Digital privacy obsessions

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Privacy obsessions

In this digital age, concerns about privacy have led some individuals to become overly obsessed with their online security. However, it is important to find a balance between protecting one's privacy and maintaining productivity in everyday tasks.

The illusion of absolute security

Achieving absolute security is an unrealistic goal. Every program can be hacked. It's important to consider the trade-off between security and productivity.

High levels of security may be necessary for whistleblowers and other high-risk individuals. But most people can maintain a reasonable level of security without sacrificing efficiency.

Privacy and security are not the same concepts, but they often rely on each other. The majority of digital activities can be tracked, so privacy-conscious people have a point. But the impact it has on productivity is usually not worth it.

Seeking balance

Striving for security that is slightly better than the average person's level is often good enough. Attackers typically target the weakest systems first unless you are someone of considerable interest. It is often meaningful to pick productivity over security.

By following basic guidelines such as using a password manager and regularly backing up data, individuals can achieve a decent level of security without destroying their productivity.

Password managers offer good security and better productivity. There are almost no cons to them. Unless you lock it with a weak password. I use KeePassXC personally.


One effective way to keep personal information private is by not publishing it in the first place. Privacy obsessed people tend to claim that everyone needs a form of privacy. They have a point, but often take it too far. Too much security measures render a computer highly secure but barely functional.

Problems with privacy enthusiasts

Spreading the word

Many privacy organizations struggle with spreading the word. They often use a platform that contains people who are already convinced. That is counterproductive. Use other platforms that you may dislike or spread the word in public. Sometimes it is not a bad idea to use a tool you dislike to spread the word, even if you don't support those.

Open source misconceptions

Spying programs

Some people believe that open source programs cannot spy on users due to the ability to inspect the source code. However, this assumption is flawed, as large codebases are unlikely to be fully reviewed. Furthermore, claiming that Linux is secure overlooks the insights of security experts who suggest otherwise.

It is a smaller target to hackers, because hackers target the more popular systems. Linux is however often more performant, and has less telemetry. An operating system is just a tool. Not more. Not much more.

Madaidan made a webpage which explains why Linux isn't as secure as people claim. It includes a couple of links of other security experts which share the same views.

Madaidan's Linux security page

The double-edged sword of open source

Involving users in feature development and bug fixes can be beneficial. But it comes with disadvantages too. Companies can create a similar tool like yours with different code, but inspired by your project. This can make the original project redundant.

It is not uncommon for closed source companies to buy open source projects. The idealogy behind it is an utopia. While open source can be advantageous for certain tools, it depends on the specific context and purpose. Open source licenses aren't always respected either.


When it comes to social media platforms like the Fediverse, caution should be exercised in making them open source. The Fediverse encouraged a block culture by design. Open source tools allow forking, making it is easy for people to block certain content. In the Fediverse people block whole servers.

Open source can work for tools, but it highly depends on the tool. I like KeePassXC for example. Using the power of the community can be very helpful, but it can also be the opposite.


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