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“Once on the Internet, forever on the Internet”. Jscrambler’s CTO calls for self-awareness in the digital environment

Our privacy in an increasingly digital world was the topic of conversation during the last City Café. The guest, CTO of Jscrambler, didn’t want there to be any doubts. Pedro Fortuna was there to create “awareness of what we can do to protect ourselves”. Ourselves and our identity.

We know the basics already. Privacy is a right of our. But the issue becomes complex, admits the CEO of Jscrambler, when we talk about the way we use our data. We summarize the main ideas of the cybersecurity expert.

  • Having our cellphone in our pocket is enough. “We are telling our mobile operators where we are”, he summarizes. More: we tell our search engines everything. What we want, what we think, what concerns us. And on social media, we expose our friends and family.
  • The consequences of data sharing are several. Pedro Fortuna is perentory. “Strangers know our phone numbers. Strangers know about our sexuality. The strangers know who we are talking to and on what subject. Strangers know our religion and political color. Strangers saw us naked”.
  • Non-privacy can have advantages for our physical security. Jscrambler’s CTO explains that we are able, for example, to “control sexual predators, prevent assaults or combat drug trafficking”. But “privacy has much more weight”, he added.
  • We can and must prevent problems like terrorism. But we must base vigilance in a precise and limited way instead of monitoring “everyone” in a “hidden and automatic” way.
  • Abuses of power must also be fought against. Pedro Fortuna admits that, with our online data, “the government can see that there is a movement of people with ideas contrary to the regime and crush that movement”. In such cases, the expert suggests that there are solutions, which may include the important role of whistleblowers.
  • The trick, for Pedro Fortuna, is just hygiene. ‘Privacy hygiene’ in an increasingly virtual world. To explain, Pedro Fortuna concludes, evoking a famous sentence by George Orwell: “If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself”.

It was through a live broadcast, on the Porto Innovation Hub page and on the YouTube channel of the Porto Digital Association that Jscrambler’s technology director presented his ideas on the subject. At the end of the session, there was an interaction between the participants and the specialist, with questions and answers. City Café takes a break in August, but returns in full force in September. Keep an eye out for our news.

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