Google and “Privacy”

Does iOS even have any other categories that could be added to this list?

I do as little with Google as possible these days. All my “cloud stuff” is in iCloud now. But I can’t get away from their search. Especially for programming-related questions. DDG just can’t bubble up answers like Google can. I’ve tried several times, and keep coming back.

Apple and Privacy, So Far

This is good news. The whole incident raised a lot of privacy concerns. Apple’s track record and extrapolated trajectory remains good on this front. Having been a programmer through the 90’s, and watched Microsoft (and Oracle, et. al.) through their most malfeasant years, I’m very cautious about giving tech companies the benefit of the doubt. However, the fact that Apple is leaving something like hundreds of billions of dollars on the table by not monetizing their aggregated user data does seem to indicate that their will is strong here, and that “they” mean what “they” say about privacy. The kind of money they aren’t making from this move would try any mortal’s soul. It’s a good reason to watch them like a hawk, but, so far, so good.

Search warrant overrides 1M users’ choice not to share DNA with cops | Ars Technica

Police in Orlando, Florida, obtained a warrant this summer to search DNA site GEDmatch and review data on all of its users—about a million people, The New York Times reports. Privacy advocates are now concerned that police will continue to get broad warrants for DNA sites, including larger peers such as 23andme or Ancestry that have much larger pools of user data.

Source: Search warrant overrides 1M users’ choice not to share DNA with cops | Ars Technica

When are people going to realize that IF a company can collect data, it WILL be sold, and it WILL be accessed by the government. Period. Full stop. No exceptions. I don’t care what the laws say. I don’t care what the companies say. If you give your data — any data — to someone else, it will be monetized and used against you. I don’t say that as anything other than what it is. Everyone must make a value judgement for themselves whether letting someone access their data is worth it. Just understand that once a company gets their hands on it, it will eventually be available to anyone who really wants it.

Addendum: Another story from Ars is really the same story:

The 22 women said they responded to ads for clothed modeling gigs. When they were asked to shoot porn instead, they initially resisted. But they went along with it after the company assured them that their videos would only be sold on DVD to customers outside the United States and would not be posted online. That turned out to be a lie, as their videos wound up on GirlsDoPorn, a website with plenty of American viewers.

Source: Feds hit GirlsDoPorn owners with criminal sex trafficking charges | Ars Technica

Opinion: 50 years ago, I helped invent the internet. How did it go so wrong?

When my scientist colleagues and I invented the internet 50 years ago, we did not anticipate that its dark side would emerge with such ferocity — or that we would feel an urgent need to fix it.

Source: Opinion: 50 years ago, I helped invent the internet. How did it go so wrong?

When I saw the headline to the link, I said to myself, “You know what’s wrong with it. We all know what’s wrong with it.” To the surprise of no one — except, apparently, LA Times readers — the article concludes that financial incentives are to blame for making the web suck.

What made me click through to the article was the absolutely certainty that I would see the following, and the notion that I would capture the horrible, inescapable irony for posterity. To wit: On the site of one of the nation’s largest newspapers, over an article describing the ruination of the web by crass commercialization, capped with a complaint of the loss of privacy, there is a banner ad for subscribing, overlaid with a warning that you (effectively) surrender any notion of privacy, just by looking at the site.

Well done, all around.