Signal (messaging), because my conversations are mine

After seeing my friends Emanuele and Luca claims, it seems far to me to say out loud that I’m too a — really satisfied!!! — user of the personal instant messaging software Signal 🔗 and Telegram 🔗 … both a better choice regarding my privacy than their opponent Whatsapp.

Today the reasons for using Whatsapp are the same as being registered on the Book of Faces, its widespread diffusion. And this record, in the panorama of messaging software on smartphones, is due to being the first ubiquitous on the various platforms (today remained a duopoly), but if you remember also ICQ at the time won for being a pioneer … and today those who do you still use? A very small minority!

Whatsapp is, in fact, together with Instagram the plan B of the Book of Faces (*) for the global profiling of users of the Net. And even if we delude ourselves that our chats are encrypted, as Emanuele rightly observes in the linked article, ” it is the metadata that kill us “. With whom I speak, for how long, how long are my messages, from where we write, at what time, after what events … all are information as juicy as – if not more – of our conversations themselves.

The alternatives are here. And starting to use them and to convey our conversations on these platforms – more respectful of our privacy – is a duty we have towards those who, less attentive to technological issues, use tools for habit and not for awareness. Like the herd immunity with vaccines (I dare to say).

Inviting our interlocutors to use these platforms will make them understand that they are not alone, they will gladly see that others have embraced their conscious choice and maybe they will contribute together with us to dismantle this business of selling people.

At 44 I still like to think that’s possible!


(*) = Orwell called “Big Brother” this mechanism of ‘global surveillance’ that today F. applies to all the traffic carried by its own channels and therefore in fact embodies – along with Amazon and Google. Alan Moore in his V for Vendetta, more darkly, separated the surveillance roles in the Eye and the Finger, giving to the surveillance a tool for acting against those who did not follow the expected behavior. I, for my part, I’m still deciding how to call them (in public).

Safety warning: if you use Skype, your contacts may now be exposed

As of a couple of days ago, the new Skype tells other people how many contacts you have in common. It also offers your contacts as potential new contacts to everyone else in your contact book. This is a surprisingly serious privacy breach.

Danida_U’s response from Microsoft: there’s no way to disable this short of opting out from being contactable at all. And no, there are no plans to remove the “feature.” They want to make it easier for friends and family to find you. My suggestion: if you want your friends and family to find you, tell them your Skype ID. Problem solved.

Stever Robbins

I ‘have’ to use Skype at work … but my intolerance against it has started to grow up more and more. This latest feature is frankly embarrassing.

What keeps me from deleting my profile is that I use it only for work, and nothing personal goes under the Microsoft chat system. If you want to know who my contacts are on Skype, you just can have a look at my LinkedIn profile and obtain much more informations…

‘Do Not Track,’ the Privacy Tool Used by Millions of People, Doesn’t Do Anything

In other words, we have a tool that works for telling the internet that a person wants privacy. The problem is that the companies that dominate the internet are, for the most part, plugging their ears and saying, “Nah, nah, nah, nah, I don’t hear you, nah, nah, nah, nah, I don’t hear you,” and will continue to do so until the government forces them to take their fingers out of their ears.

An interesting read on Gizmodo.

Facebook Is Giving Advertisers Access to Your Shadow Contact Information

Facebook has claimed that users already have extensive control over what information is made available to advertisers, but that’s not entirely true. When I asked the company last year about whether it used shadow contact information for ads, it gave me inaccurate information, and it hadn’t made the practice clear in its extensive messaging to users about ads. It took academic researchers performing tests for months to unearth the truth. People are increasingly paranoid about the creepy accuracy of the ads they see online and don’t understand where the information is coming from that leads to that accuracy. It seems that, when it came to this particular practice, Facebook wanted to keep its users in the dark.

Kashmir Hill, on Gizmodo