How can I fail to protect myself on the Internet?

My 6 mobile phone numbers correspond to family, friends, work relationships, agencies, couriers and gym instructors, so I can immediately judge who is the inner ghost as long as I hear different names. At least I can know a little bit of information about the other party. In terms of privacy, I finally felt a bit of control.

Until then, the other party said my real name, I tried to confuse them, I have to correct it, the information you bought is wrong, I don’t call this name. As a result, the other party listened to it and listened to my personal information material on the other end of the phone and demonstrated to me: “Why aren’t you? You live in the X unit X of the XX community and bought the XX room type of the XX community. I graduated from XX University, worked at XX company, finished the loan, and handed over the house this spring. I have been searching for the APP on the Internet last week. You are not considering looking for us? Give you a discount.”

In the past ten years, I have been experimenting with a life experiment – ​​or should be said to be a must-have skill for the 21st century – how to hide privacy online?

This desire began in the first year of work. At that time, the manuscript that had been uncovered was offended, and the other party sent a message threatening to come to me to settle accounts. When I received this message, I was on my way home, taking a mobile phone and taking pictures of an old tree at the door of my house. I almost sent a microblog and suddenly returned to God – no, this is if it is sent out, no. Is it to show the enemy?

As a person looking for material every day, I clearly know how crazy it is to get out of control. In order to interview a professor, I did my homework online and searched for his information. About an hour later, I found a social account with his real name and saw a series of papers to clarify his academic thoughts. Evolution, I saw his group photo after each award, but also calculated his trumpet according to the details, there is a lot of more specific personal information, fine enough to make me uncomfortable – I know him every Tuesday afternoon I will go to the office, go home and have a shortcut to go home, collect a lot of Sichuan cuisine restaurants, like to watch love movies, usually like to forward chicken soup privately, start to lose the top 40 years old, post a consultation about stomach pains… and all this is not Special tools are required, all of which are searched for public information on the network.

That night I went online and deleted almost all of the network traces I had in the past and began to re-adjust my account. From that day on, I intend to hide myself and protect my personal information, and no one wants to find me easily. Of course, this is not just a kind of self-protection. It is more like a gamble with reality: If I am very careful, can people be foolproof and not easily discovered?

I no longer use a unified personal identity. At the peak, I have 6 mobile numbers and a dozen different mailboxes to register completely different accounts. In each application scenario, I have different names, different jobs, and even different genders. All accounts have no coincidence with my real life, and they seem to have nothing to do with each other. The intermediary call is, Wang Jie still sees the house, and the express is confused every time, Mr. Xie is not at home?

Of course, such a life occasionally has inconvenient moments, such as a friend gathering often can not find my seat, because when ordering, I am not surnamed Wu.

My friends also started this experiment. I have a friend who has never received a courier at the door of her house. Her delivery address is always accurate to the community. Then she will call the courier who called the building number to agree on a pick-up address, which is different every time. This time, Building 21, the next 12th building, the three caves of Rex Rabbit, let the master never guess his own nest. When another friend took a taxi, the destination never chose his own door. He sometimes positioned at the door of the next door and then walked home. In his own words, “Let the enemy not know the number of roads.” We hate all the behaviors of inquiring about our information. The first thing after downloading the app is to reject all unnecessary permissions. It is not a last resort. It is not allowed to access the address book, access to the album is not allowed, and text messages are not allowed to be read…

I feel that I am fully prepared, so that I am happy to pick up the harassment phone for a while, which is a kind of hunch that I finally want to overturn. I also got a form to count which platforms sold my information and who I sold it. My 6 mobile phone numbers correspond to family, friends, work relationships, agencies, couriers and gym instructors, so I can immediately judge who is the inner ghost as long as I hear different names. At least I can know a little bit of information about the other party. In terms of privacy, I finally felt a bit of control.

Until then, the other party said my real name, I tried to confuse them, I have to correct it, the information you bought is wrong, I don’t call this name. As a result, the other party listened to it and listened to my personal information material on the other end of the phone and demonstrated to me: “Why aren’t you? You live in the X unit X of the XX community and bought the XX room type of the XX community. I graduated from XX University, worked at XX company, finished the loan, and handed over the house this spring. I have been searching for the APP on the Internet last week. You are not considering looking for us? Give you a discount.”

I was horrified and frustrated when I hanged the harassment call. Compared to the powerful enemy I know very well, my resistance is very small.

“What do you know?”

My editor is a very safe person, I envy her. She received the courier, removed the box, and never throw it straight into the trash can without thinking. Occasionally I asked her, is there your phone on it, or your real name, don’t tear it off? She always refuses to refresh, don’t tear it, know what can be done!

To this end, we also have a special meeting to discuss. That was the most lonely meeting I have ever attended in my life. I don’t know if I give up resistance to reality, or simply don’t care. Most people in the room feel that I am too vigilant. They directly use their own names to abbreviate the account ID, allowing accounts on different platforms to be related to each other. The same password is used throughout the network. Every time a security alert leaks from the password library, it will not panic like me. “Oh,” I left, and I didn’t change my password. In their mobile phones, most of the APP’s permissions are fully open, even if a music app requires access to the address book, they are readily clickable.

