👓 Talk: “Designing away the cookie disclaimer” by Sebastian Greger

Read Talk: “Designing away the cookie disclaimer” (sebastiangreger.net)
This is the transcript of my lightning talk from the beyond tellerrand Berlin pre-conference warm-up on 6 November 2017. It was a condensed version of my longer, work-in-progress and upcoming talk on privacy as a core pillar of ethical UX design. If you are interested in the final talk or know about a conference or event that might be, I’d be thrilled to hear from you.
It’s sad the amount of not caring that both laws and apathy on the internet can make your life just dreadful in ways that it shouldn’t.

I love the fact that people are working on solving these seemingly mundane issues. This is a great little presentation Sebastian!

👓 Amazon Key is a new service that lets couriers unlock your front door | The Verge

Read Amazon Key is a new service that lets couriers unlock your front door by Ben Popper (The Verge)
The service is called Amazon Key, and it relies on a Amazon’s new Cloud Cam and compatible smart lock. The camera is the hub, connected to the internet via your home Wi-Fi. The camera talks to the lock over Zigbee, a wireless protocol utilized by many smart home devices. When a courier arrives with a package for in-home delivery, they scan the barcode, sending a request to Amazon’s cloud. If everything checks out, the cloud grants permission by sending a message back to the camera, which starts recording. The courier then gets a prompt on their app, swipes the screen, and voilà, your door unlocks. They drop off the package, relock the door with another swipe, and are on their way. The customer will get a notification that their delivery has arrived, along with a short video showing the drop-off to confirm everything was done properly.
There’s a lot of trust Amazon is asking people for in it’s last few products. Alexa could listen (and potentially record) anything you say, cameras in your bedroom (ostensibly to help you dress), and now a key to your house. I can see so many things going wrong with this despite the potential value.

I’m probably more concerned about the flimsy lack of security in the area of internet of things (IoT) which could dip into these though than I am about what Amazon would/could do with them.

👓 Technology preview: Private contact discovery for Signal | Signal

Read Technology preview: Private contact discovery for Signal by moxie0 (Signal)
At Signal, we’ve been thinking about the difficulty of private contact discovery for a long time. We’ve been working on strategies to improve our current design, and today we’ve published a new private contact discovery service. Using this service, Signal clients will be able to efficiently and scalably determine whether the contacts in their address book are Signal users without revealing the contacts in their address book to the Signal service.
There’s a lot of work involved here, but this is an intriguing proposition for doing contact discovery in social media while maintaining privacy. I can’t wait to see which silos follow suit, but I’m even more curious if any adventurous IndieWeb creators will travel down this road?

h/t cryptographer Matthew Green

👓 Don’t Sell Your Soul or Students to an Edtech Brand | Rafranz Davis | Medium

Read Don’t Sell Your Soul or Students to an Edtech Brand by Rafranz Davis (Medium)
There are plenty of reasons why teachers join ambassador programs. For some, this is how they gain access to potentially great tools that…

👓 Facebook Figured Out My Family Secrets, And It Won’t Tell Me How | Gizmodo

Read Facebook Figured Out My Family Secrets, And It Won't Tell Me How by Kashmir Hill (Gizmodo)
Rebecca Porter and I were strangers, as far as I knew. Facebook, however, thought we might be connected. Her name popped up this summer on my list of “People You May Know,” the social network’s roster of potential new online friends for me.

👓 How to See What the Internet Knows About You (And How to Stop It) | New York Times

Read How to See What the Internet Knows About You (And How to Stop It) (New York Times)
Welcome to the second edition of the Smarter Living newsletter.

👓 Why We Post Nothing—Nothing—About Our Kid Online. You Should Do the Same for Your Kids. | Slate

Read Why We Post Nothing—Nothing—About Our Kid Online. You Should Do the Same for Your Kids (Slate Magazine)
I vividly remember the Facebook post. It was my friend’s 5-year-old daughter “Kate,” (a pseudonym) standing outside of her house in a bright yellow...

👓 Analysis: Why Google has become a threat to sovereign law | Privacy Surgeon

Read Analysis: Why Google has become a threat to sovereign law » The Privacy Surgeon by Simon Davies (privacysurgeon.org)

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has lashed out at Google, accusing the advertising giant of collusion with the National Security Agency (NSA) and the US State Department.

Assange believes that Google has entered into a partnership with the US Administration in which the company acts as a foreign policy enabler, influencing overseas governments and helping the White House achieve its global policy objectives. In the process Google has formed strong operational and policy bonds with America’s secretive three-letter agencies that go well beyond those of other companies.

What could happen if you refuse to unlock your phone at the US border? | Ars Technica

Read What could happen if you refuse to unlock your phone at the US border? (Ars Technica)
DHS says agents are in the right to ask for passwords, decryption help.
Continue reading What could happen if you refuse to unlock your phone at the US border? | Ars Technica

Go To Hellman: How to check if your library is leaking catalog searches to Amazon

Read How to check if your library is leaking catalog searches to Amazon by Rob Hellman (go-to-hellman.blogspot.com)

I've been writing about privacy in libraries for a while now, and I get a bit down sometimes because progress is so slow. I've come to realize that part of the problem is that the issues are sometimes really complex and  technical; people just don't believe that the web works the way it does, violating user privacy at every opportunity.Content embedded in websites is a a huge source of privacy leakage in library services. Cover images can be particularly problematic. I've written before that, without meaning to, many libraries send data to Amazon about the books a user is searching for; cover images are almost always the culprit. I've been reporting this issue to the library automation companies that enable this, but a year and a half later, nothing has changed. (I understand that "discovery" services such as Primo/Summon even include config checkboxes that make this easy to do; the companies say this is what their customers want.)

EFF’s full-page Wired ad: Dear tech, delete your logs before it’s too late | Boing Boing

Read EFF's full-page Wired ad: Dear tech, delete your logs before it's too late by Cory Doctorow (Boing Boing)

EFF has run a full-page ad in this month's Wired, addressed to the technology industry, under the banner "Your threat model just changed," warning them that the incoming administration has vowed to spy on and deport millions of their fellow Americans on the basis of religion and race, and that they are in grave risk of having their services conscripted to help with this effort. (Trump is also an avowed opponent of net neutrality)

It’s time to unite in defense of users. [EFF]

Tom Wheeler Resigns From the FCC—So Long, Net Neutrality | WIRED

Read Tom Wheeler Resigns From the FCC—So Long, Net Neutrality by Klint Finley (WIRED)
The man who saved net neutrality is stepping aside.
This is not a good sign for the open web.