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Why Privacy matters when picking a life tracker / daily journal app

Why data privacy is super important for Daily Journal apps.

Assume you've discovered a new journaling / life tracking application that you adore. They assure you that your data will NEVER BE SOLD and that only certain members of the company will have access to it. Sounds safe, doesn't it? Wrong.

Privacy Policy Purchase Clauses

What you may have missed - buried deep in their privacy statement - is a clause describing how they may transfer your data if they are acquired by another company. All that health, mood, sex, drugs and whatever else data is now owned by (insert Big Tech here), which has a significantly worse privacy policy.

Bad Admins

Uber employees were caught spying on their spouces.. Bad admins are real; and if your data is not encrypted end-to-end - then they can read your data.

Data Breaches

Each year we're treated with the news of another big data breach where our unencrypted data is leaked or stolen, only to show up on the dark web. Journaling data is often full of highly personal information that users would never want to be public. No matter how "protected" a company says your data is, if it's not encrypted end-to-end - it too can be leaked to the public.

Let's first remind ourselves of a few of the worst data breaches in recent times.

1. Facebook

Facebook announced a data leak affecting nearly 50 million users in late September 2021. The data was obtained by exploiting a vulnerability in Facebook accounts. Hackers gained access to user names, email addresses, phone numbers, birthdates, and other biographical data.

2. Cambridge Analytica

Cambridge Analytica was a data analytics firm that collaborated with the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election. Without the users' knowledge or consent, the firm gained access to the personal data of 87 million Facebook users. The information was then used to target voters with political advertisements.

3. Equifax

Equifax is a credit reporting agency that was breached massively in 2017. 145 million people were affected by the breach, which exposed sensitive information such as Social Security and credit card numbers.

4. Yahoo

In 2016, Yahoo said that 500 million of its users' accounts had been hacked. The names, email addresses, phone numbers, birth dates, and security questions were all stolen. At the time, this was the largest data breach in history.

Protect your data.

Your daily joural data will contain highly personal information that big tech would love to get their hands on. If you're concerned about that data leaking, then make sure if the tool you're using is storing your data in the cloud, that it's encrypted end-to-end.

What is End-to-end encryption

End-to-end encryption is a type of encryption in which messages can be read only by the sender and recipient. This is in contrast to other types of encryption, which allow for the reading of messages by a third party, such as a server. End-to-end encryption is more secure because it prevents the messages from being read by anyone in between the sender and recipient.

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