Signal, the company offering secure and private messaging, tried to advertise on Facebook. Naturally, the company tried to drive their value in privacy. They chose to point out the implications Facebook’s businesmodel has for these values.
When Apple introduced labels in their app store to indicate which data an app would link to user information it created transparency for many. Only Google seemed to stop on moving forward and did not publish new versions of its apps. Until recently. Now that they are updated, DuckDuckGo, a search engine advocating privacy in the digital age, calls out the abundant use of personal data.
Palantir is an US based company specialising in Big Data, with a very particular focus on decision making for governental and corporate situations. The companies products have inspiring names like Gotham or Metropolis and have sparked ethicalcontroversies, when it comes to their usage. In particular these two products provides capabilities to military and police, paving the way to what is referred to predictive policing. The company now is a founding member of Europe’s Gaia-X program, which Evgeny Morozov points out, is not compatible with European data sovereignty ideas.
Der Mitteilung des Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie (BMWi) zu Folge haben heute je 11 deutsche und französische Gründungsmitglieder die notariellen Unterlagen zur Gründung einer “Association internationale sans but lucratif“, kurz AISBL, unterzeichnet. Es handelt sich dabei um eine “Vereinigung ohne Gewinnerzielungsabsicht”, einer belgischen Gesellschaftsform, die dem deutschen gemeinnützigen Verein vergleichbar ist. Sitz der Vereinigung wird Brüssel sein.
Die juristische Geburt des Konzeptes GAIA-X stellt einen großen Schritt nach vorne für europäische Dateninfrastruktur dar.
Bruce Schneier, well known cryptologist and security researcher, has a few thoughts on corona tracing apps on his blog. Spoiler: he doesn’t like the idea.
His article is revolving around efficiency much more than privacy, concluding that such apps won’t work in the first place.
‘We’ve created a privacy industry’ was a statement you could often hear when Europe introduced General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and the German implementation DatenSchutz GrundVerOrdnung (DSGVO). Already back in 2016 first predictions arrived, that GDPR will boost European software industry and give them a uniqueselling point. After the regulation became effective in Europe May 25th 2018(!), after a 2 years transition period, perceived only complaints happened. Affected data controllers and processors cited the difficulties implementing these regulations. A BitKom funded survey even indicates the regulation is hurting the European market.
Now, around 1.5years later, the industry seems to have settled on the regulation and business continues as usual. Subjectively perceived, privacy is indeed still an obstacle to decision makers in the market. Even politicians keep on imploring data to be the new oil, demanding a data driven economy and to weakend the underlying ideas of european data protection acts. Meanwhile, the opportunity has moved along. Californian Start-Ups discovered this niche and turn privacy it into value:
Privacy-focused technology companies are offering a variety of services, from personal data scrubbing to business-focused software meant to help companies comply with the law.
Off Facebook Activity is a tool, that let’s Facebook users see which sites they used outside of Facebook. The tool is as creepy as you would think it would be. Facebook, through it’s like buttons and other embeds, has sheer unlimited insight into personal browsing behaviour.
In an attempt by the company to create more transparency, it discloses how much curiosity in a negative sense is driving the social network in trying to understand their audience. And actually sell this gained knowledge to their customers.
The release of Off Facebook Activity a reminder we are living in an increasingly connected world that is watching us. There is entirely no point for any company to collect this type of data outsire of making us a product.
The Washington Post writes about how creepy and scary this feature is, and even more important, how to work with privacy settings. While the article deals with Facebook internal settings alone, the amout of data transferred to Facebook won’t stop. At this point, you may want to consider personal privacy tools like uMatrix (for Firefox or Chrome). Or, to leverage protection for the entire network, e.g. for your family, Pi-Hole is worth taking a look, too.
Privacy in the Platform Economy: In the tracking business, access to the customers desktop was in firm hands of Google and Facebook. Until recently!
SnakeOil promises people security to get them install software that’s capable of eavesdropping ssl and all other access to a computers interaction. Quite obvious to see this is a good source to profile a users behavior. A violation of users privacy for the sake of security. You sure all read the fineprint in the anti virus software, right?
Now apparently, somebody in the SnakeOil industry figured that out. A recent leak disclosed Avast Antivirus leverages their market access to almost hald a billion user profiles and devices to package up this insight. “every search” that promises ‘Every search. Every click. Every buy. On every site.’. Of course the target audience is the same as for marketing- and tracking clients.