A bit of Christmas snoop?

Violet Blue is awesome. If you don’t read her stuff, you should.
With the holiday season upon us, just take a few minutes to read her piece on Engadget about all the nice stuff you’re considering buying for presents.

All the cool gifts are made for spying on you

Yep. That.


I left social media…

…well, Isaac Simpson did and he wrote about it on Medium here.

People need other people to validate them, to reassure them that their thoughts and feelings are correct.

I haven’t logged into Facebook for almost a year. I only post infrequently on Instagram. The only “social” channel I still use frequently is Twitter and that’s mostly just to be astounded at the state of things around the world (and Susie Dent).
I’ve stopped caring what vague acquaintances are doing let alone what they think of my stuff. I’ve stopped checking in on people I don’t know out of habit – because let’s face it, a lot of celebrity posts are dross ( and I use the word celebrity in the broadest possible sense). I’ve stopped focusing on followers and likes. I take what I need and want from it all. I’ve started to use minimal social media how I want to use it and not like “IT” wants me to or how other people use it.

It works quite well.

Disclosure: I keep my eye on important stuff. Just discretely, randomly and when I want to.

Use Android? Tracked!

So Google knows where you are if you’re using an Android phone. Even with location services turned off.  Great piece from Keith Collins at Quartz

The cell tower addresses have been included in information sent to the system Google uses to manage push notifications and messages on Android phones for the past 11 months, according to a Google spokesperson. They were never used or stored, the spokesperson said, and the company is now taking steps to end the practice after being contacted by Quartz

So why collect the info then?

Find out what websites know about you

Go and visit Webkay. You can see what any website you visit knows about you. Location, the device you’re using, your IP address, social media accounts you’re logged in to, etc. It also handily tells you how to plug these information leaks by using various services.

Oh and by the way, they ARE using this info. Don’t think for a minute that they aren’t.

Be aware

Great piece by Rene Ritchie at iMore.
Context: Apple’s ML (machine learning) is being questioned about personal data  security and theoretical scenarios.

Are people clear about this though?

[…] Smart spyware would try to convince you to give it all your photos right up front. That way it wouldn’t be limited to preconceived models or be at risk of removal or restriction. It would simply harvest all your data and then run whatever server-side ML it wanted to, whenever it wanted to. [me: Apple’s ML doesn’t]

That’s the way Google, Facebook, Instagram, and similar photo services that run targeted ads against those services already work.