While waiting for iCloud Private Relay…

I’m using NextDNS.io for a better web experience… not the same but it does a great job of making the web more privacy friendly and a lot faster too. Too bad that we will have to wait for iOS 15.1 or later for iCloud Private Relay. Each year there are features that get dropped from the initial release… remember iMessage in the cloud, anyone?

Joke of the day: “We believe that personalized ads and user privacy can coexist.”. 😂😂😂

What if nobody really knows what is going on? (#google #privacy #surveillance)

What if nobody at Google knows exactly what their data hungry engine is all about? I mean, what if nobody has a global picture, so nobody can say “oh my god, it’s terrible, we must stop it!”. This makes me think of the nazis in second world war: very few had a global picture of what was really going on. It was devised this way so it was easier to “manage” and keep the machine humming.

Are Facetime Links Enough to compete against Zoom or Teams?

Benjamin Mayo on FaceTime 15 in the landscape of collaboration tools like Zoom and Teams: > FaceTime is more like an add-on of Messages, competing against WhatsApp and traditional phone calls if anything. You also see this in how each service handles identity; Zoom and Teams have abstracted user accounts, whereas on FaceTime you connect by sharing your personal phone number or email address — information that you only want to give out to close friends. Source: FaceTime in iOS 15 — Benjamin Mayo

Surprisingly, to use FaceTime, you need to give very personal information like your phone number of your email address… while other competing platform has abstracted that account information a long time ago. FaceTime links represent a step in the right direction, as sharing a link is enough for others to get onboard. Time will tell if this proves to be enough in the enterprise.

Is your iPhone really yours?

But the thread running through everything was that if you buy an Apple device, it’s yours. And it’s you. And if you buy, well, anything else, you’re just a slab of meat holding a slab of glass through which the internet will manipulate and extract data from you any way it wants. So, yeah, the garden’s walls may be high, but Apple says that’s only to keep you safe.

— David PierceSource: Apple defends the walled garden - Protocol — The people, power and politics of tech

Many would argue the since you cannot install apps from outside the App Store, your iPhone isn’t really yours. Others would argue that since you don’t have a choice but go to Apple to get “your” iPhone repaired, your iPhone isn’t really yours. what is “your” take on this?

I was over-simplifying quite a bit

After publishing my essay on what I was hoping Apple would do in response to the developers community, Matt Birchler wrote a small response regarding my assertion about payments processing platform being a limited feature in the grand scheme of things. It appears I was wrong. Thanks to Matt blog post, I have a better view of what goes behind the scene here.

That being said, Apple’s payment processing service within the App Store serves Apple’s purposes and is the one that is very narrow, very focused. It’s a good thing. I’m not sure Apple has to compete against this industry. Allowing third-party payment processing services would need to focus on the minimum in order to protect privacy or help guarantee that privacy is in good hands. It’s an attainable goal.

I’m Closing my Telegram Account — Here is why

First:

Apple is very efficient at pursuing their business model, which is based on selling overpriced, obsolete hardware to customers locked in their ecosystem,” Durov wrote. “Every time I have to use an iPhone to test our iOS app I feel like I’m thrown back into the Middle Ages. The iPhone’s 60Hz displays can’t compete with the 120Hz displays of modern Android phones that support much smoother animations.

And:

Durov added that the worst part about Apple’s technology is not “clunkier devices or outdated hardware,” but that users who have an iPhone are a “digital slave of Apple.”

”You are only allowed to use apps that Apple lets you install via their App Store, and you can only use Apple’s iCloud to natively back up your data,” he said.

“It’s no wonder that Apple’s totalitarian approach is so appreciated by the Communist Party of China, which – thanks to Apple – now has complete control over the apps and data of all of its citizens who rely on iPhones.”

Source: Telegram founder says iPhone users are digital slaves | AppleInsider.

Mr. Durov can go to hell. Typical talk from an Android guy. Nobody his forcing him to develop for the iPhone. Nobody. He is a digital slave of Apple himself. I can’t stand this attitude and I’m voting with my digital means: closing my Telegram account.

96%. (#asknottotrack #privacy #privacyprotection)

I’m so proud of people right now: medias are reporting that 96% of them chose to protect their basic right for online privacy. I wasn’t expecting that many people to select the “Ask Not To Track” option. This is a game changer. This should serve as a clear message to businesses with business models essentially based on personal data mining and online profiling without user consent. Enough is enough. For those who are ok with hyper targeted ads, fine, but not at this cost. I salute Apple for moving forward with this feature in iOS 14.5. Coupled with services like NextDNS, I’m starting to see quite an improvement in my web surfing experience and being more at ease doing so.

Those who selected “Allow” probably didn’t know what it was all about.

Happy Apple Updates Day! (#apple #ios145 #notracking #stoptracking)

To all my followers, have an successful Apple update day! This one has been long in coming! Don’t forget to disable app tracking as soon as you can. Best way to say “🖕🏻” to Facebook et al. Now turning to iOS 14.6 beta which seems to bring new devices support only (2021 iPad Pro).

