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This Sunday (Jan. 28th) is Data Privacy Day. We at always­da­ta want to take this oppor­tu­ni­ty to tell you about why this top­ic is so impor­tant and our opin­ions about it.

Private Data and Privacy

The desire for pri­va­cy is a key com­po­nent of our psy­cho­log­i­cal behav­ior. Privacy ensures that we can make informed deci­sions by our own free will. If you know that you’re under sur­veil­lance, or if you feel some kind of pres­sure against, you are more like­ly to con­form to gen­er­al norms. You lose your free­dom of choice.

In our dig­i­tal world, pri­va­cy means that nobody is able to watch and con­trol your dig­i­tal life. Nobody likes to have their e‑mails read or their brows­ing his­to­ry or GPS tracks ana­lyzed. Many online ser­vices col­lect these kinds of data in order to fil­ter the con­tents shown to you and make you addict­ed to a unique plat­form. For some com­pa­nies, this is how they make mon­ey. Their busi­ness mod­els con­sist sole­ly of col­lect­ing and using your per­son­al data.

You may not real­ize it, but you pro­duce data every sec­ond. Call his­to­ries, health data, con­nec­tion ses­sions, etc., are exam­ples of col­lect­ed data. These data, how­ev­er, belong to you.

Beginning in May, the GDPR will go into effect. This reg­u­la­tion intends to lim­it and legal­ly frame the use of per­son­al data. The pro­duc­er of data is its the legal own­er. No one will be allowed to deprive you of your right to use and pro­tect those data. Likewise, no one will be allowed to use your data to rec­om­mend ser­vices to you or to track you with­out your permission.

This means that any and all ser­vices must ask for your con­sent before they can col­lect your data, and they must clear­ly state how they plan to use them. The reg­u­la­tion ensures that you will be able to dis­able some col­lec­tion process­es with­out hav­ing to alter your use of the ser­vice. It also intro­duces the con­cept of data porta­bil­i­ty, which means that any­one will be able to ask ser­vice providers for his or her per­son­al data.

In our lit­tle dig­i­tal world, the reg­u­la­tion is a rev­o­lu­tion. For more than a decade, the Web’s busi­ness mod­el has been based on data col­lec­tion. You gain access to free ser­vices in exchange for let­ting com­pa­nies col­lect your per­son­al data. In most cas­es, the price you are forced to pay by relin­quish­ing your data is greater than the ben­e­fit of the ser­vice you receive in return. At always­da­ta, we don’t want to col­lect your per­son­al data. In fact, we don’t need it. You pay your host­ing ser­vices with mon­ey. For you, it’s a guar­an­tee that your data stay yours; for us, it ensures that you pay a fair price and that you are respect­ed as an indi­vid­ual and a free citizen.

If you’re inter­est­ed in pri­va­cy, the Nothing to Hide doc­u­men­tary is a good resource for learn­ing about these challenges.

Protect your data easily with alwaysdata

With data porta­bil­i­ty, you are now able to get back your per­son­al data and host them. always­da­ta’s host­ing ser­vices are per­fect­ly suit­ed for this use case. Offering the most-used web lan­guages, data­base tech­nolo­gies, and large stor­age even in a shared host­ing begin­ning at € 8.00, always­da­ta makes sure that you’re ready!

Hosting one’s data begins with host­ing one’s files. Let’s take a look at some open source solu­tions that are ready to deploy on always­da­ta:

  • Nextcloud (PHP / MariaDB ou MySQL): a solu­tion to cen­tral­ize and share doc­u­ments. Nextcloud allows you to host doc­u­ments, con­tacts, agen­da, etc. in the same loca­tion, share them eas­i­ly, and collaborate.
  • Cozy Cloud (Go / CouchDB): a data hub that allows you to gath­er all your per­son­al data, includ­ing doc­u­ments, bank­ing, and health data, etc. It embeds a way to con­nect to your online ser­vices, allow­ing you to gath­er and extract your data from them.
  • Seafile (Python / SQLite): an online dri­ve that syncs your doc­u­ments between your devices and your server.
  • Syncthing (Go): a sync solu­tion with shar­ing fea­tures that allows you to access your data from anywhere.

This list is far from exhaus­tive, and you’re free to choose the solu­tion that best meets your needs. Starting in the near future, our mar­ket­place will allow you to install these apps from your cockpit.

Your data, safe

Concerns about secu­ri­ty remain, and you need to be able to trust your host­ing solu­tion. always­da­ta, as an IT expert, guar­an­tees your secu­ri­ty. Our staff ensures that all equip­ment and ser­vices are safe and robust.

You don’t have to wor­ry about secur­ing your serv­er, equip­ment, or ser­vices because we wor­ry for you. Likewise, you don’t need to sub­scribe to a VPS or a ded­i­cat­ed plan to ensure that you are tru­ly pri­vate. Our shared plans use a light­weight con­tain­er tech­nol­o­gy that makes it impos­si­ble for an intrud­er to access your data. Even if an app that is host­ed on the same serv­er as yours is com­pro­mised, you run no risk. You won’t suf­fer from any con­sump­tion peaks from your neigh­bor, and your app will remain available.

always­da­ta pro­vides the qual­i­ty and secu­ri­ty you need on your own pri­vate cloud.

Today is a good day to test some solu­tions and install your pre­ferred cloud. All it takes is sub­scrib­ing to a shared host offer.