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Digital self-defence



Our next guest, I just met very recently through a common friend of ours, Gry, who you'll be hearing from as well, and when I heard about you, it was very interesting because you were talking about sustainable big data. Initially when I saw it I was like, what. What does that mean. Is that not a contradiction of terms, so I would love to welcome Pernille who will talk to us about faking it. Yes.


Well, the sustainable big data is my current job; I just started actually working with the Danish Government where I'm trying to help companies develop new products with a privacy focus, and I'm also going to try to find ways to the EU to find funding for stuff like what we're talking about today. But I've been working as a journalist for many years and two years ago, I published a book called Fake It in four languages, and that was about, it was before Snowden, it was about how big companies are tracking us and using and abusing our data, so what I work with today is awareness and how can you protect yourself, because there are not many tools yet out there, so it's a big job if you want privacy, and I'm just going to run through it really fast because most of you probably do the same as I do.

Yeah, that's me, that's the real me, that's my real identity here. I use that when I'm on Twitter, on LinkedIn and when I'm professional online. But I'm also on Facebook and all the other places, but then I use another name. My second identity, Pia(?), lots of you probably have two or three or four identities. My friends know me online; I'm not trying to cheat them, I'm just trying to cheat Facebook and their algorithms, and I'm ten years younger on Facebook and I'm a lesbian on Facebook and I live in Asia I think somewhere, and I'm also of course using another IP address when I go online, otherwise Facebook would know where I was every time I log on.

On Instagram, all the other places, I also use this name. I have different names. It's a lot of work but it's really easy to create a new identity, you go to and you choose what sex you are and what country you are from and you get a real, complete identity; height, weight, eye colour, even a Visa card you get. So I'm speaking about digital self-defence when I speak to more ordinary people than you, because most people they don't have a clue of what is going on behind the scenes, and I tell them why I'm doing it. Of course, it's about avoiding being somebody social profiling me. In the future we won't have CVs; we'll have companies making a social profile on behalf of our digital tracks, so we need to control our digital tracks.

I want to avoid of course identity theft; most identity thieves, they use Facebook to find your name, to get your birthday because everybody loves to have a birthday greeting on Facebook, that's the first very easy way to identify you. I do it to avoid price discrimination; most of you probably know just a simple fact as deleting your cookies you get a better price if you want to rent a car in the US, or if you want to book a flight; of course you need to be a new identity going into that website because the first fix is free; that's part of the business model, right?

I prefer reputation management. I am trying to control my data so when you Google me, I don't use Google, but if you use Google and Google me, I have tried to control my data because that's how we meet today and get to know each other.

Whenever I have a party at home, I would tell everybody never to post anything online because it's a private party and I love privacy, and it's going to be a really, really attractive commodity in the future. And teens, they already do it; we see it because they want to hide from their parents, so we can learn a lot from teens how to protect yourself against parents. I'm just protecting myself against big corporations.

Some of the tools very, very fast. Of course, blocking cookies is really simple; you can get a whole list of them if you don't have them. Some of you, most of you are much more advanced than me, but using a VPN as well, so I decide which IP address I have when I go online is really efficient as well. Also to save money or if you want to watch American movies or British movies when you're sitting in Denmark. I use many alternatives to Google; I still get back to Google, it's a really brilliant search engine, but there are lots of others like which give you Google results but anonymises you. More broswers, I use more browsers, pseudonyms I just told you about. I have a dumb phone actually; I threw away my iPhone and bought this really cheap Nokia until I can get the IndiePhone, or the Black Phone: I'd love to get the Black Phone if you heard about them. I use a Tor browser whenever I want to be really, really private, but then of course you are in a category of a terrorist because that's what the FBI say. Using talk browser, you are a terrorist.

I don't download that many apps but not apps who are tracking my location, for example. And finally I'm learning and I know how to use it now, I'm trying to encrypt my emails. But I'm waiting for all of you to design more products. Privacy by design; we need more products to make it much more convenient, because we'll never win this battle and I think we are at the beginning of a new era where we're going to see a lot of changes. Just like thirty years ago with pollution and the environment, it will take decades to make people understand that they are polluting the data today and that they have to protect themselves.

So my mission is, never give data to a stranger; only give your true data to somebody you trust, and there are companies out there, many whom you can trust, I believe, because it's not a question of not doing anything or getting offline; it's a question of being smart out there, and I mis-spell my website, so please do find me on Twitter!

Thank you.