But those who are familiar with me, technical people, especially security experts, enter their mobile phone number and never find WeChat. They have a vigilance about the digital world. Two security people exchange information, do not trust any network, they will read the hard disk in person, and then destroy the device on the spot.

I have found that people can’t even agree on the boundaries of privacy. Some colleagues said that as long as they didn’t steal her bank card password, it wouldn’t matter if there were more or less leaks. “There is no way.” Another person can’t stand his own residence and whereabouts are accurately calculated, but they are strangers. It doesn’t matter if you have your own friendship and shopping habits; some people can’t accept the microphone being monitored, but it doesn’t matter if their text chat or search record is captured. “How can you know it, then, do people know it early?” ”

I don’t want to live a transparent person, but later, a friend who did data analysis told me that even if I am almost crazy to protect personal information, I protect only a string of numbers, a row of addresses, a name, today’s data. So out of control, the information is so fine, even if it doesn’t know the privacy in the real sense, I have already been transparent. It clearly understands who I am and even knows it more thoroughly than I know.

As soon as the phone was turned on, all the camouflage information I created was invalid. There are a large number of sensors on the smartphone, including microphones, GPS, magnetometers, barometers, gyroscopes, accelerometers, thermometers, humidity sensors, backlights, and proximity sensors. Most of my regular round-trips and long-term stays at night are my home. They create real information about us all the time, the GPS position can be accurate to the meter, combined with the city map, it can easily and accurately reach the residential building number, the barometer can calculate the height I am in, combined with the registration of the community housing construction The floor plan and floor height of the floor plan to estimate my floor and room number. When I tried to enter a disguised address in the room, my real location was actually clearly recorded in the machine. Not only that, but it also knows when I am going on vacation, what nights I have not gone home, where I went…

Many researchers have done experiments to send hidden instructions outside the human ear’s hearing range to smart devices for speech recognition, thereby secretly controlling the device. So far, researchers from all over the world have done a variety of experiments, embedded in the voice commands of the human inaudible band, they have successfully let the phone automatically broadcast the phone, open the designated website, send text messages. Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, published a study in 2018 that embeds instructions that are unrecognizable by human ears into the recordings of music or everyday conversations. People who participate in experiments only hear music, or people chat. But the Amazon Echo speakers on the scene have received instructions to add specific items to their shopping list.

Facing the network every day is a battle for privacy. It can determine my communication relationship through my address book. Even if I close the positioning permission, I can determine where I often go by knowing the WIFI address that I automatically connect. My shopping list analyzes my spending power, as well as my shopping preferences, and the real-time search content is constantly updated. I am paying attention to what has changed. In the early stages of unfavorable supervision, some devices can even read text messages. If there is a bank card change notice, it can clearly know the monthly salary changes, or the most accurate after-tax details.

The most striking feature of the data ecology is that it is out of control. Even Zuckerberg, who is at the top of the data, is still experiencing personal information. So, to some extent, the editors’ choices are right—just know everything about one person. A question of difficulty factor, not a question of ability. This thing is like a jigsaw puzzle. Every time you know more about your details, combined with other information, the final gain may be explosive. In this way, the name of a mobile phone number in the district, do you know what?

Once I saw an AI developer, he was eager to portray the future in his eyes. They will train humans through massive data to understand human beings, especially understanding human behavior patterns. How does this person make decisions when faced with choices? The initial goal was to study small choices, such as what kind of ice cream he bought at the supermarket. This is a seemingly random decision, but there are a lot of reference factors that affect it – the weather at the time, the person’s tolerance for the weather. He likes the color, the taste he likes, his income status, is he vulnerable to the environment, or will he insist on his own opinion? Although buying ice cream is small, but high frequency occurs. Over time, training can accurately understand the choice mode of a single person. Then, when this person makes some major decisions, such as buying an expensive house and choosing a person to marry, there may be only one in a lifetime. Twice, but can accurately predict his mind, and even know how to influence his decision. The person who masters this has nothing to do with this person in reality.

After listening to the reality he said, I admire the wisdom of human beings, but more real feelings are fears. I realize that the everyday things of those individuals that I can’t control and can’t protect, the personal habits that belong to me. It turns out that it is being studied and utilized so precisely. In the future, they will also act on me in reverse. Perhaps it is a more efficient recommendation, but it may also be a control that penetrates into the bone marrow.


I realized that if a powerful system with the full amount of information wants to know my information, it’s easy. There are about 100 million cameras around the world that monitor public places day and night. The public camera not only performs face recognition, but also constantly applies gait recognition. That is to say, even if you wear a mask to go out, you can still judge from the way you walk, you are in the picture.

