Excellent parody of Scott McCloud’s 2008 comic about the wonders of Google Chrome. This is about the danger Chrome poses to our privacy. (And I’m obligated to say modern Firefox is a good alternative.)
iOS users must now give explicit permission for apps to track their behavior and sell their personal data, such as age, location, spending habits and health information, to advertisers. While many apps have allowed people to manage or opt-out of this for years, it's typically buried deep in user settings and wordy privacy policies.Nice.
"So today I set out to actually see what it is one agrees to when they accept all."Peeling back the layers on those cookie agreement dialogs helps us learn about how web advertising works (and how massive the industry is).
A number of leading public health authorities, universities, and NGOs around the world have been doing important work to develop opt-in contact tracing technology. To further this cause, Apple and Google will be launching a comprehensive solution that includes application programming interfaces (APIs) and operating system-level technology to assist in enabling contact tracing.I'm extremely concerned about privacy related to these companies and I also think this is a great development. We're going to need to trade some privacy for safety to get society going again. Kottke had a neat comic explainer about how contact tracing works: How Privacy-Friendly Contact Tracing Can Help Stop the Spread of Covid-19.
"Today, Firefox is enabling encrypted DNS over HTTPS by default in the US..."So strange to see a tech company put energy into consumer privacy but I’ll take it.
"At my request, a number of police officers had run my photo through the Clearview app. They soon received phone calls from company representatives asking if they were talking to the media — a sign that Clearview has the ability and, in this case, the appetite to monitor whom law enforcement is searching for."If you don't have or want a NYT subscribtion, The Verge has a good summary: Go read this NYT expose on a creepy new facial recognition database used by US police. (Interesting that a Facebook board member is funding a company that is seemingly breaking the Facebook terms of service?) Another must-read, Bruce Schneier's take on banning facial recognition: We’re Banning Facial Recognition. We’re Missing the Point.
"A ban on facial recognition won’t make any difference if, in response, surveillance systems switch to identifying people by smartphone MAC addresses. The problem is that we are being identified without our knowledge or consent, and society needs rules about when that is permissible."ps. (1/21) Vox has a great explainer video: What facial recognition steals from us.
"The new thing here is that Yandex is working not just as a reverse image search tool; it seems to be doing facial matching."Nelson has an interesting follow-up to the bellingcat guide to reverse image searching I posted recently.
"Either we must submit to this pervasive surveillance machinery – where our data is easily weaponized to manipulate and influence us – or forego the benefits of the digital world. This can never be a legitimate choice."Amnesty International the organization is wrestling with their use of Facebook in the wake of this report: We called out Facebook and Google but still need them. That's exactly the problem. They go on to say:
“We are trying to pull off the difficult balancing act of carrying out our duty to spread our human rights message while spending money with companies profiting from problematic surveillance. The reputational risk grows with every scandal. ”I hope we see some progressive organizations start to distance themselves from Facebook. If they won’t, who will?