👓 We Are All Public Figures Now | Ella Dawson

Read We Are All Public Figures Now by Ella Dawson (Ella Dawson)
A woman gets on a plane. She’s flying from New York to Dallas, where she lives and works as a personal trainer. A couple asks her if she’ll switch seats with one of them so that they can sit together, and she agrees, thinking it’s her good deed for the day. She chats with her new seatmate and ...

This story brings up some interesting questions about private/public as well as control on the internet. Social media is certainly breaking some of our prior social norms.

Highlights, Quotes, Annotations, & Marginalia

To summarize his argument, the media industry wants to broaden our definition of the public so that it will be fair game for discussion and content creation, meaning they can create more articles and videos, meaning they can sell more ads. The tech industry wants everything to be public because coding for privacy is difficult, and because our data, if public, is something they can sell. Our policy makers have failed to define what’s public in this digital age because, well, they don’t understand it and wouldn’t know where to begin. And also, because lobbyists don’t want them to.  

We actively create our public selves, every day, one social media post at a time.  

Even when the attention is positive, it is overwhelming and frightening. Your mind reels at the possibility of what they could find: your address, if your voting records are logged online; your cellphone number, if you accidentally included it on a form somewhere; your unflattering selfies at the beginning of your Facebook photo archive. There are hundreds of Facebook friend requests, press requests from journalists in your Instagram inbox, even people contacting your employer when they can’t reach you directly. This story you didn’t choose becomes the main story of your life. It replaces who you really are as the narrative someone else has written is tattooed onto your skin.  

What Blair did and continues to do as she stokes the flames of this story despite knowing this woman wants no part of it goes beyond intrusive. It is selfish, disrespectful harassment.  

Previously this was under the purview of journalists who typically had some ethics as well as editors to prevent this from happening. Now the average citizen has been given these same tools that journalists always had and they just haven’t been trained in their use.

How can we create some feedback mechanism to improve the situation? Should these same things be used against the perpetrators to show them how bad things could be?  

A friend of mine asked if I’d thought through the contradiction of criticizing Blair publicly like this, when she’s another not-quite public figure too.  

Did this really happen? Or is the author inventing it to diffuse potential criticism as she’s writing about the same story herself and only helping to propagate it?

There’s definitely a need to write about this issue, so kudos for that. Ella also deftly leaves out the name of the mystery woman, I’m sure on purpose. But she does include enough breadcrumbs to make the rest of the story discover-able so that one could jump from here to participate in the piling on. I do appreciate that it doesn’t appear that she’s given Blair any links in the process, which for a story like this is some subtle internet shade.

But Blair is not just posting about her own life; she has taken non-consenting parties along for the ride.  

the woman on the plane has deleted her own Instagram account after receiving violent abuse from the army Blair created.  

Feature request: the ability to make one’s social media account “disappear” temporarily while a public “attack” like this is happening.

We need a great name for this. Publicity ghosting? Fame cloaking?

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👓 'I was shocked it was so easy': ​meet the professor who says facial recognition ​​can tell if you're gay | The Guardian

Read 'I was shocked it was so easy': ​meet the professor who says facial recognition ​​can tell if you're gay by Paul Lewis (the Guardian)
Psychologist Michal Kosinski says artificial intelligence can detect your sexuality and politics just by looking at your face. What if he’s right?

How in God’s name are we repeating so many of the exact problems of the end of the 1800’s? First nationalism and protectionism and now the eugenics agenda?

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👓 Reasons for Using Avatar Privacy | Code by Der Mundschenk & Cie.

Read Reasons for Using Avatar Privacy (Code by Der Mundschenk & Cie.)
In what way are avatars a pri­va­cy risk? To dis­play an avatar im­age, you pub­lish an en­crypt­ed ver­sion (MD5) of the e-​mail ad­dress in the gravatar’s im­age URL. Gra​vatar​.com then de­cides if there is an avatar im­age to de­liv­er, oth­er­wise the de­fault im­age is de­liv­ered. The de­fault image’s ad­dress is al­so part of the over­all gra­vatar …
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👓 Avatar Privacy | WordPress.org

Read Avatar Privacy by Peter Putzer, Johannes Freudendahl (WordPress.org)

Avatars from Gravatar.com are great, but they come with certain privacy implications. You as site admin may already know this, but your visitors and users probably don’t. Avatar Privacy can help to improve the privacy situation by making some subtle changes to the way avatars are displayed on your site.

The plugin works without changing your theme files if you use a modern theme, and it does support (simple) multisite installations. It requires at least PHP 5.6 and WordPress 4.9. For the plugin to do anything for you, you need to visit the discussion settings page in the WordPress admin area and save the new settings. Please note that the plugin does not provide an options page of its own, it rather adds to the existing discussion settings page.

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👓 About Kownter | Kownter

Read About Kownter (blog.kownter.com)

I’m going on the journey of building a simple, private, self-hosted, cookie-free analytics tool that I’m calling Kownter. I may fail. But it will be fun and interesting! Come along!

Hi, My name is Ross.  I’ve been thinking a lot about GDPR lately and considering how I will become compliant with it as I run my business and projects, so I’m looking to slim down the data that I capture about people.

The topics of both analytics and server logs have come up several times. It’s not entirely clear to me that either fall into the category of personal data, but I’ve been considering my use of them anyway.