On Facebook’s pervasive destruction (#deletefacebook #stopmasssurveillance)

Today I woke up with this idea of hating Facebook and everything they represents. For those who know me, this is nothing new. But today is one of those days where I despise Facebook more than ever.

Let’s face it, again: Facebook has made massive data collection an ordinary thing. Facebook normalized global surveillance a mundane fact. Facebook is killing the pillars of democracy without fanfare. Facebook has turned most of us a beast feeders. Facebook gave voice to those who should have been silenced because of their toxic and extremist thoughts. Facebook is the source of social cancer.

One day, we will wake up. I hope. 😔

On Tim Cook’s interview by Kara Swisher (#apple #timcook #privacy)

There is a lot to like in the recent Tim Cook’s interview with Kara Swisher (link to Podcast). It’s a must-listen. Here are a few observations and remarks.

  1. I love Tim Cook’s stance on issues like privacy protection. But at the same time, I have a hard time understanding how Apple can continue to sign a search deal with Google while advocating privacy protection. This is simply unsustainable and hard to defend if you ask me. I know… $$$. Yet… will they ever try to make their search engine or buy one like DuckDuckGo and kick Google out as the default search engine? That would be such a powerful message to send.
  2. Today, Apple under Tim Cook, has never been so well positioned to represent the best corporate defender of many of my core values: privacy protection, careful attention to details in design, openness to diversity, environment protection, sustainable development, great user experiences. Apple is not perfect, far from it. Yet, there is nothing like them these days.
  3. Tim Cook is candidly answering the question of where he sees himself in ten years from now. I wonder what are the plans for his or her successor? Does he and Apple’s upper management actively put as much thought into it as Steve Jobs did in his last few years at Apple? I wonder and I hope this is the case.
  4. This interview maybe seen as a bit self-serving, yet it is what it is. We, Apple’s customers like me, pay Apple to make calls on issues like encryption and privacy protection, environmental protection, etc. That’s the way I see my voting dollars anyway. As soon as I like most of their calls, I’ll be fine and be one of their customer. I dearly hope it stays that way because alternatives are scarce to say the least.
  5. Is Apple playing the same rules for ALL developers? I doubt it. Is Apple’s curation of the App Store perfect? Far from it: 80% of the stuff in there is pure junk.

I think it is important to stay critical about Apple. We must keep them on their toes.

Dear Google, this time you win (#google #YouTube)

This shouldn’t be this way. Thanks to the numerous ads, my YouTube experience was a calculated nightmare. As my usage grew in the last few weeks because of my daytime job, my time on YouTube felt light a nightmare with no end. I decided to put an end to all this by subscribing to YouTube Premium. I feel in full contradiction to my values.

YouTube Premium so much better. But it shouldn’t be this way. Yet, it is. I feel that I’m sleeping with the enemy. Tell me that it is ok, will you?

For those who likes newsletters, I’ve got one too! It’a about Apple, photography, privacy and climate change, in that order! https://numericcitizen.substack.com/p/2021-02

On the Lack of Safari’s extensions support (#apple #safariextension #browserextension)

It’s becoming quite frustrating to see Apple’s Safari not being supported for browser extensions. Safari is now reportedly supporting standard web extensions but with an Apple twist making it cumbersome for developers to add support. Apple being Apple, I think it is related to the requirement of having to download an application in order to be able to expose an extension to Safari’s engine. Thanks to privacy protection, Apple is forcing the game here, but this has real consequences.

Today is about data privacy (#privacy #dataprivacy #privacyprotection #apple)

Today, January 28th, is data privacy day. I didn’t know that. Now I know, thanks to Mr. Phillip Schiller. I paid a visit to Apple’s privacy web page. What I found is a super nicely designed page with highlights of Apple’s ecosystem privacy focused features. To me, Apple’s privacy stance is a product, not a feature.

“Privacy is a fundamental human right. At Apple, it’s also one of our core values. Your devices are important to so many parts of your life. What you share from those experiences, and who you share it with, should be up to you. We design Apple products to protect your privacy and give you control over your information. It’s not always easy. But that’s the kind of innovation we believe in.” — Apple

What is worst than Facebook? (#privacy #privacyprotection)

Apple made mandatory privacy protection “nutrition” labels on its App Store. One guy refuses to update its apps since then: Google. Maybe they are even worst than Facebook if such a thing is even possible. Was Google caught by surprise? Highly impossible. They had many months to prepare for that. When your business model highly depends on sucking all users data, it’s hard to escape suspicion.

The challenges with online speech and publishing (#socialnetworks #socialmedia #platforms)

A recent article by Benedict Evans exposes how hard it is to “fix” social networks.

“The internet and then social platforms break a lot of our definitions of different kinds of speech, and yet somehow Facebook / Google / Twitter are supposed to recreate that whole 200-year tapestry of implicit structures and consensus, and answer all of those questions, from office parks in the San Francisco Bay Area, for both the USA and Myanmar, right now. We want them to Fix It, but we don’t actually know what that means.”

