Category "Privacy" (4/4)
From discussing the societal impact of privacy (and lack thereof) to design strategies and tools for privacy-by-design. Strongly biased towards a human-rights approach, and commonly from a European (incl. GDPR) perspective. While I may discuss legal aspects as well, I am not a lawyer (#IANAL).
Along with the purchase of my Android phone came the convenience of a free and easy cloud back-up of my phone contacts and seamless synchronization with Google Calendar. However, I have since become more wary about whom I want to share my data with.
I decided that it was time to say goodbye to Google and try out ownCloud, the open source software package for hosting one’s own cloud services. […]
My previous post on Privacy-Aware Design (“Replacing Google Analytics with a decentralized alternative”) discussed the inherent privacy issue when a private corporation is able to track users around a large part of the internet.
I presented how the provision of a free service with undeniable benefits for website owners has led to a situation where Google is able to track any internet user around half of the web and that it happens without explicit consent of the end-users (who may only protect themselves from being tracked by browser privacy add-ons).
Following the same train of thought, the next topic in this series are social media integration practices. […]
In late 2005, Google started to provide free access to a web analytics product based on the previously expensive Urchin software suite. In the seven years since, this strategy succeeded to get Google Analytics tracking code included in a stunning share of websites by providing access to a powerful tool at (seemingly) no cost for everyone from big corporations to hobbyist bloggers.
“Oh, and we’ll of course add Google Analytics to the site” is a common phrase in the context of a web project, by large agencies and teenage family webmasters alike: Google has managed to define their product as an implicit standard for visitor analysis on the web. Adding the tracking code is easy and the data the service provides is of unquestionable quality.
Yet, privacy advocates have long pointed out the serious implications of one corporation being able to track users around such a massive slice of the internet […]
While browsing around the internet, data is not only transferred from web servers to our screens, but also in the other direction: mostly invisible to the user, code embedded in websites sends usage data back to the provider of the website and to third-party services.
Working with websites, their design and technical infrastructure on a daily basis, I have always been aware of this. Regardless, the scale of this practice makes me shudder every time I activate the Mozilla Lightbeam plugin (formerly known as Collusion) that visualizes all the tracking providers outside of visited web services […]
On January 28, Data Privacy Day encouraged everyone to make protecting privacy and data a greater priority; a good trigger to start a long-planned series on some things I have been working on over the last year.
With “Privacy-Aware Design”, I aim to create a discussion around privacy as encountered by interaction designers on the UI/UX level.
I consider it important to acknowledge that the protection of users’ information is not just rooted in the service concept (data collection, sharing, visibility) or purely an engineering challenge in the background (encryption, access control, data storage in general), but that privacy is also deeply affected by design decisions on the user-facing interfaces of internet services. […]
My text on “fixing the internet” from two weeks ago triggered an inspiring online discussion with Michael Dlugosch, through which kind of a working hypothesis has started to emerge for me. In a first attempt to paraphrase:
The question of how to create/restore a more open web providing control over one’s own representation hovers around three core issues: identity, content, and audience. It needs to be considered how an independent identity is being established, how users control their content and how they can build and cater to an audience despite independent ownership of identities and full control over content.
Not quite coincidentally, the discussion has touch points with debates going on in many places. […]
The archives reveal it was October 2005 when I started to use Delicious to collect my bookmarks, at a time where I had to use various computers daily.
Four years later, competitor Ma.gnolia lost all user data, marking the first occasion that I (along with a shaken community of their users) questioned the value of cloud services for storing personal data. Yet, both for lack of alternatives and for being lazy, I kept using Delicious - though making regular backups a habit.
Today, we live 2014 and it is time to move on; more specifically, time to reclaim ownership over my bookmarks and to host them myself. Naturally, having grown used to a cloud service, a suitable web-based replacement had to be found. […]
Within the last year, and increasingly during recent weeks, a recurring theme in writings from web design commentators has been that the web is in an unhealthy state and needs some care.by
Maybe most prominently, Anil Dash’s “The web we lost” from November 2012 is a wake-up call to everybody working with the web to recall where it originally came from and the opportunities it provided.
More recently, Jeremy Keith has summarised the debate in his article “In dependence”. […]
The release of Eric Butler’s Firesheep, a browser add-on allowing to hijack browser sessions over unsecured wireless networks without any technical expertise, has triggered a flood of commentary how users may protect themselves. However, while protecting their own connection makes a user safe…by