CONTACTING THE SITE
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FOLLOWING THE SITE
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WHY THIS SITE WAS FOUNDED
switching.social is a grassroots website that is trying to let people know about more ethical alternatives to websites and apps that are threatening people’s privacy.
The idea of this site is to stay as light and easy-to-use as possible, but as you’ve clicked on the “about this site” link hopefully you won’t mind if it briefly gets a bit more serious.
If a complete stranger knocked on your door and asked for a copy of all your emails in exchange for $1, would you accept such a deal? Probably not, but if you use Gmail that’s the deal you’re accepting: Google gets to read all your emails, and in exchange Google gives you a mailbox that costs about $1 a month to run.
It gets even worse: if you use an app like Facebook Messenger, then it will send the contents of your phone’s address book to Facebook. That means all the contact details of your friends, family and colleagues will also be scooped up without their consent or knowledge.
It has even got to the point where Google gets medical records from hospitals without patients’ consent, and Facebook recently got caught trying to do the same thing.
Many companies are now hopelessly addicted to gathering data. Their share price depends on not just gathering data but doing so at an ever-greater pace, even driving them to break the law.
In some countries, this technology is being used in a “social credit” system where computers decide whether you are a good citizen. This is horrifying, it turns humans into cattle and governments into farmers.
What can an individual do to stop all this? How can one person make a difference? By using apps and services that do not steal data, and encouraging others to do the same. That’s what switching.social is for, to make it as easy as possible for people to find ethical alternatives that respect privacy.
Without wishing to sound overdramatic, if we do not control our own information then others will use it to control us.