Read a post by Stephen Pieper (
Bookmarked The ultimate guide to DuckDuckGo - (
If you don’t already have the scoop, it’s the search engine that can serve as a complete replacement for Google (and Bing and whatever else you like), except it respects your privacy and security. And while Google does some cool tricks, DuckDuckGo does some even better ones.
I switched over to DuckDuckGo for searches a few months ago. There’s a lot of stuff here I didn’t know about especially “bangs” which look really useful.

👓 A ‘Creepy’ Assignment: Pay Attention to What Strangers Reveal in Public | New York Times

Read Opinion | A ‘Creepy’ Assignment: Pay Attention to What Strangers Reveal in Public (New York Times)
An exercise I gave my students helps illustrate the risks to privacy in our everyday, offline lives.

I saw some on Twitter say that this was a terrible assignment and that they can accomplish the same goal without being so creepy, but naturally they neglected to give any details about improving on it.

👓 Here are the data brokers quietly buying and selling your personal information | FastCompany

Read Here are the data brokers quietly buying and selling your personal information (Fast Company)
You’ve probably never heard of many of the data firms registered under a new law, but they’ve heard a lot about you. A list, and tips for opting out.

👓 Differential privacy, an easy case |

Read Differential privacy, an easy case (
By law, the Census Bureau is required to keep our responses to its questionnaires confidential. And so, over decades, it has applied several “disclosure avoidance” techniques when it publishes data — these have been meticulously catalogued by Laura McKenna

I could envision some interesting use cases for differential privacy like this within an IndieWeb framework for aggregated data potentially used for web discovery.

👓 Bundeskartellamt prohibits Facebook from combining user data from different sources | Bundeskartellamt

Read Bundeskartellamt prohibits Facebook from combining user data from different sources (

The Bundeskartellamt has imposed on Facebook far-reaching restrictions in the processing of user data.

According to Facebook's terms and conditions users have so far only been able to use the social network under the precondition that Facebook can collect user data also outside of the Facebook website in the internet or on smartphone apps and assign these data to the user’s Facebook account. All data collected on the Facebook website, by Facebook-owned services such as e.g. WhatsApp and Instagram and on third party websites can be combined and assigned to the Facebook user account.

The authority’s decision covers different data sources:

(i)     Facebook-owned services like WhatsApp and Instagram can continue to collect data. However, assigning the data to Facebook user accounts will only be possible subject to the users’ voluntary consent. Where consent is not given, the data must remain with the respective service and cannot be processed in combination with Facebook data.

(ii)    Collecting data from third party websites and assigning them to a Facebook user account will also only be possible if users give their voluntary consent.

👓 Maybe Only Tim Cook Can Fix Facebook’s Privacy Problem | New York Times

Read Maybe Only Tim Cook Can Fix Facebook’s Privacy Problem (New York Times)
The cold war between Facebook and Apple over data use and privacy is heating up. How far should Mr. Cook take it?

👓 I Gave a Bounty Hunter $300. Then He Located Our Phone | Motherboard

Read I Gave a Bounty Hunter $300. Then He Located Our Phone (Motherboard)
T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T are selling access to their customers’ location data, and that data is ending up in the hands of bounty hunters and others not authorized to possess it, letting them track most phones in the country.

🎧 “The Daily”: The Business of Selling Your Location | New York Times

Listened to "The Daily": The Business of Selling Your Location by Michael Barbaro from New York Times

Smartphone apps track a staggering amount of data about our whereabouts every day. That data has become a hot commodity.

Just the national security implications for this alone should require regulations of these tech companies.

👓 Facebook accused of striking ‘secret deals over user data’ | BBC News

Read Facebook accused of 'secret data deals' (BBC News)
More than 200 pages of confidential emails are shared online by Parliament's fake news inquiry.

👓 Why You Should Never, Ever Use Quora |

Read Why You Should Never, Ever Use Quora by Andy Baio (
Yesterday, Quora announced that 100 million user accounts were compromised, including private activity like downvotes and direct messages, by a “malicious third party.” Data breaches are a frustrating part of the lifecycle of every online service — as they grow in popularity, they become a big...


👓 Facebook’s Privacy Message Undermined by the Times—Again | WIRED

Read Why Should Anyone Believe Facebook Anymore? (WIRED)
Facebook has spent much of 2018 apologizing to people. A recent New York Times investigation calls all those apologies into question.

Facebook has said “I’m sorry” and leaked data so many times now that I’m honestly not able to keep up with all the major instances. I keep having to look at date/timestamps in articles to see if it’s a new instance or they’re talking about one of the dozens of prior instances. Facebook really needs to redefine it’s business if they’re going to survive.

👓 Facebook Stock (FB) Plunges After DC Sues Over Privacy Breach | Bloomberg

Read Facebook Has Biggest Plunge Since July as ‘Another Shoe’ Drops by Ryan Vlastelica (Bloomberg)
Facebook Inc. tumbled on Wednesday, with shares extending their decline throughout the session after the social-media company was sued by the District of Columbia over a privacy breach.

👓 the register | Danny O’Brien’s Oblomovka

Read the register by Danny O'BrienDanny O'Brien (
It’s about two in the morning on Thursday, I’m scrabbling around for things to put into NTK, and I get an e-mail from the Register’s Andrew Orlowski. He sounds deliriously happy. He’s uncovered an apparently hidden link to a wiki set up for some s00p3r s33krit confab that Tim O’Reilly’s organising. The descriptions and notes fit completely into Orlowski’s view of particular segment of the West Coast tech scene. Mainly, that it looks like some weird Californian cult.

This post has some interesting thoughts about the differences between public, private, and secret and how they’re being carried out online.

Highlights, Quotes, Annotations, & Marginalia

The problem here is one (ironically) of register. In the real world, we have conversations in public, in private, and in secret. All three are quite separate. The public is what we say to a crowd; the private is what we chatter amongst ourselves, when free from the demands of the crowd; and the secret is what we keep from everyone but our confidant. Secrecy implies intrigue, implies you have something to hide. Being private doesn’t. You can have a private gathering, but it isn’t necessarily a secret. All these conversations have different implications, different tones.  

December 19, 2018 at 04:53PM

On the net, you have public, or you have secrets. The private intermediate sphere, with its careful buffering. is shattered. E-mails are forwarded verbatim. IRC transcripts, with throwaway comments, are preserved forever. You talk to your friends online, you talk to the world.  

December 19, 2018 at 04:54PM

hat tip: Kevin Marks in IWC chat

👓 Top 5 Technology Trends of 2018 | Richard MacManus

Read Top 5 Technology Trends of 2018 (
Every December going back to 2004, I’ve done an end-of-year review of the top Internet technology trends. As a source for this year’s review, I’m using the nearly fifty weekly columns I’ve written over the course of 2018. They’re a good indicator of what I’ve focused on during the year, and what has defined this year in terms of online technology.

A solid analysis of much of tech this past year. I’ve also noticed a slowing of the blockchain story this year and his statement “Perhaps the technology will yet prove useful, but the crypto community has a lot of work to do before that happens – not the least in re-focusing on product, rather than price.” is right on target.

👓 Facebook 'sorry' for exposing millions of users' photos | CNN

Read Facebook 'sorry' for exposing millions of users' photos (CNN)
Facebook announced on Friday that the social network had exposed the private photos of millions of users without their permission.