Kashmir Hill went 6 weeks without the big 5 tech giants (Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Apple). It seems you basically have to become a level 5 vegan especially if you also avoid anything hosted/using their cloud services (e.g. AWS, Azure, GCloud).
In Support of Strong Encryption
IEEE supports the use of unfettered strong encryption to protect confidentiality and integrity of data and communications. We oppose efforts by governments to restrict the use of strong encryption and/or to mandate exceptional access mechanisms such as “backdoors” or “key escrow schemes” in order to facilitate government access to encrypted data. Governments have legitimate law enforcement and national security interests. IEEE believes that mandating the intentional creation of backdoors or escrow schemes – no matter how well intentioned – does not serve those interests well and will lead to the creation of vulnerabilities that would result in unforeseen effects as well as some predictable negative consequences.
— IEEE Position Statement
WhatsApp -> Facebook
Sadly WhatsApp will start sharing your account information with Facebook. You can’t prevent Facebook getting the data, you can only opt-out of them using it for ads.
Comparing Signal-protocol-using messengers
There’re still privacy differences when you compare messenger apps all using the Signal protocol:
In this article, I’m going to compare WhatsApp, Signal, and Allo from a privacy perspective.
While all three apps use the same secure-messaging protocol, they differ on exactly what information is encrypted, what metadata is collected, and what, precisely, is stored in the cloud — and therefore available, in theory at least, to government snoops and wily hackers.
In the end, I’m going to advocate you use Signal whenever you can — which actually may not end up being as often as you would like.
WhatsApp End-to-end Encryption
WhatsApp just announced they enabled end-to-end encryption for all their users … this is huge news. They have put a white paper up describing their implementation. Good news: it’s based on the Signal protocol and first tests seem to suggest they did it properly. ?
Snowden, Chomsky and Greenwald Discuss Privacy
Facebook started targeting ads based on its perception of a person’s race or ethnicity, but just to be safe without actually taking into account their race or ethnicity. The magic PR BS word they invented for it is “ethnic affinity.”
They want to monetize every aspect of your identity, whether that’s an ethnic affiliation or a preference for bean thread noodles.
The problem is that profiling somebody’s ethnic affinities has a lot more cultural baggage attached to it—to say the least—than profiling somebody’s taste in restaurants. And that’s why Facebook’s multicultural targeting scheme is getting a lot more pushback than the company bargained for.
Data Is A Toxic Asset
Bruce Schneier also finds data is actually a toxic asset. ?
How much data are the most popular apps on Android and iOS leaking to third parties (i.e. people who have nothing to do with the app you’re using). A LOT!