Privacy, Profit, and Tech Regulation

Every country is going to regulate tech —and they’re not going to do it in the same way the US is; nor do they necessarily care what the US does. The EU is well down this path, as I’ve written before. A lot of that regulation is about protecting user privacy. Apple announced a bunch of […]

Electronic driver’s licenses are coming

Many of us have quickly become accustomed to our phone acting as our credit card (Google Pay, Apple Pay), but pretty soon we may be putting our official IDs onto our phones as well. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO — which you might think is a confused acronym, but comes from the fact that […]

EU restricts personal data transfers to the US

If you don’t live in the EU, and don’t run a globally-targeted website, you may be forgiven for not being familiar with GDPR — the General Data Protection Regulation of the EU. If you do live in the EU, then you’ll be intimately familiar with the endless “agreeing” you have to do to various cookie […]

TikTok and China

Here we are, yet again, back at Newsletter #14, wherein I brought up some of the problems with TikTok being controlled by the Chinese, and statements by the new CEO (who is an American), who asserts that they don’t send US user data to Chinese authorities, and moreover that they’d refuse if it were demanded. Things […]

WWDC and privacy

Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference was last week. As expected, one of the biggest announcements was that they’re moving away from Intel and to their own chips. And, although it wasn’t front and center, it was mentioned enough that I’m sticking with my prediction that this is all about “AI”, and we’re going to see […]

Internet legislation in the US

Two significant bills were put forth in the US this week, both of which are sure to have global consequences if passed. Let’s start with the bad. The Senate has put forth what they’re calling the LAED bill, which is an even worse version of their previous EARN IT bill. It would effectively kill privacy […]

Surveillance in India and The US

Think privacy is bad in China? Wait until you see what India is planning.  The Indian government has secretly been working on a “comprehensive” social registry, that will track every aspect of every citizen’s life: “when a citizen moves between cities, changes jobs, buys new property, when a member of a family is born, dies […]

It’s time to switch web browsers

Last week, Mozilla announced that they’re going to enable DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) by default in Firefox for US users. Chrome, Edge, and Opera also use DoH. Today, more and more websites are using HTTPS — an encrypted connection that, amongst other things, makes your browsing history invisible. However, the way the Internet works, you need to […]

Don’t buy Ring as a gift (or for yourself)

There is a long way to go in the discussion on privacy, facial recognition, etc…; and even further to go in terms of legislation; and it’s going to play out differently around the world. But there’s no reason to accelerate the surveillance state — and Ring is extra bad. Not only do they have previously-secret […]

China, Uyghur, TikTok

China is spreading Uyghur recognition across the country At least twelve projects across China are mandating that the ability to identify Uyghur be built into their facial-recognition systems. Imagine if US police RFPs started mandating Navajo recognition? Or if the English started mandating Welsh recognition? Remember, TikTok is controlled by China Seventeen-year-old Feroza Aziz wanted […]

When is it legal to hack?

Facebook entered new territory this week by suing Israeli cyber-intelligence firm, NSO Group, in California federal court. There are lots of issues here. Most people want private communications to be private. Most people want to be able to have criminals prosecuted.  But what’s a criminal act in one country may not be in another, and […]