Smartphone users: You are Being Watched! Protect Your personal and professional lives to avoid digital rape.

6 min readJun 14, 2024


In today’s digital age, privacy is a luxury few can afford. Our smartphones have become the eyes and ears of unseen forces. From tech giants to shady entities, our every move is tracked, recorded, and sold. Being tracked isn’t just an abstract concern — it has real, tangible consequences…

What is a world where your intimate secrets, financial troubles, and even your daily routines are exposed to anyone willing to pay for it? This data can be used to manipulate your decisions, steal your identity, or even blackmail you. For example, your browsing history could be sold to companies that flood you with targeted ads, or worse, your personal information could end up in the hands of cybercriminals who use it to scam you or your loved ones. But this problem goes deeper and is more widespread than most people realize.

From the hidden surveillance crisis to the digital rape

Realize this: every time you open an app or browse a website, your data is broadcast to countless entities across the globe. This process, known as Real-Time Bidding (RTB), is the backbone of online advertising. However, it’s not just about selling you the latest gadget or holiday package. As described recently in a recent a detailed report on Europe’s hidden security crisis, RTB allows foreign states and non-state actors to access sensitive personal data about key personnel and leaders. This data, which flows from almost every website and mobile application, is broadcast billions of times a day without adequate security measures.

Europe’s hidden security crisis report — 2023

The consequences of this constant data broadcasting are terrifying. Identity theft is a common outcome, where criminals use your stolen data to open bank accounts, take out loans, or commit fraud in your name. Women in some countries have been jailed for seeking abortions, their actions detected through digital surveillance on social networks. Imagine being prosecuted because your online activities revealed something as personal as a medical procedure. There have been instances where individuals’ intimate secrets, such as sexual orientation or health conditions, were exposed, leading to blackmail and social ostracization. Even more horrifying, political dissidents can be tracked and silenced, their movements and communications monitored by oppressive regimes.

This constant data broadcasting includes your location, browsing habits, and even personal interests. Worse still, it can be easily linked to specific individuals, making it a goldmine for those looking to exploit your vulnerabilities. Whether it’s your financial troubles, mental state, or intimate secrets, nothing is off-limits for the permanent digital rape.

How to protect yourself and your organization

On smartphones, /e/OS is a mobile operating system designed with privacy at its core. It strips away applications’ trackers and ads that plague conventional smartphones, giving you control over your data. Murena smartphones, equipped with /e/OS, ensure that your personal information remains just that — personal.

No trackers, No ads

Unlike any other traditional mobile operating systems, /e/OS cuts out by default all applications’ trackers and ads. This means your data isn’t shared with advertisers or other third parties. You’re free from the digital eyes that follow your every move.

By eliminating the RTB process, /e/OS significantly reduces the risk of your data falling into the wrong hands. Murena smartphones are the only way today to be assured that your sensitive information is safe from prying eyes, whether they’re from foreign states or malicious actors.

Network-wide ad and tracker blockers

In addition to using privacy-focused operating systems like /e/OS, you can further protect yourself, your family and your organization with network-wide ad and tracker blockers like Pi-hole. Pi-hole acts as a DNS sinkhole that blocks ads and trackers for every device on your network, including PCs and tablets. By setting up a Pi-hole behind your Internet router, you can ensure that no device connected to your home network is exposed to unwanted tracking and ads. This adds an extra layer of protection, complementing the privacy measures on your individual devices.

Beware of privacy-washing marketing tactics!

/e/OS and the Pi-hole project are open source, meaning its source code is available for anyone to inspect. This transparency, often referred to as “auditable privacy,” stands in stark contrast to the privacy-washing marketing tactics employed by companies like Apple. It ensures there are no hidden backdoors or secret data collection mechanisms. You have full control over what data you share and with whom.

The “Nothing to Hide” argument… Identity theft, influence, democracy and fundamental rights

A common response to privacy concerns is, “I have nothing to hide.” However, this perspective overlooks several critical issues.

First of all, Privacy is a Fundamental Right! Privacy is about having control over your personal information. Just as you wouldn’t want someone snooping through your physical mail or watching you in your home, digital privacy is about maintaining a private space in your online life. It’s a fundamental human right recognized by many international laws and regulations.

Even if you believe you have nothing to hide, the information collected about you can be used in ways you might not anticipate. Data brokers can build detailed profiles about you, which can be sold to the highest bidder. This information can be used for targeted scams, identity theft, or even to influence your behavior without your knowledge.

Privacy isn’t just an individual or professional concern; it’s also a societal one. The mass collection of data can lead to abuses of power, as seen in various surveillance scandals. When governments and corporations have unchecked access to personal data, it can stifle free speech, suppress dissent, and erode the foundations of a democratic society.

Your personal and professional data can also be a gateway for hackers. With enough information, malicious actors can impersonate you, gain access to your financial accounts, or exploit your identity for various criminal activities. Protecting your data helps safeguard not just your privacy but also your personal and financial security.

A real solution to a real problem — act now!

The importance of a secure mobile operating system like /e/OS or network-wide ads and tracker’s blockers become even more evident when considering the risks highlighted in the report on Europe’s security crisis. Foreign entities can exploit RTB data to track key personnel, gather kompromat (compromising material), and potentially manipulate or blackmail individuals. The implications are far-reaching, affecting not just individuals but entire organizations and national security.

Every moment you spend on a conventional smartphone, you’re contributing to this vast data network. By switching to a Murena smartphone with /e/OS and to a Pi-hole, you’re not just protecting yourself but also taking a stand against the pervasive culture of surveillance.

The digital world is a double-edged sword, offering convenience at the cost of privacy. However, with solutions like /e/OS on Murena smartphones and Pi-holes, you can enjoy the best of both worlds. It’s time to reclaim your digital freedom and ensure your data remains yours.

In a world where data is considered to be the new oil, safeguarding your privacy is more crucial than ever. By eliminating trackers and ads, enhancing security, and providing transparency and control, you’re empowering yourself to protect your own life. Don’t wait until your data is compromised. Make the switch today and experience true digital freedom!

— Gaël Duval — June 2024.

Follow me on @gael_duval on X/Twitter, on Mastodon.

This article was first published on my blog.




Software engineer, Entrepreneur: Mandrake-Linux 1998, Ulteo 2006, /e/OS & Murena 2017, Open Source advocate.