I often think about issues that platforms like Facebook brings to our society. I don’t pretend to have any solution. I can’t quite define what Facebook is actually from a societal point of view. That being said, a lack of definition and understanding cannot prevent me to wish for things to be done differently. And I have one simple wish.

I want the eradication of algorithm-based feeds. I want them to be regulated, prohibited even. At the very least, it should be an opt-in “feature”. I want the return of chronological feeds. No tweaks, no tricks, nothing more. Nothing less. I want all people to have a look at the same reality. Two people having the exact same followers and following the same guys should give the same timeline. Period.

Without hyper-manipulated feeds, we have to wonder about the usefulness of all gathered data about us and our behaviours. Maybe ads targeting doesn’t make as much sense in tact hypothetical context.

If two people don’t see the same thing, it’s because the choice was made by an individual wishing to control his or her exposure, not by a corporation’s algorithm or an arbitrary group of people.

That’s my wish. Let’s try it and see if things change for the better.

Telegram a Signal to iMessage, Please (#messaging #privacy #apple #parler #signal #telegram)

Telegram on macOS

DHH on Twitter seems happy that the messaging app, Signal, finally has its moment. I don’t really know about Signal, but I do know about another one, Telegram. Now that Parler is out of this world, I’m wondering if people prefer Signal over Telegram. Is Signal more secure than Telegram? According to this website, Telegram, is apparently not as secure as its maker pretends it is.

Now, I’m wonder how these movements between messaging platforms would be affected if Apple decided to make iMessage cross-platform: on iOS, on macOS, on the web and on Android. Maybe this year the dynamic is different enough for Apple to make the move? Are they afraid that people will leave the iPhone if iMessage is available on Android? What is more sticky for the Apple ecosystem: the Music app or iMessage? In my opinion, iMessage is much more powerful than Music for keeping people inside Apple’s walled garden.

Reminder, you can find me on Telegram here.

So many questions lefts unanswered (#apple #iCloud #death #legacy)

Cemetery2

In What to do about Apple devices and iCloud content when the owner dies from AppleInsider, there are so many unanswered questions. For example, are the requirements from Apple different from one country to another? Something critical when someone dies, having access to his or her smartphone with a PIN. Without it, the challenge is close to impossible to meet. That is one of the many requirements explained in A Guide for Preparing to Leave Your Numeric Legacy.

Thanks, Apple (#apple #privacy #privacyprotection)

Application Privacy labels

Thanks to all the teams at Apple for putting this App privacy feature together. Just like food labels, application labels were long overdue. Apple is far from perfect, I wrote about that a few weeks ago, but at the very least they do move the needle quite a bit. Bravo.

It’s time to call out @iphoneincanada (#tracking #ads)

Ads

Wait for the previous gif to load and animate. What the fusk is wrong with the owners of iPhone in Canada website? This animated gif shows how wrong the web can become. There are 21 trackers on this website. The more trackers, the more ads, the less content there is. What a pity. For this reason, I don’t visit their website, I only subscribe to their RSS feed and Safari notifications. They should know that at some point, they cross the inflexion point where too much is like not enough.

Dear Microsoft… (#microsoft #privacy #privacyprotection #surveillance #office365)

Following this statement from Microsoft, here is one question for you, Microsoft: why haven’t they thought, at the very beginning, that this Office 365 feature wasn’t a good idea to begin with? Here is another question: Who do you think you are to devise a “Microsoft Productivity Score”? “a tool that helps organizations measure and manage the adoption of Microsoft 365” — Microsoft

There is a difference in semantic here: measuring adoption vs measuring productivity score. What is “being productive” anyway? The road to hell is paved with good intentions, as they say.

Facebook is bad at everything. Period. (#facebook #privacyprotection #design #privacy)

Interesting post from @Gruber about Facebook application design. The lack of support for basic things like dark mode, more than a year after its introduction is a simple example, but very telling about something: Facebook doesn’t give a shit about those things. They don’t give a shit about privacy protection either. They don’t give a shit about democracy. They are are bad at design. They are bad at everything. And their growth is slowly declining which is a bit of fresh air to know.

Everyone has their price (#apple #google #privacy #privacyprotection)

According to the New York Time regarding the antitrust lawsuit in the works, Google is paying between 8 to 12 billions $ a year to be the default search engine on iOS. That is a lot of money, but apparently, that’s the price to pay for Apple to bend over their privacy stance.

If there is one reason why Apple should get out of this deal and build their own search tech or buy DuckDuckGo altogether: put the walk behind the talk.

No trackers on Apple.com. Really?

After installing Safari 14 on macOS Catalina, I went on Apple.com to see what trackers would be reported. Unsurprisingly, Apple doesn’t use any trackers. Now, the big question: do you believe Apple doesn’t track its main website usage?