Tags: privacy

What Happens Next Will Amaze You

I refuse to believe that this cramped, stifling, stalkerish vision of the commercial Internet is the best we can do.

Locus Online Perspectives » Cory Doctorow: What If People Were Sensors, Not Things to be Sensed?

Imagine a location service that sold itself on the fact that your personal information was securely contained in its environs, used by you and you alone. You could have devices on your person that used their sensors to know things about you – when you last ate, what your dining preferences are, what your blood-sugar is, and so on, but these devices would have no truck with the cloud, and they would not deliver that information to anyone else for analysis.

Keep The Web Healthy

I really like this impassioned love letter to the web. This resonates:

The web is a worthy monument for society. It cannot be taken away by apps in the app store or link bait on Facebook, but it can be lost if we don’t continue to steward this creation of ours. The web is a garden that needs constant tending to thrive. And in the true fashion of the world wide web, this is no task for one person or entity. It will require vigilance and work from us all.

Monica at Mozilla: Tracking Protection for Firefox at Web 2.0 Security and Privacy 2015

I believe that Mozilla can make progress in privacy, but leadership needs to recognize that current advertising practices that enable “free” content are in direct conflict with security, privacy, stability, and performance concerns — and that Firefox is first and foremost a user-agent, not an industry-agent.

as days pass by — The next big thing is privacy

Stuart has written some wise words about making privacy the differentiator that can take on Facebook and Google.

He also talks about Aral’s ind.ie project; all the things they’re doing right, and all things they could do better:

The ind.ie project is to open source as Brewdog are to CAMRA.

2030: Privacy’s Dead. What happens next? - YouTube

Tom Scott’s energetic dConstruct talk.

Drip, Drop, Groundswell

Cole Peters calls upon designers and developers to realise the power they have to shape the modern world and act accordingly.

It is in those of us who work in tech and on the web that digital privacy may find its greatest chance for survival. As labourers in one of the most pivotal industries of our times, we possess the knowledge and skills required to create tools and ecosystems that defend our privacy and liberties.

I don’t disagree, but I think it’s also important to recognise how much power is in the hands of non-designers and non-developers: journalists, politicians, voters …everyone has a choice to make.

Known: taking a big bet on the #indieweb

When I’ve been banging on at conferences about digital preservation, personal publishing and the indie web, I’ve been at pains to point out that there are huge opportunities here for startups looking to build valet services to help people publish on their own domain.

Ben and Erin at Known are doing just that, with some backing from KQED, PRX and the Knight Foundation instead of the usual short-sighted Silicon Valley venture capitalism.

One of the jobs of a startup is to look at where the world is going, extrapolating from current trends and domain knowledge, and meet a future need with a product at exactly the right time. We think the time is right for an independent web that is owned by content creators and readers alike.

The Internet With A Human Face - Beyond Tellerrand 2014 Conference Talk

The transcript of Maciej’s talk from Beyond Tellerrand on how the web has become more and more centralised:

The degree of centralization is remarkable. Consider that Google now makes hardware, operating systems, and a browser.

It’s not just possible, but fairly common for someone to visit a Google website from a Google device, using Google DNS servers and a Google browser on the way.

This is a level of of end-to-end control that would have caused us to riot in the streets if Microsoft had attempted it in 1999. But times have changed.

Can This Alternative Smartphone Deliver Real Privacy to the Masses? | Co.Exist | ideas + impact

Fast Company features Aral’s tantalising Indie Phone project that he’s been working on at Clearleft Towers.

Good to see Oskar the dog getting the recognition he deserves.

On the top floor of a commercial building in the old maritime city of Brighton, England, Balkan has been quietly hacking away at Indie Phone for the last several months with the rest of his team—Victor Johansson, an industrial designer, Laura Kalbag, a professional web designer (and Balkan’s partner), and her Husky, Oskar.

Google Profiles “Shared Endorsements”

You might want to untick the checkbox at the bottom of this screen:

Based upon my activity, Google may show my name and profile photo in shared endorsements that appear in ads.

Silicon Valley through a PRISM · Ben Ward

Ben is rightly worried by the blasé attitude in the tech world to the PRISM revelations. Perhaps that attitude stems from a culture of “log everything by default”?

I think there’s a deep rooted trait within this industry that sedates the outrage. That is the normality, complicity, and dependency on ‘surveillance’ in the software we make.

Privacy Patterns

Cataloguing patterns (best practices, really) for privacy-concious site owners.

The Case Against Google

An in-depth look at where Google is going wrong.

Clean up ALL Your Applications Privacy Settings in 2 Minutes

A one-stop-shop with links to the authentication settings of various online services. Take the time to do a little Spring cleaning.

EU law change regarding use of cookies | Torchbox

A translation into plain English of the recent changes in the law regarding cookies in the UK. In short, keep calm and carry on.

Nanolaw with Daughter (Ftrain.com)

A superbly written piece of near-future legal-dystopian speculative fiction. Damn, that Paul Ford can write!

Tell-all telephone | Data Protection | Digital | ZEIT ONLINE

A dataviz demo of creepiness: displaying the movements of Malte Spitz by correlating her phone activity and web usage.


Metallic ink-printed undershirts and underwear. For Americans who wish to assert their rights without saying a word.

The Web Means the End of Forgetting - NYTimes.com

This article needs a great big "citation needed" slapped on it. Yes, people need to think about what they post on the web, but no, that stuff will not stay around "forever." If anything, the web suffers from the opposite problem: memory loss.

Concerning FourSquare · Ben Ward

A great Fisking by Ben of (very silly, IMHO) morally panicked Guardian article on Foursquare.

Making Light: The lily knows not why it blossoms in the spring

Before we point the finger and laugh at the Facebook users leaving confused comments on Read Write Web, we should look to our own experiences with Google Buzz.

Blissbat Loves Books » Blog Archive » Google Buzz Screws Up

Erin explains exactly how badly Google have messed up privacy concerns with Buzz.

Fuck you, Google « Fugitivus

A frightening tale of just how badly Google messed up with the lack of privacy controls on Buzz.

It’s high time we moved to URL-based identifiers | FactoryCity

Chris says that URLs are people too: "You’ve got my URL, now, tell me, what else do you really need?"

From The Magazine : Radar Online : Cory Doctorow imagines a world in which Google is evil

Scroogled is a short story by Cory Doctorow that's especially timely.

Facebook's Misrepresentation of Beacon's Threat to Privacy: Tracking users who opt out or are not logged in. - CA Security Advisor Research Blog - CA

An excellent piece of research that shows how Facebook affiliates' cross-site scripting (Beacon) sends information back to the mothership regardless of whether the user has opted out.

::HorsePigCow:: marketing uncommon » The insidious danger of danger

Tara talks about the damaging effect on women who believe that to protect themselves, they cannot be truly open online.