Facebook made available a new tool this week which allows users to see which businesses have shared information from these users with Facebook. Although lucklily only one, I was suprised to see that one company shared a purchase with Facebook without me being aware. The Verge reported on the release.
As usual the tool is hidden somewhere in the settings: Settings —> Your Facebook Information —> Off-Facebook Activity.
Today Mark Zuckerberg accounced his new vision for Facebook as a more privacy-focused company. The principal change he thinks should be to have interoperable end-to-end encryption for all of Facebook’s apps. Although this would be an interesting improvement to protect the communication, the links with law enforcement are worrying. Who is deciding what patterns identify “bad actors”, and how are they not influenced by governments? It also a way for Facebook to seem like they deem it appropriate to decide who are “bad actors”, which is equally worrying in my opinion.
We have a responsibility to work with law enforcement and to help prevent these wherever we can. We are working to improve our ability to identify and stop bad actors across our apps by detecting patterns of activity or through other means, even when we can’t see the content of the messages, and we will continue to invest in this work.
Another piece from The Intercept reminds us that may be another form of coporate white-washing, and how they haven’t delivered on any other privacy improvement promises.
An opnion piece on The New York Times discusses why deleting your Facebook account may not be an effective way to drive the company to change and may cause harm by “recasting a political issue as a willpower issue".
But it would also seem to be the case that if millions of angry individuals were going to save us from the worst excesses of the tech industry, we would have been saved from them by now. Collective action is difficult against a global behemoth like Facebook. Even were such action to succeed, the company also owns WhatsApp and Instagram. With a couple of billion users on Facebook alone, it is hard to fathom how many deleted accounts it would take to drive genuine change.
Winter cleanup: trying to delete google activity…so much different kinds… 😱 But at least the tools to manage the data are great 🙃
From @ProtonMail on a new Autralian anti-encryption law: “There is nothing new about a government seeking to break encryption. From the British Investigatory Powers law to the NSA’s possible decryption programs, law enforcement agencies around the world are working hard to gain an edge over information security technology. But Australia’s new law goes much further, deputizing tech businesses as accomplices in a surveillance scheme so loosely conceived that no one really knows its limits.” .
This article from The Guardian presents an interesting case on if a company can fire a worker for refusing to use biometrics, in this case for time clocking.
Mozilla created a nice new website to see to how creepy gadgets for the gift season can be. Read about it here.
Have been using Startpage.com in combination with DuckDuckGo as an alternative to Google. They just launched a new design which is pretty neat.
“The ‘revolution’ will not be Telegrammed” via @WikiTribune.
Recommended reading by @edri “You gave #Facebook your number for security. They used it for ads.” via @EFF.
The European parliament group GUENGL raises concerns about the proposed interoperability proposal of EU commission and how it will link information collected for different purposes for the sake of migration control and crime prevention.