Protect your personal data #2 : open source software and free software

3년 전



Source

As I said in my previous article :

To protect personal data, you must use web services that respect your privacy.

But it is also necessary to use services in which we have trust, the fact that a software is free or open source is a token of trust.

Open source software

An open source software is a software whose source code is public and available on Internet, that allows anyone to consult it.

What do I care if I can consult the source code of software ? I'm not a developer, I couldn't even read it.

It's a sign of confidence. When a vulnerability is present in an open source software it is generally discovered very quickly, it also allows to know if trackers are present in the software or the application, because if it is the case, it will be immediately revealed. When an open source software spy on you, it is known very quickly and either the software stops doing it or you find an alternative solution.

Open source software is community-based, the fact that the source code is open allows many people to propose changes to the software, if they find bugs or vulnerabilities, so all small (or big) problems are usually solved pretty quickly. The open source is a great strength.

Free software

A free software is a software of which you can do almost what you want, you can use it as you wish, you can modify it, copy it, study it, distribute a modified version.

All these freedoms are guaranteed both technically : free software is open source, which makes it possible to copy, study and modify it ; and legally thanks to the licenses of its software.

What are the advantages of free software ?

These are all freedoms, but also the fact that free software is very often gratuitous (even if there may be exceptions), the fact that the same software may exist in different versions, what are called forks (duplicates), which will have different designs and features that may vary (like GNU/Linux distributions). Diversity is one of the great strengths of free software, there is everything for everyone. You can have even more trust in free software than in open source software because the people creating that software don't make (or very little) money with it, that software lives on donations, and on community participation. Free software is mostly a community.

Free software is created by enthusiasts who are not there to make money and therefore steal your data. Some companies created software and earn money, but this money they earn through the services developed around this software (like Mozilla, Red Hat, Suse or Canonical).

There are different so-called free licenses, they are more or less permissive. The most common are GNU licenses, MIT licenses and BSD licenses. These are three licenses you can trust.

Open source software vs Free software

At the stage of this article, you're probably asking yourself what the difference is between free and open source software. It's first of all two different philosophies, we must first know that free software appeared first, and that open source software appeared later, created by a part of the free software community being in disagreement. Open source is purely technical, it aims to allow everyone to propose changes so that development can be done faster and under better conditions. Free has a social and libertarian dimension, the goal is that everyone can use software and they can use them as they want.

Personally, I try to use open source and/or free software as much as possible. My computer uses the operating system Solus (GNU/Linux based operating system) which is free and on my Android smartphone I am only open source applications (except social networks). I'm what they call a librist, I don't like proprietary software and I replace it as soon as possible with free alternatives. I hope this article has convinced you to use free and/or open source software.


To learn more :
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open-source_software
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_software
https://opensource.com/resources/what-open-source
https://www.fsf.org/
https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_free_and_open-source_software_packages


This article is the translation of my article in French that you can find here (Busy link).


I hope you liked this article.
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Feel free to say what you think or ask questions in comments.
See you soon on Steem ;-)

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I would like to say Thanks first I have question to you free software or open source software really able to protect personal data??

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Free and open source software is often much more privacy friendly than proprietary software. So yes free and open source software help you to protect your privacy :-)

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Merci :-)