By Catherine Osborn
For a boot camp on privacy, São Paulo’s symposium was anything but subtle. In May, the fourth annual CryptoRave drew 3,000 people to the Casa do Povo, a modernist downtown museum, for 30 hours of strobe-lit dance parties, craft beer and workshops on topics that ranged from offline health and “holistic security” to protecting personal communications from government and corporate spying. The overall objective: “Celebrate our connections to each other while learning to behave safely online,” organizer Gabi Juns tells OZY.
Concerns about online privacy and security are as old as the internet itself, but Brazil’s activists say they are fighting two types of abuse that have intensified in recent years: government surveillance of dissidents and government sharing of personal information with the private sector. At the front ranks of those sounding the alarm are women in groups like CryptoRave and the Brazilian think tank Coding Rights, which launched a site on Brazil’s Valentine’s Day in June titled Chupadados [“The Datasucker”], which revealed how some dating apps in Brazil siphon personal information without the users’ knowledge, in some cases for resale.