In contrast, the total number of private smartphone cameras is up to 1 billion, and perhaps a few years later, the number of connected cameras on the planet will reach one level per person. Each phone has more than a dozen networked sensors, and in the subtleties, the machine can quickly infer who the person is across the screen. Alibaba has 18 gender tags, which it knows that some accounts are held by male users during the day, while women are used at night. Judging is based on user profiles, browsing product categories, conversational use titles, and access habits that we may not have noticed ourselves – clicking on the screen’s weight, often typing the wrong typo, in the browser window is like opening in a new window, Or use the forward and backward buttons repeatedly, it is these habits that tell the machine, who is sliding the product page at the moment.

When information is intensive to such an extent, what is the name, what is the account password, and indeed it is not the most important information. People can’t pretend all the habits, walk the way, slide the screen’s weight, speed, and your habits sell your identity faster than the privacy dealer.

About two or three years ago, I chatted with a US security expert. He is a biometrics expert and a serious sci-fi movie enthusiast. He said that his childhood goal was to become the superhero in the science fiction story, and he did not expect that he was really going to succeed. The real goal of his efforts is to achieve non-aware recognition, from the initiative to enter the identity of the machine over and over again, until the machine can automatically identify you. In other words, in the future, you will enter an environment without entering any identity information. The environment naturally knows who you are – you approach the garage, the door intelligently identifies the owner, automatically opens, and will also remind you of today’s situation. After paying a salary, you can go to add some oil first…

He is staring at such a future. But he himself knows that there may be worrying possibilities behind this. He said that he will always be alert to himself, not from the superheroes in the science fiction story to the opponents of the heroes, the villains with the same ability and evil.

It’s just that in the competition for information that kills red eyes, such a fixed force is difficult. I once chatted with my friends. I am very impressed that a company can achieve accuracy to the meter, but it actively blurs the results, which is not easy. As a result, friends who did the same technology did not feel this respect for the privacy of the user. Instead, they listened and exclaimed: “The market competition is fierce. The original friends have been able to achieve this precision. I have to catch up quickly.” !”

A friend who works at a very influential technology giant is joking and comforting. Even if privacy is out of control, maybe he can think about my mood at work and symbolically make efforts to “optimize the user experience”: “You See, some people are sensitive to privacy, and some people are less sensitive to privacy. In the future, my work can develop different interfaces for these two kinds of people. For example, the interface you get will have more authorization reminders, as if to give you More initiative, more respect for your wishes, you may feel better, but in the end you have to agree to use, the same way.”

Indeed, we all failed. Many years later, the friend who took a taxi and didn’t get off the stairs of his own home, he participated in the related projects. He said that now he has got off the bus in his house. I asked him why, he said, even if we thought we were pretending to be in place and walking so far and tired, the system knew exactly where we lived. Not only the GPS positioning mentioned above, your driving trajectory in bad weather, such as the drop-off point of the summer heavy rainy night, is the exact location that will be weighted trust for the system, thus constantly correcting your frequent drop points. The deviation. Because you are hit hard by the rainy night, you will choose to stop near your real home with a higher probability.

And myself, a person who now has four mobile phone numbers, has also suffered a solid failure. Double eleven because of express delivery, the courier threw my courier into the temporary collection of the doorman without saying hello, but the doorman was suspected of occupying the land, throwing a large number of expresses directly onto the road, unattended, passers-by wanted Take it. I am very angry and I am going to complain. Considering that I left the delivery number A for the courier, I carefully complained to the courier with the number B. After a while, I received a call. “You are the XX room! Are you complaining about me?” He repeatedly asked me. Rescuing the complaint to the after-sales customer service, otherwise he will “deliver the door to the door” next time.

When I hang up the phone, I am very angry and a little scared, but what really makes me feel creepy is that I came back to God and took a closer look at my phone. He is not calling the number A or the number B. It is the mobile number that I left for my family and friends. It is a private number that has not been placed, has not been told strangers, and has not been used cross-exposed.

At that moment, I announced that my experiment was completely defeated. The so-called privacy that I have worked so hard for so long is really futile. The saddest thing is that I didn’t lose to a bad superhero. I lost to an ordinary person. The personal information that I value most is easy for an ordinary person to get. As long as he is not happy, all my information can be used for him. Until that moment, I felt the greatest fear.

I recently downloaded a new social app. I found that even if I didn’t authorize the address book, it still knows me well. I know not only my address book friends, but also the friends that are not on the address book and only added on WeChat. I see a more credible explanation, even if I don’t upload the address book, I know my friend uploaded the address book, the system will recognize me; even if I don’t upload the address book, my friends will not upload the address book, and know us both. Third-party uploads, I will still be recognized by the system; even if all three of us refuse to upload the address book, the system will still follow the attention of the open social platform like Weibo, and maybe even through the resume of the recruitment platform, backtracking My classmates, colleagues, and my peers will speculate on my position on this network. Therefore, this world that is out of control, I have already lived into a public message. The saddest thing is that I have nowhere to protest even if I lose. The only way to express anger is to silently delete the app and then shut down.

I really like the changes brought about by technology, just a little dissatisfied. If technology really brings us a better world, it should be able to allow us to become better people. But in terms of privacy, I have no way to live according to my wishes. I can’t pretend to be a person with privacy. I can only disguise myself as an editor and live a person who doesn’t care about privacy.