me October 7, 2020 8:56 AM

i don’t have an iphone and i both like & dislike the new features.
i like them because they are useful, put the user more in control of his data, force companies to think twice before harvesting unnecessary data and hopefully force google (android) to copy the idea so that me, android user gets them too.
i don’t like them because they are needed, windows was born without that features because they were not necessary: if someone coded an app to take notes that app did just that, user could trust his apps to do what they promise to do and nothing more. this is every day less true and everyone try to harvest any possible data to a point that os maker needed to add such features

David Leppik October 7, 2020 2:39 PM

Not mentioned, but equally important, are all the things going on in the background that Apple has tightened up. In particular, the use of cross-app advertising IDs now requires user permission and Safari does more to restrict tracking.

Apple is a company based in the United States and subject to its laws and sometimes the government’s extralegal pressure. I’m concerned that, over the long haul, no single country is permanently safe from governmental or social pressure to open back doors for various purposes.

Ike October 10, 2020 1:12 PM

Privacy has become an oxymoron word. Privacy is not a setting or a tool. You can have ‘some’ privacy by compartmentalization only

Clive Robinson October 10, 2020 3:29 PM

@ Ike,

You can have ‘some’ privacy by compartmentalization only

That has been true for far longer than most realise, arguably it goes back through tribalism and further as it is an evolutionary advantage.

Fruit does not ripen all at the same time, so knowledge of where a tree that is fruiting is something you keep very much to “you and yours” otherwise to many mouths will strip the fruit ripe or not. Similarly about other resources such as water holes etc.

The joke of modern shares trading is the idea of an “open market” where “all is visable to all eyes”. The actuall truth is the opposit, the share market gets rigged by various people at various times. They keep certain knowledge secret, but because of computer records and “insider trading laws” they share the secret with others who profit, who in turn reverse the favour when they have a secret. The only reason some get caught is they do not take sufficient caution with what they are doing…

The notion of privacy is that we all have secrets or things we might not want generally known for various reasons. In most cases such secrets are inconsequential in effect, such as say an American Football play writting romantic poetry.

Thus the idea is if you discover this you do not tell other people, and likewise if someone discovers something about you they do not tell either.

Humans are naturally forgetful anyway so in time a discovered secret becomes just a vague memory.

We thus have the notion of “ephemeral” where a spoken word disipates in the air, and once it has done so there is no evidence the words were ever spoken.

Unfortunately digital technology has a near zero cost not just of transmission but duplication as well. Thus endless perfect copies of spoken words can be made and sent which way and every where. To make this worse, the cost of storage is also falling thus digital data of the spoken word, now can be stored indefinately at very minimal cost.

Thus ephemeral nolonger applies to most ways humans communicate these days.

Unfortunatly when the US Constitution etc was drawn up, having an ephemeral conversation was relatively easy. You and who you wanted to communicate with just walked out of town, into the middle of a field and spoke quietly.

These days with parabolic and shotgun microphones that is nolonger a secure way to have an ephemeral conversation. And aby field you care ti stand in can be seen from space even on cloudy days.

Whilst their are ways you can get some communications privacy those in power are trying to make the simple notion of privacy out to be something nasty, dirty and above all dangerous, in other words they try to form associations in peoples heads that privacy is something only done by terrorists, child molesters, drug dealers, and similar.

What such people do not care about is that society not just needs privacy, it requires it for people to coexist. Because there are always elements of society looking to control others and “naming and shaming” is just one of the many tools they will use. Remember to shame someone all you need is to find something somebody does that most others do not. You then use that difference no matter how harmless to belittle them in the eyes of others, where pack/herd mechanisms come into play and they the belittle the person.

One such example is the legacy hobby of “Train Spotting” just saying it conjures up images in peoples heads of socially inept males dressed in Anoraks with flasks of tea and chease sandwiches in greaseproof paper standing at the end of railway platforms with notebooks and pencills to note the train numbers and times. Similarly but with women included “bird spotters” also known as “twitchers” and many other minor and innocuous past times. Even reading books can be seen in this light, “romantic pulp fiction” or “bodice rippers” are actually very popular if sales are anything to go by, but do people talk about reading them? Not that I’ve heard, do they do any harm? Again not that I’ve heard of, is there anything shamefull in enjoying a little fantasy? Again not that I’ve heard of, and when you think about it most reading books are fiction which is a form of fantasy, we just give it a different title like SciFi, Crime, etc. So what is there to hide about reading “romantic fiction”?

Privacy is important to society, it’s the glue that binds individuals in relationships and is as important as the grease that keeps society moving and dynamic and moving forward. Those that forget or ignore that condem society not just to stagnation but fracturing at a fundemental level, history teaches us what generally happens and it’s rarely pleasant.

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