'Your privacy is very important to us'

…and other ‘weasel words’ and ‘weasel phrases’.

Every now and again I see interesting articles often detailing research that shows how those organizations entrusted with our data let us down.

I think it would be good to keep track of them here so we have a reminder of why privacy is important and why it is not to be taken (or given) lightly.

I’ll kick it off with this article from The Register.


Here’s a thread about apps sending data to Yandex servers in Finland and Russia:

(Full story paywalled at the Financial Times but can be read for free through Google, oh the irony)

Of course this used to be just common practice before the war (and still is), even Audacity wanted to include Yandex telemetry at some point, before community outcry stopped it.
And on it’s basis this SDK isn’t doing something the other big players aren’t doing as well, it’s just that the receiver of that data suddenly turned out to be problematic.

This for me serves as an example for how feels fine today can quickly turn into potentially dangerous for some people tomorrow. Would have been better not to share this information in the first place…


I checked out the Google Messages and Dialler study and found it really interesting, thanks!

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After I read that paper I switched to Simple Dialer. Their privacy policy seems very straightforward.

That whole Audacity thing was weird.

Wikipedia has an interesting summary of ‘Privacy concerns regarding Google’.

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Google’s Transparency Report portal.

Another interesting article from The Register: Cisco’s Webex app phoned home audio telemetry even when muted

…featuring the obligatory ‘Cisco takes the security of its products very seriously’.


Europe twists YouTube’s arm to get better cookie consent popups

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One may reasonably suspect that if Amazon is doing this, others are too.


Interesting article from The Markup - ’ Applied for Student Aid Online? Facebook Saw You

Of passing interest if it’s true or not, but not surprissing nor something that can be avoided totally. People who make websites have a lot of tools at their disposal.

It’s the old addage, as soon as you use global and social communcations you are not in control of what you have said nor how it may be interpreted.

Speaking in public is open to be recorded, now it’s just a lot easier for someone on the other side of the ‘globe’ to listen in.


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