Late last year, in a span of under two weeks, I received dozens of political spam texts around Austin’s Prop A ballot measure. I’m sure countless people around the world also get unsolicited garbage texts. Such text campaigns threaten to discourage voter turnout and turn people against each other. Because SMS texts lack authentication, users… Continue reading Political spam texts are out of control, and customers have no effective recourse.
Bad news folks. Corporate America is rushing ahead with voice-based authentication. I know because I recently called my ISP, Spectrum, which tried to enroll me in Voice ID. I declined. (“With Voice ID, you don’t have to worry about remembering security codes or passwords.” Ok, sure 🤪) And I also called my bank, Chase, which… Continue reading Despite the prevalence of deepfake audio tech, banks and ISPs rush ahead with “voice print” authentication
With its CSAM scanning tool (soon to be pushed to iPhones with iOS 15 and maybe Macs with Monterey), Apple has created what it promises is a “safe” surveillance experience. It will catch the absolute worst scumbags on the planet. It is launching in just the US. Turn it off by simply discontinuing your usage… Continue reading Apple’s plan for iOS 15 CSAM scanning to somehow constitute “safe” surveillance is impossible without bulletproof security and an explicit moral framework to guide policy decisions. It has neither.
Internet Service Providers selling out customers’ privacy is awful, old news On April 3, 2017, Trump did what no one asked for, except for an army of telco lobbyists: he quietly signed an order from Congress to explicitly allow ISPs to sell users’ browsing history without users’ permission. There was no photo shoot or fanfare:… Continue reading Apple’s Private Relay will thwart ISPs’ gross mishandling of our browsing histories and rock the surveillance establishment in countries where it’s available
From a Stack Overflow question: “a hacked version of a Google Chrome extension I use was distributed via Chrome’s automatic extension updates. Is it possible to stop Google Chrome from automatically updating extensions?” The answer is there’s not an easy way to disable them in Chrome. But there should be, and this post explains why.… Continue reading When Chrome extension developers sell out, users get pwned. Why is there not the option to disable automatic updates for specific extensions, as with Firefox? (Plus, a DIY workaround)
Many iPhone owners have iMessages from years ago that they can’t access. For example, my wife and I simply want to read the first few messages that we exchanged in 2017, but we can’t. A friend of mine recently had to prove she had a relationship with someone for US immigration services, and she was… Continue reading Your iPhone (and iCloud backups) are full of gigabytes-worth of old iMessages that are virtually impossible to read
Welcome! You are roaming the land of Key Discussions! The focus will be on consumer advocacy, especially as it pertains to US tech companies. “Why focus on this kind of justice?” you may ask, as there are certainly bigger fish to fry. One reason is I’m already mulling these issues while editing Techmeme. Secondly, technology… Continue reading A Fresh Start