It is possible to have privacy on the Web. It just takes some effort, and most people are not aware of what to do.
First, there’s TOR, a browser that hides your identity behind a fake persona and makes it virtually impossible for anyone to know what you’re doing online. It’s the bane of both the PRC and US governments. The US in particularly sees TOR as part of the criminal or “dark web.”(1) However, what you see depends on where you sit. For people who simply like privacy and the pro-Western underground in Russia and China, it’s not a bad thing at all.
Many browsers offer private browsing sessions. Unfortunately, they leak, leaving unencrypted web pages in memory or on your hard drive for others to find.
Harvard and MIT have jointly introduced a new product, Veil, which is software that encrypts online information until you need to view it.(2) The traces of web pages that might be left on your system are unreadable by anyone who might find them.
There’s still the issue that privacy takes extra effort. There’s also something of a presumption that anyone seeking a high level of privacy must be involved in illegal or unethical activity — and some are, but not everyone. And of course, the standards of what’s legal and not change over time. What you are doing innocently now may be illegal in the future.
“The right to privacy” which is protected by the EU and in the Brazilian constitution isn’t such a bad thing.
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “Private browsing gets more private: New system patches security holes left open by web browsers’ private-browsing.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 February 2018. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180223122354.htm>.