Every day I get a little bit happier with my decision to switch to Firefox…
More on the data broker business, including some frankly quite terrifying infographics.
The point here is that, a) pretty much all businesses are complicit in this practice, and b) it’s impossible to opt-out on an individual level. This stuff needs to be regulated. There’s no other way of dealing with it.
It’s interesting to ponder the ways in which privacy can be a privilege only for the wealthy. Not everyone can afford an army of hired goons and corporate secret police, an absurd wall in their backyard, and a buffer zone of razed lots around their house. Might similar class privileges someday extend into our digital lives? In the future, who will have the luxury of owning their data?
Jow Veix on stealing Zuckerberg trash.
Also, from this I learnt that there are apparently multiple legal precedents (in the US) that establish curbside trash as public, and because of that there’s a huge industry in the secure disposal of the garbage of rich people. Go figure.
But companies usually care about their products, protect them, try to improve their state.
If I were a product, Google would do its best not to destroy me. They have invested a lot of resources into this product, so why risk it by making baffling changes to both privacy and user experience? If I stay happy with Google’s offerings, I keep being the perfect product: I can be mined for data and “sold” perpetually.
Clearly, Google doesn’t care about me personally. And how could it? There are billions of people just like me who use their services every day.
Maybe we should stop thinking we’re “Google’s product” and start thinking we are data points in endless experiments.
Rakhim Davletkaliyev on Google.
I switched to using Firefox about a day before this latest round of being-evil from Google and… yeah. I do not regret it.1
- Even if the scrollbars in Masto are now hideously ugly… ^
It’s not just Facebook; every single online publication, including all the ones reporting negative stories, are sharing your browsing data with third parties. Hell, the website at that link is sharing your data with third parties (9% of its page requests were blocked by uBlock). Hell, even this website is sharing your data with (pick one, depending on where you’re seeing it):
alisfranklin.com: CloudFlare, WordPress.com, Google, Gravatar.
ask.alisfranklin.com: CloudFlare, Tumblr, Yahoo!, Scorecard Research, MarkMonitor, Cedexis, Fastly, FontAwesome, Google, jQuery.
alisfranklin.dreamwidth.org: CloudFlare, Dreamwidth, Google.
Oh, and then there are things like Scorecard Research, which is absolutely a surveillance company. So… yanno. There’s that.
- Among other things… ^
Speaking of the Woes of Latter-Day Social Media sites, Om Malik’s profile on “Facebook’s DNA” is an interesting read, particularly if you’re Old™ like me and remember the company’s “move fast and break things” (as opposed to “sell ads and sell ads”) phase.
Mostly, though, it contains this line:
The VPN data [from Facebook Protect] also allows Facebook to better target its ads — much like how Google Mail and Google Chrome allows Google to better target what ads you see. By the way, Facebook isn’t the only one who is taking data from VPN mobile streams. Other data brokers buy data from other VPN apps.
I’ve mentioned this before, but… If you use a VPN, just how much do you trust it?
Related: I really, really need to migrate to Firefox… oy.