I’ve come to the decisin that putting in a little time and effort to take ownership of my own data seems to be a price worth paying
- The first part of my project to move away from my dependency on Google Services is to change mobile phone operating systems. I’ve changed my personal phone to an iPhone. I’m not particularly happy about that because I much prefer the Android Lollipop interface. But then no one said it would be a simple job
- Secondly I’ve setup my own email server. I’m no longer dependent on Gmail to receive email over the internet. This is probably my biggest issue around privacy concerns. It also highlighted an interesting point to me around ownership and responsibility for my own security. I don’t trust a third party with my email so I’m doing it myself. But the internet giants hosting free email services have lots of engineers with full time jobs looking after those systems. I can’t take over my own email service and give myself a lesser service, it has to be as secure as I can make it. So now I’m becoming more responsible for my own security as I take that away from someone else.
This isn’t a long list because that’s as far as I’ve got. But I expect this to be an organic post where it gets updated as I progress and learn. Swapping out Android for iPhone took a while as I got familiar with the more basic iOS and decided I was happy with the move. Email took bloody ages to setup. Once the email is configured then it’s a process of migrating accounts to start using it.
It’s a real project and not a whim so I’m doing it bit by bit, documenting it as I go along the way. The key for me is not just removing Google services “just because” but understanding the aim of the project. My concern is around a single organisation owning too much information about me. I think there are general privacy and security concerns there. If I just stopped using Google services then I could migrate everything to the equivalent Microsoft services. But that’s not really addressing the point.
This activity will be finished when I’m comfortable that I’ve recovered my own personal data under my own control. At the very least it’s an interesting learning exercise