digital nomad

The Peanut Butter Café in Monaco

Today my thoughts flow from this month’s meeting at The Peanut Butter Café in Monaco. I was prepared to discuss how a high-net-worth client can create more privacy and security for their family. However, the topic of Donald Trump stole the conversation and me being an American, the group was curious about my thoughts. Truthfully, I am not a political person and I am usually reluctant to share my thoughts. I was asked to give one thought of Donald Trump winning the election. I equate it to Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon, however, in this case the Hudson River is the Rubicon and it seems more like a reality show than the forward of a nation.

The question is can the new America affect your digitally nomadic or expat life? Has Brexit negatively affected citizens living abroad? We must always think about, the what if and the what if it happens to me. Be aware of political happenings from home because the ripples can drift your way and do damage. Donald appears myopic on the idea of making America great again, myopic in the sense that it is his idea of what will make America great again and a population of people but not the whole. I guess this is the point of being an expat, finding a patch of land where politics, health care and quality of life have a balance. Perhaps we will all be surprised and Donald will be more like Marcus Aurelius, if not be prepared.

Using Technology for Freedom

Yesterday I mentioned Digital Nomads, who are people who find freedom in travel. They do this by embracing technology which affords them a lifestyle on the road. In addition, there others who are not nomadic but choose freedom based upon where they live. These individuals embrace technology too. This is not to say they surrender their privacy. No, they use the technology that is needed in order to obtain the freedom they desire. Again, using the technology needed to obtain freedom.

The reality of using technology is we must give up information about ourselves if we want to utilize. This goes for free and pay for services. To a degree, it is a form of bartering, not always equally agreed.  The important part to keep in mind is to not place too much trust in the services you utilize. Meaning, just because a company states XY&Z in a privacy policy does not mean they will always stand behind the promise. What is the statement, the road to hell is paved with good intentions?

I believe that responsible privacy begins with the self. It must be you who decides what technology to use and what information to give away. That begins by reading which information is collected and how it is utilized. Then you must decide if the sacrifice of privacy is worth service. If so, I say indulge responsibly.

Frank M. Ahearn

Author of: The Art of Disappearing: 199 Essential Privacy and Disappearing Tips

Privacy – Digital Nomad – Couch Surfer

Is there such a place where real privacy truly exists or is privacy something which needs to be created? We are sewn to our national identity numbers like never ending stories, be it the SSN, DNI, SIN, CURP or HKID we need one to exist. When you think about it, they are as much a part of us as we are of them. So the question is, in the quest for privacy, are we trying to escape a government, an attachment to an identity number or the boundaries of land?

Harry D. Schultz suggested the idea known as the Three Flag Theory. Which is owning a second passport, living in a tax haven and keeping your assets in another country. This is simplistic and is not really an ideal of privacy because it is just tools not a way of life. Nor does these acts protect one against government intrusion. Governments today have long arms and are shaking hands with one another.

Privacy could be as simple as being an expat in Lichtenstein or Padua. Or that of a couch surfer traveling one living room at a time. Privacy is not solely about disappearing or hiding your information but about redefining your world in a digital age.

In addition, privacy is not always about not creating digital footprints. There are those who are Digital Nomads and choose where they live and how they work. They embrace technology recognizing that giving up a little privacy leads to real personal freedom. Sometimes one must give something up to gain independence.

As time goes on I am beginning to wonder what all the fear is about when it comes to surrendering information. Perhaps I am becoming a dinosaur in the digital age, perhaps I need to give up a little more to find more of my own freedom. Maybe digital foot prints are not always a bad thing, maybe it is a question of who you give the footprints to. When you think about privacy, do not think of it as an absolute, think of it more as a give and take.

Frank M. Ahearn

Author of: The Art of Disappearing: 199 Essential Privacy and Disappearing Tips