Ask participants to go through all the apps they have on their devices and check the following:
Give participants approximately 15 minutes to do the above. Once time is up, ask participants to share what they found in this quick search. Make sure that you cover issues such as:
Share examples of “menstruapps” - menstrual cycle tracking apps - and other personal health related apps with the group. Explain how according to research that has been done (via Chupadatos), it’s been shown that menstruapps can gather quite a bit of personal data from users:
That’s a lot of information, right?
Split participants into groups of 3-4 participants (maximum) and ask each group to make a list of what they know about Facebook and Google – to provide an example, you can have them start buy answering these questions:
Give participants 15 minutes to finish listing all the information they have.
Once time is up, ask each group to then make a list of what these two companies, Facebook and Google, might know about them. If participants have access to internet from their computers or mobile devices, those who have a Gmail account may want to visit the page https://www.google.com/maps/timeline as well to help with this part of the session. Give participants 20-25 minutes to make their lists, which each group should then briefly present to the rest of the participants.
You’ll now lead participants through the final closing portion of the session. Explain that you will now look at ways to reclaim privacy online, by learning how to continue using these apps, online platforms and social networking sites for personal use or advocacy efforts, but in a safer way.
With participants remaining in the same groups as before, ask them to now focus on collaboratively brainstorming creative ways to reclaim their privacy. Give each group a block of post-it notes along with some markers and pens, and have them generate as many ideas as they can think of in 10-15 minutes. You can provide some example tactics to get them started, such as:
Confusing the algorithms that platforms use for advertising or content optimization;
Regularly checking platforms’ privacy policies and updates to privacy settings;
Being aware of app permissions on their devices, specifically things like location settings and geo-tagging of photos and posts;
Using alternative platforms that are more committed to privacy and activism (Riseup, Tutanota, Signal, etc.)
Once they’ve finished this final part of the exercise, have each group share some of the ideas they came up with – you can post these in a visible place in the training room for participants to refer to as they move through the training process. These ideas will also be useful for you as you adjust the content of your training, especially if participants want to focus more on improving their safe use of social networks for their activism.