suggested reads for June 17, 2018

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Two months after the scandal it’s interesting to see how mass reaction to the event was non-existent and now Facebook still operates as if nothing happened. Maybe GDPR is not perfect, but it shows that Laws can protect us when it seems we do not want to be protected.

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suggested reads for June 10, 2018

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Privacy, May 24th 2018

Where I reply to a post on Privacy by David Shanske.

I was reading David Shanske’s post on Privacy. Begun writing a comment, but then things became a long text, so I’ve decided to write down something here on ‘my place’.

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Privacy. The subject is difficult to examine and grasp in all its aspects.

AFAIK personal use of data here in Italy (and Europe? I don’t really know) is legitimate. For example I can collect thousands of phone numbers, email, medical informations (ie. you had varicella in 2000). As long as I keep those data private it’s all ok.

When I begin using those data for business, or share on a local newspaper you (again for example) are HIV positive, well… then things become complicated.

The ‘strange’ things in all of this is that – at least for me and for anyone that has a little common sense – it’s that this GDPR and Cookie Law warns me about stupid things. That you can see my email (which I wrote on purpose to comment on a blog) and see the IP I am using (again, because this is how things works) …

The law does not protect me about any of the use you’re going to do – privately or not, legally or not – about my data. You (as the receiver) can do whatever comes to your mind (like in Cambridge Analytica case). I can confirm my will you’ll use my data for ‘commercial pourpose’ without any limit to what you’ll actually do.

If someone was really interested in our privacy then he should promote the usage of things like TOR or VPN for any internet connection. Would forbid audio & video surveillance that is gone daily by our smartphones or ‘home assistants’, along with any GPS data … Would forbid any technology that fingerprints where we go, who do we talk with (via phone calls or any messaging form), and so on…

And, most of all, instead of bugging us with useless pop-ups, the law should smash down any business that manipulates our data tricking our behaviors.

suggested reads for May 20, 2018

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Here’s my suggested reading list for this Sunday. Last week I forgot to post, given the aftermaths of the first edition of the WordCamp Bari 2018, sorry. If you have time for just a single articole… well, my choice has been put in evidence 😉

Facebook’s addiction wasn’t free

We’re just waking up to this Facebook hangover. The first impulse will be for quick fixes, and I’m sure some of those will be helpful. But the real work to getting sober means reimagining the entire privacy-exploiting advertisement industry. It’s your job to keep up the pressure so that actually happens. Don’t just swear off Facebook for a week, then go back to your bender ways.

David H. Hansson, on Medium

Cambridge Analytica’s Ad Targeting Is the Reason Facebook Exists

Thousands of third party apps were designed solely to obtain and sell your data. It’s no surprise that the data ended up being used again on Facebook, one of the biggest advertising platforms on Earth.
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Jason Koebler on the pages of Vice’s Motherboard is making one of the best analysis – in my opinion – of the Cambridge Analytica / Facebook scandal roaring up in these days.

Block a corporation

If you’re getting worried by the tracking moves of giant corporations… well, seems you’re not alone!
Today I’ve discovered this repo on GitHub by Jonathan Dugan proving blocklists

A group project to catalog and list domain names that people may want to block.

Current focus on corporations, for which there are no other maintained lists.

Files in this project list the domain names of servers, one per line that can be added to your local hosts file to tell your computer to never talk to servers on that domain name.

Editing your hosts file with the infos provided in this directory you’ll stop any kind of tracking made by those Corporations with their services to your machine.

At the moment I don’t think I’ll try this on a production machine, but for sure I’ll try to see what the world seems like with this approach on a test machine. I’ll update this post when the experiment will be done. In the meantime, if you try, could you please share your experience? Thanks!