You, the software engineers and leaders of technology companies, face an enormous responsibility. You know better than anyone how best to protect the millions who have entrusted you with their data, and your knowledge gives you real power as civic actors. If you want to transform the world for the better, here is your moment. Inquire about how a platform will be used. Encrypt as much as you can. Oppose the type of data analysis that predicts people’s orientation, religion, and political preferences if they did not willingly offer that information.
Marco is spot on here. The New York Times article he’s responding to is filled with a weird Stockholm syndrome—the one bit of the web that’s still free of invasive tracking and surveillance is where they wish a centralised power (like Apple) would come in and lock down. Madness!
I really like this comparison between Waldsterben and the current situation with the web after years of pervasive tracking.
Yes! Yes! YES!
Marco makes the same comparison I did between the dark days of pop-up windows and the current abysmal state of bloated ads and tracking on today’s web.
I have one more thing to add to this list…
But publishers, advertisers, and browser vendors are all partly responsible for the situation we’re all in.
…developers. Somebody put those harm-causing
script elements on those pages. Like I said: “What will you be apologising for in decades to come?”
In a few years, after the dust has settled, we’re all going to look back at today’s web’s excesses and abuses as an almost unbelievable embarrassment.
I, for one, welcome our new recycling bin panopticon overlords.
You might want to put your phone’s MAC address into this form.
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.
A fascinating look at the history of cookies …from the inventor of cookies.
Dan writes about how data saved his life. That is not an exaggeration.
He describes how, after receiving some very bad news from his doctor, he dived into the whole “quantified self” thing with his health data. Looking back on it, he concludes:
If I were still in the startup game, I have a pretty good idea of which industry I’d want to disrupt.
A beautiful call to arms against engineerism in design. Software cries out for love.
I'll take any excuse to watch the opening of Touch of Evil — I don't think it'll ever be topped.
Garrett has launched his bug-tracking web app. Looks lovely.
A real time satellite tracking web application. Over 8000 satellites are tracked and can be displayed on the familiar Google Maps interface.
Garrett's bug tracking software is one step closer to completion.
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.
A new site for tracking what's hot and what's not.
news @ nature.com - Web users judge sites in the blink of an eye - Potential readers can make snap decisions in just 50 milliseconds.
People enjoy being right, so continuing to use a website that gave a good first impression helps to 'prove' to themselves that they made a good initial decision.