How the Present is Killing the Future

Security guru Bruce Schneier wrote a piece in The Atlantic, How the Internet of Things Limits Consumer Choice. He notes:

In theory, the Internet of Things—the connected network of tiny computers inside home appliances, household objects, even clothing—promises to make your life easier and your work more efficient. These computers will communicate with each other and the Internet in homes and public spaces, collecting data about their environment and making changes based on the information they receive. In theory, connected sensors will anticipate your needs, saving you time, money, and energy.

Except when the companies that make these connected objects act in a way that runs counter to the consumer’s best interests…

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Ad Tech: Breaking the “social contract”

Doc Searls is on a tear with Beyond ad blocking — the biggest boycott in human history and his Ad Block War series of posts. There’s a commonly heard cry from the Ad Tech industry (short for advertising technology, a vast middle layer between the companies that place advertisements and the sites that use ads as a source of income) that people shouldn’t use ad blockers because “it breaks the social contract.” No, ‘fraid not: How adtech, not ad blocking, breaks the social contract. There is no “social contract” anymore than an informed acceptance of contracts we probably don’t understand and probably wouldn’t sign if we knew what the terms actually meant.

Note, please, that this site doesn’t track you. We don’t save logs unless someone’s trying mischievous things. No ads, no income, no problem.

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Your Very Own Privacy Policy

Over at Future Tense (Slate), Irina Raicu wrote a great letter to Corporations. It begins:

Dear Corporation,

You have expressed an interest in collecting personal information about me. (This interest may have been expressed by implication, in case you were attempting to collect such data without notifying me first.) Since you have told me repeatedly that personalization is a great benefit, and that advertising, search results, news, and other services should be tailored to my individual needs and desires, I’ve decided that I should also have my own personalized, targeted privacy policy. Here it is.

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