2015-12-19 The Command Line Podcast

old-newspaper-350376_1280This is an episode of The Command Line Podcast.

I will be attending SCALE in the latter half of next month if anyone else planning to be there wants to meet up.

I am also thinking about attending this year’s LibrePlanet, in March. Please consider donating to their scholarship fund to help attendees who might not otherwise be able to go to join the event and learn more about Free Software and the community that uses and supports it.

This time, I chat about some recent news stories that caught my attention, including:

You can subscribe to a feed of articles I am reading for more. You can follow my random podcast items on HuffDuffer too.

You can directly download the MP3 or Ogg Vorbis audio files. You can grab additional formats and audio source files from the Internet Archive.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

2015-12-13 The Command Line Podcast

This is an episode of The Command Line Podcast.

I will be attending SCALE in the latter half of next month if anyone else planning to be there wants to meet up.

This time, I chat about some recent news stories that caught my attention, including:

You can subscribe to a feed of articles I am reading for more. You can follow my random podcast items on HuffDuffer too.

You can directly download the MP3 or Ogg Vorbis audio files. You can grab additional formats and audio source files from the Internet Archive.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

2015-11-22 The Command Line Podcast

newspapers-444447_1920This is an episode of The Command Line Podcast.

This time, I chat about some recent news stories that caught my attention, including:

You can subscribe to a feed of articles I am reading for more. You can follow my random podcast items on HuffDuffer too.

You can directly download the MP3 or Ogg Vorbis audio files. You can grab additional formats and audio source files from the Internet Archive.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

2015-11-15 The Command Line Podcast

old-newspaper-350376_1280This is an episode of The Command Line Podcast.

This time, I chat about some recent news stories that caught my attention, including:

You can subscribe to a feed of articles I am reading for more. You can follow my random podcast items on HuffDuffer too.

You can directly download the MP3 or Ogg Vorbis audio files. You can grab additional formats and audio source files from the Internet Archive.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

How Will Device Fingerprinting Fare Against “Do Not Track”?

I linked to the preliminary report on privacy released by the FTC yesterday. Chief among their suggestions is a lightweight Do Not Track system based on browser headers, a scheme that is technically sound but raises questions about compliance and complaint.

More concerning is this Wall Street Journal posting about an outfit, BlueCava, looking to assemble a massive database of unique identifiable networked devices.

He’s off to a good start. So far, Mr. Norris’s start-up company, BlueCava Inc., has identified 200 million devices. By the end of next year, BlueCava says it expects to have cataloged one billion of the world’s estimated 10 billion devices.

Advertisers no longer want to just buy ads. They want to buy access to specific people. So, Mr. Norris is building a “credit bureau for devices” in which every computer or cellphone will have a “reputation” based on its user’s online behavior, shopping habits and demographics. He plans to sell this information to advertisers willing to pay top dollar for granular data about people’s interests and activities.

This is entirely continuous with EFF’s research into browser fingerprinting and sustains Professor Ed Felten’s warnings about going after mere tracking cookies too zealously. Nothing about the fingerprinting is necessarily incompatible with the proposed Do Not Track system. The article merely raises the urgency in answer questions around how to determine whether an advertiser is honoring the DNT header and how to enforce an action against them.

Race Is On to ‘Fingerprint’ Phones, PCs, Wall Street Journal (via Hacker News)

feeds | grep links > Another Zombie Cookie Lawsuit, Airport Scanners Outside the Terminal,

Badge for Targeted Advertising

Quite a few projects have shown how clear marks, or badges, on web pages can convey a lot of meaning very quickly. In my experience, the Creative Commons badge instantly signals an intent to share, to allow re-use and re-distribution, that in certain circles is nearly instantaneously recognized. It is understandable when new efforts want to achieve a similar, almost visceral recognition.

Saul Hansell at the New York Times’ Bits blog describes work being done at the prodding of the Federal Trade Commission to develop a visual signal for targeted advertising. While the FTC has prompted this work, it seems to be of a piece with the advertising industry’s recent efforts to self regulate to avoid legislation or FTC rule making.

As a consequence, the icon and simplified text being developed and tested speaks to advertising practice, not privacy risk. I was immensely discouraged to hear that early focus groups didn’t even know about basic tracking and targeting practices.

the initial focus groups they conducted showed that the vast majority of people didn’t have any idea that the ads they saw online were picked based on things like where they have surfed in the past.

I guess it is no small wonder that the FTC feels that even simpler, more clear communications around these practices are needed beyond the existing, and largely useless, privacy policies.

It remains to be seen what the FTC adopts out of the industry developed recommendations. Hansell’s article merely discusses one effort that might be used from one industry backed group. These efforts won’t necessarily enhance consumer privacy, bear in mind, just hopefully make practices that potentially impact that privacy more visible and more easily recognized.