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Accessibility & Technology

Protecting Your Privacy Online

Mar 30, 2020

Protecting Your Privacy Online

Privacy is a topic of increasing concern lately, to everyone, and it should be. In the age of mobile technology we have developed the bad habit of agreeing without understanding what we’ve agreed to. Somehow, the great urgency and need to use that app right away compels us to say yes to everything. And we know better than that, don’t we?

The apps so useful to people with vision loss that often utilize artificial intelligence and location tracking, are probably taking liberties with our personal info. Be aware and don’t give up your privacy unknowingly. Take these steps to limit your exposure.

Read the Terms Before Agreeing

It’s time to get into the practice of actually reading the Terms of Use before clicking “I Agree.”  If you do no clear about anything in the agreement, do more research for clarity. If you are not like what you’re being asked to agree with, don’t agree. Delete the app and don’t use it.

Image of person with hidden identity.

Limit the Constant Surveillance

It is unnecessary to allow apps to know your every move. Take back this piece of your privacy  and keep it under your own control.

Turn off Location Sharing in the Privacy settings of your mobile device. While in Privacy settings also go to Advertising and Limit Ad Tracing.  In General settings turn off Background App Refresh. It is also a good idea to turn off Location Sharing in your Google account. When location is required, for use with an app, you can authorize its use Once or When Using App.

Delete Voice Recordings Daily

Get into the habit of deleting your voice recordings from voice assistants and smart speakers on a daily basis.  It’s as easy as saying, “Delete everything I’ve said today,” to Alexa or Google. To delete Siri recordings, go to Settings> Siri & Search> Siri & Dictation History, then Delete Siri & Dictation History.

Do Your Research

All the assistants have technical support available by phone, they can help you better understand the policies and get the settings updated.  Here are the support phone numbers.

Alexa Technical Support: 877-375-9365

Apple Accessibility Support: 877-204-3930

Google Home Support: 855-971-9121

For comments, questions or feedback, email us, or connect on Facebook or Twitter. We would love to hear from you!

About the Author: Dorrie Rush

Dorrie Rush is the Chief Content Officer and Visual Accessibility Expert at Ophthalmic Edge Patients (OE Patients), an online resource, presented by the Association for Macular Diseases, providing practical information and empowering advice for living a full and successful life with vision loss.

She is the former Director of the Grunwald Technology Center and Information Resource Service at Lighthouse International 2001 to 2016. Dorrie is known to have an eccentric view, which is particularly useful in compensating for her central vision loss from Stargardt Disease.



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