Category: privacy

The Tyranny of the Default

Marketing firms love to tell us that we control our privacy – you simply need to opt out of tracking! Like Dorothy, we’ve had the power all along. Just click your heels three times and uncheck all those pesky tracking options under Settings… somewhere. Just call customer service and speak to a representative. Just mail

Big Brother 2.0

As Independence Day rolls around for those of us in the USA, our right to privacy is under attack from many angles. While surveillance capitalism is the area I tend to discuss most, our own democratic governments are perhaps the most existential threat to individual privacy. Welcome to Big Brother 2.0. Going Dark? The leaders

Behold the Eyes of the Beholder

If the eyes are the window to the soul, then it should come as no surprise in the age of surveillance capitalism that marketers are clamoring to look deeply into yours. That’s metaphorically speaking, of course. In reality, it’s more skin deep. As humans, we’ve been trained since birth and via natural selection to rely

Google Knows What You Bought

It shouldn’t surprise you to learn that Google can read your Gmail. You may even realize that Google is scanning your emails for things like trip itineraries, which allows them to automatically add flights and hotel reservations to your Google Calendar, for example. But you may not realize how much other juicy info is there

Mental Health Apps Behaving Badly

I ran across a disturbing article in The Verge about mental health apps that were oversharing user data. As usual, I’m not surprised, but still really angry. This is wrong and has to stop. The study by JAMA Network Open on 36 apps for smoking cessation and depression found that 29 of them shared some

Yet Another Facebook Fiasco

I’ll be honest… I’m finding it hard to even summon the energy to write yet another freaking article about a Facebook fiasco. In fact, there are two this week alone. But they’re serious and if for some reason you have not already deleted Facebook, you need to hear about them. A Tale of Two Screw-Ups

Celebrate My Pod-Centennial!

[UPDATED] The contest is over – thanks to everyone who listened to the PodCentennial show and entered! The Making of the Pod-Centennial The 100th episode of my Firewalls Don’t Stop Dragons podcast will air on January 28th! It’s hard to believe I’ve been doing my show every week for almost two years now. It all