So, if you’ve been paying attention at all to the world around you, you might have noticed that a lot of companies have been getting a lot more invasive with regard to your personal data over the last decade or so. And maybe you care, maybe you don’t, probably you’re more nuanced and care about some things than others depending on context etc. So you might not be overly concerned with your bank knowing your mother’s maiden name, but you are probably very concerned with some random hacker knowing that same information, because it can be used to steal a lot more. Or maybe you’re comfortable with the government tracking your every move because you trust them, but you aren’t happy about that data ending up in the hands of large corporations who use it to advertise to you, or just mix it with the other petabytes of data about you, with no guarantees as to where that data will end up in the future because of data breaches.
A lot of the onus does go onto the individual, but realistically we’re fighting uphill when every major website (and a lot of the minor ones) are gathering every scrap of data they can to either use or sell. You can use a VPN or Tor, but when you put your photos on Facebook and those are harvested by companies or hackers who use facial recognition software on them and combine that with, say, drivers license photos or CCTV footage or some other method, doesn’t do you much good. When Australia Post keeps a record of every parcel they deliver, it doesn’t matter that you paid for it using a pre-paid debit card you bought with cash, or cryptocurrency.
Now, you might be saying “Yeah, they could, and probably do, but I’m not that interesting.” And yes, probably – most of us aren’t that interesting to corporations or government individually. But identity theft rarely targets Elon Musk, it targets you and me, and can leave us with thousands of dollars in credit card debt we didn’t incur, or our bank accounts drained, or even just our personal photos stolen by hackers and published online. Once data is generated/collected, it’s extremely difficult to destroy, and basically impossible if you don’t actually control it.
So what does this have to do with PacifiGo? I believe that while I can’t change what Apple or Google or Facebook does, I can control what I do. So I’m going to try to change the system here to try to minimise the amount of data I collect (which isn’t much anyway). I’m going to need to collect things like postal addresses, because that’s innate to the service I provide (unless you do local pickup, of course – which I also accept cash payment on, by the way!). I’m going to try to figure out how to accept cryptocurrency and cash as payment. I’m going to revisit the data I do keep and how that works, figure out if there’s a way I can make that more secure than it already is.