostly unsuccessful in order to convince them to find alternatives as well.

So with Everyday Privacy, I thought this should be my target audience, non-technical people. I want to help educate people in a clear and simple manner when it comes to privacy and security on various online services. A secondary goal with the project was to have it be free and open source, where everyone is welcome to contribute and share.

I really didn’t want the website to be just like PrivacyTools nor PRISM-break, as these are great on their own, but I wanted mine to be easier and simpler. For example, if I’m curious on how Facebook collect data about me, I want to be able to find that out fairly quickly instead of having to read through their whole privacy policy and really try to comprehend everything. I also want to know how I can improve my own privacy and increase my security on services I already use. I don’t think it’s realistic to expect everyone to just delete and stop using non-open source services, people use them because it’s convienient and their friends and family use them as well. If they delete and/or stop using services after reading about what they actually collect according to their privacy policies listed on Everyday privacy, that’s just a bonus.

Want to help out?

In order for this project to succeed it will need more services, and maybe more categories. If you want to help out, please check out the project’s GitHub repo.

Future work?

I do have some plans for the project, I will try to keep them updated in the project repo’s README.md.