In an bizarre and ironic reversal, Los Angeles (California) demands Uber provide data about the movements of its cars and scooters, and Uber refuses to hand it over, claiming to protect customers’ privacy.
The irony is that Uber is entirely right about this narrow issue — but the issue only exists because of Uber’s abusive tracking practices. Los Angeles should not be allowed to know who goes where, and neither should Uber.
Continue reading “Uber Fighting over Privacy”
There’s some privacy-focused free (libre) services that help people be secure and able to communicate and browse/surf safely and free. It’s a shame that we don’t have a giant tech company that respects users and treat them the way they should. Of course paying these services and making donations is one way to support them, but it’s not the only way.
One way that you can help them is to make use of their services in ways that doesn’t cost them much. For example, if you use a secure privacy-focused email service, you can download your emails and delete them from their servers. This can help them have more space available on their servers. They may provide services free of charge but it’s not free. It costs them.
Or if you use a cloud account to store your files, you can delete files you won’t use or are unnecessary. Don’t keep them. We all know some files or contacts that we won’t use ever but we keep them because we’re actually afraid. If you don’t use an account or service, delete it. Don’t keep it because it can help that service keep being alive. It’s important.
We the free software activists always believe that people should “choose” free software. Free software never should be forced to people. We don’t force people to use free software just like we don’t cut our relationship with them; we just feel sorry that they don’t respect their freedom and security much enough.
Not all of us were using free software all our life. Some people were using mostly proprietary software before they got to know software freedom. Microsoft Windows OS, WhatsApp messenger, Google services, etc. are some of the most popular proprietary programs and services in world and lots of people who are now using only free software and services were using them before.
Continue reading “Providing Non-Free Software to Other People”
I just saw the “we Bought a Zoo” movie and it was amazing. It was full of life and ‘up and downs’. I really enjoyed that movie. Matt Damon also played his character very well. I’m encouraged to see more of his films. I’m not a big fan of drama movies but this one was really satisfying. If you have not seen the movie, go buy it (from a local movie store if possible) now. You won’t regret it.
The Google’s $2.1 billion acquisition of Fitbit raises questions about data privacy and antitrust. Fitbit has been collecting health data from users for years and now that Google bought it, Google has access to an unlimited amount of data from users and their possible accurate health situation. This is another reason for people to stop providing their personal information.
Google says it won’t use people’s data to target them with ads but with a history of lying and spying on people, this can’t be trusted. Also, if Google won’t use these information for its advertising system, for what reason will it use them? The acquisition also gives more fodder to regulators who are already scrutinizing whether the company is too big and should be broken up.
If you own a Fitbit device, please stop using it and request an data purge if possible. Some Fitbit devices also use Amazon Alexa virtual assistant which is also dangerous for your privacy rights.
When I explain differences of free software and open source, I mention how free software focuses on freedom of users not on the source code. One of the things I have to answer after my explanation is how free software cares for freedom of users and why we care about copyleft licenses and free culture.
Continue reading “How Free Software Cares for Freedom”
Greta Thunberg, a Swedish teen who started a global climate protest, now is so popular for her actions and her speech in United Nations headquarter. She is continuously working to save the planet asking countries and organizations to stop their activities and works that can result in polluting the environment.
Lots of people are now fighting for future of the planet and protesting against governments and organizations to stop them. I believe there’s nothing wrong with the planet. Planet is fine and it works. This protests are just an excuse for how we live. It’s not the planet that has a problem but it’s the people. We can’t interference with the process of nature and be annoyed that planet is getting bad and worse.
Continue reading “Humans and Environment”
Sometimes I get asked if I’m a hacker. I always respond yes, but not a hacker you may think. However I sometimes check systems vulnerabilities, I don’t infiltrate people’s computers. I surely am a hacker. I find ways to do stuff. For example, this blog is created using simple HTML and CSS codes I’ve been writing to create different pages, different static pages, and now it’s a Jekyll (the static website generator) theme. It’s hack. I did this hack to build something and that something is turning my old simple small static page to a blog.
Continue reading “On Hacking”
Some of so-called smart devices such as Amazon assistant Alexa can listen to and record conversations. If you visit a doctor, whether it’s a viral disease or not, please check if that doctor uses a smart device with ability of recording things. Amazon’s Alexa, smart TVs, Google Home, Apple’s Siri, and etc. are some examples of devices with such ability. Your privacy rights can be violated by these devices. List of devices that can violate your privacy rights is not limited to devices I named. Be careful about them.
There’s a lof myths and wrong advertisements about VPNs. Lots of people believe VPNs make you private or completely safe. It’s not completely true. Most VPNs are designed to just hide your identity for some people or organizations, and your internet service provider. Not all of VPN providers’ claims are true.
Continue reading “Myths About VPNs”