As someone who’s spent the entirety of their working life in white collar work which is both paradoxically quite “free” but also heavily surveilled, this report was… eye-opening.
From a while back now, but always relevant: Google apparently uses embedded fonts to track iOS users.
It’s worth noting this also applies to Google’s webfonts (what, you thought they were offering them free out of a burning love of webdesign?).
(Disclaimer: I still use Google Fonts quite extensively because, well. It is just easier than the alternatives; modern browsers can make embedding fonts actually pretty difficult. But yeah Google’s library is definitely A Tracking Thing.)
… as told by changes in.
If we accept as normal and unavoidable that everything in our lives can be aggregated, sold, or even leaked in the event of a hack, then we lose so much more than data.
We lose the freedom to be human.
Tim Cook on.
Our discourse around privacy needs to expand to address foundational questions about the role of automation: To what extent is living in a surveillance-saturated world compatible with pluralism and democracy? What are the consequences of raising a generation of children whose every action feeds into a corporate database? What does it mean to be manipulated from an early age by machine learning algorithms that adaptively learn to shape our behavior?
That is not the conversation Facebook or Google want us to have. Their totalizing vision is of a world with no ambient privacy and strong data protections, dominated by the few companies that can manage to hoard information at a planetary scale. They correctly see the new round of privacy laws as a weapon to deploy against smaller rivals, further consolidating their control over the algorithmic panopticon.
Maciej Cegłowski on.
Tl;dr Google keeps aof everything it knows (e.g. via Gmail) you’ve purchased, makes it really unclear that it’s doing this, and makes it impossible for you to delete the history.
Awesome! Great value-add, just what I wanted! Thanks, Google!
In the regulatory context, discussion of privacy invariably means data privacy—the idea of protecting designated sensitive material from unauthorized access.
But there is a second, more fundamental sense of the word privacy, one which until recently was so common and unremarkable that it would have made no sense to try to describe it.
That is the idea that there exists a sphere of life that should remain outside public scrutiny, in which we can be sure that our words, actions, thoughts and feelings are not being indelibly recorded. This includes not only intimate spaces like the home, but also the many semi-private places where people gather and engage with one another in the common activities of daily life—the workplace, church, club or union hall. As these interactions move online, our privacy in this deeper sense withers away.
Maciej Cegłowski in his.
Cegłowski is the guy who runs Pinboard, for those of you who’ll recognize the service but not the name.
When people find it weird I don’t want my photo uploaded to services like Facebook, I just…
So, yanno. Welcome to our dystopian internet hellhole, and all that…
The reality is that your sensitive data has likely already been stolen, multiple times. Cybercriminals have your credit card information. They have your social security number and your mother’s maiden name. They have your address and phone number. They obtained the data by hacking any one of the hundreds of companies you entrust with the data — and you have no visibility into those companies’ security practices, and no recourse when they lose your data.
Bruce Schneier on.
Schneier does go on to give some steps people can take (effectively, assume your personal data is already breached and behave accordingly), though notes that most people won’t because it’s a huge pain in the ass. The actual “real” answer—something Schneier’s been advocating for for years—is, of course, government regulation and legal-system-enforced penalties for data misuse. Which… we’re taking tentative steps towards. Slowly. Far, far too late.