Let me explain.
I’ve pitched the idea of ODIN.Chat to anyone who will listen. I can’t express how strongly I believe applications like this are an absolute necessity in 2019. However, when I explain ODIN.Chat to non-crypto enthusiasts I’m almost always met with the same response, “hmmmmm… isn’t that for like … criminals?” As if an expressed interest in privacy is suggestive of character, or lack thereof.
I don’t want to mince words. Reactions like this terrify me, and I hope I can articulate why throughout this article.
Only bad people have stuff to hide, right?
Have you ever been dancing like no one is looking — only to be overcome with embarrassment when it turns out someone is? Well. I haven’t, but that’s something for me to discuss with my therapist. But I’m sure you have. So let’s talk about why that is. From a psychological perspective, embarrassment occurs when there is a threat to ones projected image (Psychology Today). The action itself may be morally neutral, that is to say, you’re not doing anything wrong. I mean we can all agree that dancing when no one is looking is more or less a harmless affair, perhaps even liberating to some. Nonetheless, searing pain to the ego ensues upon realizing your private performance was subject to an audience.
Okay. Someone catches me dancing, so what?
Fair enough. Let’s turn it up a notch.
You’re showing your mom photos from your camera roll. Imagine swiping left twenty or thirty times. Is your heart racing yet? I’m guessing it might be and if it isn’t what if you gave her your phone unlocked and an hour in another room. If it isn’t pounding out of your chest yet, maybe I can put you in touch with my therapist. See sociopathic tendencies.
Well. That that would be a total invasion of my privacy.
Exactly my point. But hold on. I haven’t even started yet.
Remember “The Fappening”? You do. But we can pretend you don’t if that makes you feel better. In late August 2014, an iCloud hack resulted in the intimate photos of dozens of celebrities to be spread online. I won’t name any names, but you know the images. Put yourself in their shoes. Do you still stand behind “well, if I’ve got nothing to hide …” Yeah. I didn’t think so. Let’s move on to the Orwellian dystopia scenario.
1984. A year gone by, but a future we’re destined for.
“Always eyes watching you and the voice enveloping you. Asleep or awake, indoors or out of doors, in the bath or bed — no escape. Nothing was your own except the few cubic centimeters in your skull.” (George Orwell, 1984)
George Orwell’s 1984, an iconic piece of literature tells of Winston Smith and his relentless struggle against what is known only as, The Party. In this dystopian nightmare, Big Brother never relents, and the individual is quite literally never given reprieve from the watchful eye. All dwellings, places of work, and distances between them wrought with cameras and microphones.
“You had to live — did live, from habit that became instinct — in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every moment scrutinized.” (George Orwell, 1984)
Consider the world we live in today. Within arms reach I can count nine cameras [one on my MacBook, one on either side of my iPhone and Galaxy, two more on each of my iPad and Kindle Fire] Guess what, they all have microphones too. Take a second and do the same. How many do you count?
It isn’t too hard to imagine an authoritarian state forcing the hands of Apple, Samsung, and Amazon into activating some sort of God Mode and thus relinquishing what semblance of privacy remains. Thank whatever higher power it is you believe in we still live in a pseudo-democratic nation.
What do the powers at be have to say about all of this?
Google CEO Eric Schmidt — “If you’re doing something that you don’t want other people to know — maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place”
Former U.S. President Barack Obama — “The only people who don’t want to disclose the truth, are people with something to hide.”
Oh and my personal favorite this series of instant messages by Mark Zuckerberg. Yeah. That Mark Zuckerberg. Founder and CEO of Facebook.
Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard
Zuck: Just ask.
Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS
[Redacted Friend’s Name]: What? How’d you manage that one?
Zuck: People just submitted it.
Zuck: I don’t know why.
Zuck: They “trust me”
Zuck: Dumb fucks.
Well I guess on an individual level, they must not value their personal privacy, right?
You would think based on what’s been said, that they don’t, but their actions tell another story. Let’s take a look.
Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, after commenting that, “if you’re doing something you didn’t want people to know, maybe you shouldn’t do it” went on to tell his employees not to speak to CNET after they published an article about his life, all of which was sourced via the Google search engine. You can read more in depth about that here.
President Barack Obama — do I really need to go there? I mean, the U.S. wouldn’t classify any information, even if its in the interest of National security if we were to follow his logic. After all, the United States wouldn’t do anything bad, right?
Mark Zuckerberg, the man who calls users of his platform, “Dumb fucks” (his words, not mine) took it upon himself to not just buy a beautiful Palo Alto home with monstrous walls no unaided man could see over. He went on to buy the four houses surrounding it, only to have them demolished, to you guessed it, increase his family’s privacy.
You mentioned something about an application earlier that focused on security and privacy, where can I find out more about that?
ODIN.Chat a Secure, Blockchain-Powered, Decentralized-Messenger.
ODIN wants you to own your conversation. Having realized the impending doomsday scenario where massive leaks of personal data lead to real-world consequences, ODIN Blockchain decided to do something about it and built ODIN.Chat, a blockchain-powered, secure messenger with the end user’s privacy in mind.
What makes ODIN.Chat different than the products that claim to be free?
When ODIN Blockchain decided to build a free messenger, we put a lot of thought into what free means not just to us, but to the end-user too. Here’s a list of things we don’t ask for when you use our product: your name, your date of birth, your address, we don’t even ask for your email address, all of which other companies see as revenue when you sign up. We don’t even ask you to create a username and risk being linked to other accounts that might share certain features of that name. It truly is private. We might not be changing the world by ourselves, but we certainly hope to be apart of the group that does.
About the author
Christopher Reeder is ODIN Blockchain’s Lead Content Strategist and Technical Writer. As an advocate and researcher, he is exploring technology’s impact on privacy.
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