I use Google Analytics on most sites/projects that I create, but I’m not that sophisticated in my use of it. I’m mostly interested in:

  • how many visitors I’m getting and when
  • which pages are popular
  • where people are coming from
and it occurred to me that I can collect this data without using cookies and without collecting anything that would personally identify someone.

I would also be happier if my analytics were stored on a server in the EU rather than in the US – I can’t find any guarantee that my Google Analytics data is and remains EU-based.

I’m aware that there are self-hosted, open-source analytics solutions like Matomo (previously Piwik) and Open Web Analytics. But they always seem very large and clunky. I’ve tried them and never got to grips with them.

So I wondered: how hard would it be to build my own, simple, high-privacy, cookie-free analytics tool?

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👓 McGill music student awarded $350,000 after girlfriend stalls career | Montreal Gazette

Read McGill music student awarded $350,000 after girlfriend stalls career (Montreal Gazette)
She wrote an email posing as him, turning down a $50,000-a-year scholarship so that he wouldn’t leave

An insane little story of love and music…

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👓 How Firefox is using Pocket to try to build a better news feed than Facebook | The Verge

Read How Firefox is using Pocket to try to build a better news feed than Facebook by Casey Newton (The Verge)
Pocket CEO Nate Weiner on how local data processing is the future of personalized recommendations.

Nice to see people and companies iterating on new feed reader functionality–particularly ethical ones.

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👓 Twitter Is Banning Anyone Whose Date of Birth Says They Joined Before They Were 13 | Motherboard

Read Twitter Is Banning Anyone Whose Date of Birth Says They Joined Before They Were 13 (Motherboard)
According to the company, it can't separate content posted before and after the age of 13.

Another solid reason why to be a member of the IndieWeb.

Here’s a reminder to export or back up your social data, or better yet post it to your own site first and syndicate it to social silos you don’t have direct control of second.

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👓 How to listen to what Amazon Alexa has recorded in your home | USA Today

Read How to listen to what Amazon Alexa has recorded in your home (USA TODAY)
If you're worried about what exactly Amazon's Echo-connected speaker has been recording in your home, there's an easy way to find out. Amazon makes all recent recordings available for listening in the companion Alexa app for iOS and Android.
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👓 The General Data Protection Regulation sets privacy by default | Brookings

Read The General Data Protection Regulation sets privacy by default (Brookings)
Tom Wheeler writes that the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation establishes privacy by default for personal information online.

Interesting to see the former FCC commissioner writing about privacy and GDPR.

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👓 Facebook and Google hit with $8.8 billion in lawsuits on day one of GDPR | The Verge

Read Facebook and Google hit with $8.8 billion in lawsuits on day one of GDPR by Russell Brandom (The Verge)
Time to regulate
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👓 Can we PLEASE talk about privacy, not GDPR, now? | Sebastian Greger

Read Can we PLEASE talk about privacy, not GDPR, now? by Sebastian Greger (Sebastian Greger)
It’s the “morning after”: a mere twelve hours have passed since the GDPR applies and while still awaiting breaking news on hobbyist blog owners being fined EUR 20 million, an army of burnt-out web and legal professionals has begun to clean up from the party that was “the final dash towards GDPR”.

A nice article pushing folks to focus more on the privacy portion of the discussion rather than the non-nonsensical technical GDPR regulations.

tl;dr: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

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Reply to vishae’s issue Affects the status of private posts

Replied to Affects the status of private posts · Issue #70 · dshanske/simple-location by vishaevishae (GitHub)
I've noticed this issue for a little while now but it's only today that I took the time to try and weed out the source. Whenever I update a post marked as private (visibility set to private), the post would get published to the public instead. Even when I edit the post to try to set it to private again, it still remains public. I have to go to the All Post (edit.php) page and quick edit the post to change the privacy there. It's only when I deactivated simple-locations this issue stopped happening and I can update and change the privacy of my posts in the indvidual post editing page.

I could have sworn I filed this as an issue before myself, but I’m not seeing it in the queue. Perhaps I mentioned in chat somewhere?

Simple location’s privacy setting seems to override the post’s public/private settings on my site as well. Perhaps it’s a naming conflict (function/filter/etc.) with WP’s core content visibility code?

In any case, I can’t make a post private while Simple Location is installed/activated either. This seems to happen regardless of other plugins. I do seem to be able to use @vishae’s method of using the quick edit option to change a post to private. I’m not sure if this may indicate a potential solution to the issue based on what is firing on a post save/update versus what fires on a quick edit save.

Additionally, I don’t seem to be able to mark a particular location as “private” in a post either as upon saving it it defaults back to public in the UI. I only seem to be able to use “public” or “protected” options for locations.

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👓 No one’s ready for GDPR | The Verge

Read No one’s ready for GDPR by Sarah Jeong (The Verge)
The General Data Protection Regulation will go into effect on May 25th. No one is ready — not the companies and not even the regulators.

Surprise, surprise!

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👓 The Coming Wave of Murders Solved by Genealogy | The Atlantic

Read The Coming Wave of Murders Solved by Genealogy (The Atlantic)
The same DNA analysis used to find the alleged Golden State Killer has led to the arrest of a second alleged murderer. It’ll likely lead to more.

I can see this going to the Supreme Court sooner than later on privacy related underpinning. I can’t help but recall the words of Jed Bartlett in The West Wing when he was saying in season one that privacy would be one of the most pressing issues for the Supreme Court in the coming century.

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