D4D

Life Jim, but not as we know it.

Archive for the category “Privacy”

Slack Data

In the car I hired last weekend, it had a load of built-in tech – Ford’s Sync system – that was quite interesting, not least for the fact that it worked really nicely and easily. Connecting my phone to the car was a doddle, the satnav worked well (and better than my usual stand-alone device in several ways) and it all just seemed pretty easy.

However. It’s obvious that it was designed for a standard “family car” scenario, rather than a vehicle that would be hired to many different users. Which makes sense, but leads to an interesting longer-term problem…

Basically, people are lazy – and don’t think about their data. So the convenience of connecting one’s phone to the car system for hands-free calls etc is great, as is the simple download of the phone’s address book to the system. But if you then don’t delete it when you take the car back to the hire place, it’s all available to the next user. The same applies to the satnav system – ‘recent destinations’ is a goldmine of activity, right down to house number and location. (And I suspect, with a bit of work, one could connect the destination to a phone number in that downloaded phonebook)

It just interests me, how little people care (or understand) about their information. I cleared down the whole car system before I returned it, which took less than five minutes all told. So it’s not much work, but it’s still work, which most people don’t seem willing to undertake.

I’ve suggested to the hire company that it should perhaps be part of the car sanitising process when it’s returned (or before it’s hired back out, whichever) although I realise that makes it more hassle for them, and there’s a lot of different setups in the various cars.

Of course, it’d be better if people cleaned up after themselves – or the car tech had a “forget everything” button/process (although that would still be too much effort for most people) that did the job. But that won’t happen until people realise how important this shit can be, and sadly that tends to only happen by negative paths/occurrences/events, and will always be learned too late.

For Your Safety

You know, I for one am getting really tired of the government phrases “It’s for your safety” and “it’s for your security”, which are getting bandied around more and more.

This week it’s been used about blocking flights to and from Sharm El-Sheikh because of an alleged – but unproven – bomb in the hold of the plane that crashed in the Sinai desert last week. It’s also been used in discussions about monitoring everyone’s internet traffic and holding those records for at least a year, and in revelations about MI5 monitoring every domestic phone-call in the UK for the last ten years.

Governments like people to be scared – and more and more, we seem to be happy to let the government take these measures ‘because it makes us safer’. It doesn’t, it just gives up more information to the government – and all in the name of ‘safety’.

Basically, it’s shit.

[I know, I need to think more about this and write more. But it’s a phrase that bugs me every time it’s used]

Infamy, Infamy, they’ve all got it infamy

Eighteen months ago, I had to issue a retraction of comments I’d made about the professionalism of a marketing manager and his company, due to some seriously heavy-handed legal threats from over the water.

As a quick “I wonder”, I did a Google search today on the name of the marketing manager and his company.  And yes, D4D still comes up as the first result on Google for that search.

When you think about it, that’s really funny.  (And is also what I warned them would happen when the legal people insisted I use his name as part of the apology on the title)

After all, this is a marketing manager of a major company – a company whose products also use the name D4D on some of them. He’s also always had the right of reply, I’ve never closed the comments on any of those posts. Nary an acknowledgement, not a rebuttal or apology for damaging the privacy policy of his own company, not even a “thanks for the apology”.  Which, I suppose, shows the quality of the man.

And still, there I am, at the top of the search results.

It amused me, anyway.

Google Web History

On March 1st, Google’s privacy policy is changing.

If you don’t want your web history (among other things) stored past that date, you need to delete it in the next week. If you leave it ’til 1st March, it will be too late – you need to have done it by the end of 29th Feb.

The EFF has a useful page here about how to delete your Google web history.

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