re: Is Giving Google All Your Data Worth The Convenience? VIEW POST


It's the same story for me and most of my family; they dropped Facebook because they figured it wasn't actually enhancing their lives very much. Awkward memes, guilt-tripping chain mail, and finding out that your aunt is kinda racist aren't a very good marketing pitch. Any concerns about privacy were a bonus, in as much as privacy and health are both tied to the user's control over their own experience.

This is a stark contrast to GMail and Maps, which are actually good.

As for what I recommend, if you do nothing else, install uBlock Origin. It will enhance your life as much as dropping Facebook did. That's my gateway drug for all other privacy-related activities. If that's not enough, switch off of GMail; it's the combination of adsense, analytics, and email that allows Google to figure out what's going on when you use services that they don't actually run. Those two (ublock origin and protonmail) are the biggest bang-for-your-buck privacy enhancers.


Thanks, Michael! On another recent post of mine...

...a few other people also suggested uBlock Origin and I just switched to it. Happy with it so far!


I haven't tried uBlock Origin, because from what I have read, sometimes you have to turn it off. I use uMatrix (by Raymond Hill aka gorhill). It gives me fine-grain, real-time control of what each browser tab is allowed to access. For each hostname the tab wants to contact, I can grant or revoke permission on a per-resource type basis. There are these types of resources: cookie, css, image, media, script, XHR, frame, and other. So, 10 hosts * 8 resource types = 80 push buttons--a matrix of buttons, so it's called uMatrix. Here's a screenshot of the UI for this site. Note that I'm successfully commenting without having enabled most of the resources... Of which there are many on this site. :)

uMatrix screenshot


There are three big reasons why I don't like blocking resources by hand.

  • It requires more work.
  • Block lists are collective action. Individual customizations are not.
  • I can't recommend it to my less technical family and friends. And I don't want to be recommending stuff that I don't use myself.
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