A Closer Look at Privacy and Ownership


In today’s digital age, the power of data has become undeniable. Corporations have risen as data giants, collecting vast amounts of personal information, including transcriptions, videos, audio recordings, and texts. While these companies claim that their data collection aims to improve services and enhance user experiences, the question of ownership and privacy becomes crucial. The reality is that entrusting these data giants with our personal content can have serious implications for our privacy and control over our data.

The Ownership Dilemma

When we engage with the services of these tech giants, we often overlook the fine print in the terms of service agreements. Buried deep within these documents is the revelation that these corporations claim ownership rights over the data we generate while using their services. This means that your transcriptions, videos, audio recordings, and texts are no longer solely yours – they become the property of the data giants. This ownership shift raises concerns about how these companies plan to leverage your content for their own gain.

Monetizing Your Data

Photo by Xu Haiwei

Data giants have established a thriving business model that revolves around data monetization, and the implications of this model are even more profound than they might initially seem. Beyond the scope of transcriptions, videos, audio recordings, and texts, these corporations are poised to harness your image and likeness as well, shaping a future where they can create content featuring your digital doppelganger without your explicit consent.

The information amassed from your interactions with these platforms serves as the fuel that powers their artificial intelligence algorithms. Your communication patterns, preferences, and behaviors are meticulously analyzed and used to train AI systems that seek to predict your actions and desires. These AI systems, in turn, enable these corporations to deliver a more personalized experience, making recommendations and adjustments that keep you engaged within their ecosystem.

However, the utilization of your data doesn’t end at enhancing user experiences. Your personal content is also instrumental in constructing targeted advertisements that are finely tuned to resonate with your interests and preferences. Advertisers are granted access to your data, enabling them to deliver tailored marketing campaigns with higher efficacy, leading to increased revenue for both the data giants and the advertisers. Unfortunately, while your data is the driving force behind this financial exchange, you remain on the sidelines without a share in the profits.

The prospect of third-party data sales adds another layer to the data monetization strategy of these corporations. Your aggregated data can be packaged and sold to other businesses, research institutions, or even governmental agencies seeking insights into consumer behavior and societal trends. These sales can yield substantial profits for data giants, solidifying their position as brokers of valuable information.

Moreover, the recent advancements in deep learning and AI technology are paving the way for an unsettling future where your image and likeness could be used to create entirely new forms of content. Imagine a scenario where your digital persona stars in advertisements, movies, or even news broadcasts without your explicit participation or approval. This disturbing possibility becomes more plausible as AI algorithms become increasingly adept at generating hyper-realistic content based on limited input.

As evidence of this concerning trend, a report by The New York Times sheds light on the emergence of AI-generated “deep fake” images and videos that are virtually indistinguishable from reality. While these technologies hold promise for creative endeavors, they also raise ethical and legal concerns regarding consent, authenticity, and the potential for misinformation

The Illusion of Convenience

The allure of seamless communication and user-friendly interfaces offered by these data giants often masks the true cost: your privacy and control over your content. As they promise enhanced features through AI-driven improvements, they do so at the expense of your data ownership. By surrendering your rights to these corporations, you unwittingly participate in a system that prioritizes their financial gain over your privacy.

Photo by Jason Dent

Empowering Privacy with Alternatives

In contrast to the data giants, emerging platforms like miingl are taking a different approach. miingl is a video conferencing service that prioritizes user privacy and data ownership. miingl doesn’t claim any ownership over your transcriptions, videos, audio recordings, or texts. Instead, all the data on their system belongs solely to the user, ensuring that you retain control over your content.

A Smarter Move for Data Ownership

Choosing to use applications like miingl is a strategic decision for safeguarding your data, likeness, and privacy. By opting for applications that respect your ownership rights, you take control of your digital footprint and protect yourself from the pitfalls of data monetization. miingl’s commitment to data privacy ensures that you’re not sacrificing your personal content for the sake of convenience.

In a world where data is an invaluable commodity, it’s essential to critically examine who holds the rights to your digital identity. These data tech giants have demonstrated a clear intention to capitalize on your content, while applications like miingl offer a smarter alternative – one that empowers you to maintain control over your data, likeness, and privacy. As we navigate the digital landscape, let’s remember that our content is an extension of ourselves, deserving of protection and respect.

List of Services That Give You Control Over Your Data

There are several alternative applications that prioritize user data ownership, privacy, and refrain from claiming ownership of personal content such as videos, transcripts, texts, and more. These platforms are designed to provide essential services while respecting your data and digital identity:

  • Search Engine: DuckDuckGo 
    A privacy-focused search engine that doesn’t track your searches, ensuring your data remains private.
  • Email: ProtonMail
    A secure email service that encrypts your emails, preventing unauthorized access to your communication.
  • Video Conferencing: miingl
    Empowers users with full control over their data by ensuring that all content, including videos, transcripts, and texts, belongs solely to the user, fostering privacy and ownership in video conferencing.
  • Document Collaboration: CryptPad
    An encrypted collaborative platform for documents, spreadsheets, and more, where you retain control over your data.
  • Cloud Storage: Nextcloud
    A self-hosted cloud storage solution that gives you complete control over your files and data.
  • Browsing and Content Discovery: Mozilla Firefox
    An open-source web browser that emphasizes user privacy and data ownership.
  • Social Media: Mastodon
    A decentralized social media platform where you can join instances based on your interests, and your data remains within your chosen instance.
  • Maps and Navigation: OpenStreetMap
    A community-driven mapping platform that respects user privacy and doesn’t track your location.
  • Note-Taking: Standard Notes
    A secure note-taking app that offers end-to-end encryption and keeps your data under your control.
  • Messaging: Signal
    An encrypted messaging app that prioritizes user privacy and secure communication.


Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal or financial advice. Please consult relevant professionals for advice on your specific situation.