Not quite sure where January went all of a sudden. I somehow must have missed it.

Why should I care?


… while you don’t care now, you might in the future. Once your location is collected, you’ll never get it back — you’ll never know where it’s gone, who’s bought it, who’s looked at it.

What’s the Worst That Could Happen With My Phone Data? - NYT

Spaaaaace! Fascinating stuff. Sometimes I wished I understood math and physics in school and I became an astrophysicist 😉

Scientists Witnessed a Dead Star ‘Dragging’ the Fabric of Reality

Good! CERN ends trial of Facebook Workplace

Many people preferred not to use a tool from a company that they did not trust in terms of data privacy.

Good discussion at the end of this week’s Connected about the new business model of Fantastical. Sums up my opinion quite well.

In the end it all comes down to ethics. What kind of horrible person do you have to be to implement something like this? In secret deal with drugmaker, health-records tool pushed opioids - Los Angeles Times

Sounds to me like they’re getting treated just like the rest of the world is by the US.

Law enforcement officials in the U.S. and U.K. have negotiated a deal that sells out the privacy rights of the public in both nations. For Americans, it will effectively abrogate Fourth Amendment protections, and subject their data to search and seizure by foreign police.

U.K. Police Will Soon be able to Search Through U.S. Data Without Asking a Judge | Electronic Frontier Foundation

Privacy law enforcement. Who knew!? Facebook to Pay $550 Million to Settle Facial Recognition Suit - New York Times

Facebook has said the allegations have no merit.

Under the agreement, Facebook will pay $550 million to eligible Illinois users

Maybe there was merit after all.

And another one…

An Avast antivirus subsidiary sells ‘Every search. Every click. Every buy. On every site.’ Its clients have included Home Depot, Google, Microsoft, Pepsi, and McKinsey.

Leaked Documents Expose the Secretive Market for Your Web Browsing Data - VICE

The usual subscription-outrage over Fantastical 3. It will settle like it did with all the other apps. And everything will be fine for everyone. I understand it… but if you need it, you pay it. If not, you don’t need it. But a required account?

Yet another example: Ring Doorbell App Packed with Third-Party Trackers – Electronic Frontier Foundation

Ring claims to prioritize the security and privacy of its customers, yet time and again we’ve seen these claims not only fall short, but harm the customers and community members who engage with Ring’s surveillance system. In the past, we’ve illuminated the mismanagement of user information which has led to data breaches, and the attempt to place the blame for such blunders at the customers’ feet.

I know I sound pessimistic when writing about data privacy and the intrusion by foreign governments into my life or the way private companies are exploiting every bit of (meta-)data I create. Some might think I started wearing a tin foil hat, and in a way I actually might. I’m definitely changing my online behavior.

But my main goal is to spread awareness. I understand that not everything strictly speaking has to be bad. My point is that not everyone understands or even knows what’s going on behind the scenes. People should at least understand that their data is used and might be exploited. If everyone would specifically know what’s going on, there would be a conscious decision. And while I still don’t think people would care, at least they were to blame themselves for being exploited.

Nobody really knows where all this is leading in the future. Very few people actually think about these things and what’s already possible. These companies are completely unregulated and basically can do whatever they want. If there are any rules or laws, nobody can really enforce them. Just have a look at GDPR and the way companies treat it. It was a panic hype last year when it became law and every single company was complaining. Yes, they might have implemented something where you can request your data, but who knows/believes that this is everything they actually have. It can’t be everything they have in a lot of cases. And that’s just a basic example of how our data is hidden from us. If everyone would know what’s going on, my reaction would be different. But my data is basically treated as a trade secret. I’m not allowed to know what any given company is doing with my data. I might be allowed by GDPR, but again… who actually gives a damn about that?

Again… it’s not all just bad and will lead into a dark future. Of course a lot of use cases are valid and make lives better. And of course I also make use of them. But we’re not aware anymore about what’s happening. And this needs to change. We need to take back control over our data. There need to be laws and regulations, and maybe more importantly, there needs to be someone who can actually overlook and enforce them.

Finally completely Facebook-free. I deleted my WhatsApp account today… took me long enough and I will cut down on a lot of other things as well now. I’m wondering what happens with all my data there now. What you get from them is ridiculous. Someone should enforce GDPR big time. Companies don’t care at all.

If it’s possible that data stored securely today can easily be hacked, leaked or stolen, is this kind of data worth that risk?

Is all of this surveillance and risk worth it merely so that we can be served slightly more relevant ads? Or so that hedge fund managers can get richer?

Twelve Million Phones, One Dataset, Zero Privacy - The New York Times

I stumbled upon this in The Talk Show. Again… nothing new, but it’s really alarming. There needs to be regulation to protect innocent people that simply can’t know and/or understand how any of this works.

That whole Apple vs. FBI privacy thing is also a big joke. The ads about their privacy even increased during the last days. It’s a joke. People try to apologize for Apple because „customers will complain about their lost data“. It’s a joke. Make it a setting, make me confirm it a hundred times… the tools are there, just enable it. If this is not coming in the next 1 or 2 years, they will loose me as a customer. Me buying an iPhone is no reason anybody has the smallest right to have the technical capabilities to intrude my privacy. „I have nothing to hide“ and all, but my life is my life and is not of any interest to some company or foreign spy agency.

📚 Permanent Record, by Edward Snowden

I’m not from the US… and this book makes me really, really angry. A huge part of why I need to be afraid of losing my privacy, is a foreign government that feels entitled to spy on the whole world. And for what? It’s just a sad story. This country is run by agencies that ruthlessly think they are the gods of the worlds information. Everyone else on this planet is completely and utterly at their mercy. It’s ridiculous and no country even dares to stand up to that. Now, I know there’s a lot more to the whole problem, but this is a big one.

There’s not much new in this book. But it’s well written by someone who clearly knows what he’s doing and stands up for the rest of us, even if they’re not from the only worthy country that ever existed in history.

If you’re at least a little interested in why we need to be so careful with what we do on the internet and how we do it these days, this book gives insight into the digital world after 9/11. It also helps to understand the person behind this story and why he did what he did.

Edward Snowden sacrificed a whole lot to bring this scandal to the public, and I’m really thankful for that. I’m curious how his story will further develop this year. As far as I understand his time in Russia will come to an end. There are not that many options it seems. So it’s prison for life, because he helped the world, or… what? Other countries should step up and offer asylum. It’s sad nobody dares to do that.

Governments need to realize that they are elected to serve the country. We need more Snowden’s to make them realize what’s at stake by their foolishness and arrogance.

Getting back into Sunlit lately… I somehow miss a lot of photos in my normal timeline because of lots of post and probably timezone „issues“. Great to have a place to only see all the great photos ☺️

Besides that… I always thought this company was a guy named Allen selling alcohol via the internet 😉

I never heard of Booz Allen before they were sponsoring a lot of Podcasts. Now I read that name again as a „contractor“ for the NSA in Edward Snowden‘s book. A shell company that sends people to spy on the world. I wonder whether the Podcasters knew or just ignored this.

What currently happens in Germany and the world is alarming. Especially we as Germans need to make sure it will never happen again… Germany’s president talks in Yad Vashem on the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp.

This song is just brilliant. I love Suede so much. Really glad they are still around after all these years, making a big dent in my taste in music while I was young.

Not alone
When the world puts all the winter in you
Not alone
I’m there in the words that you use
You’re never alone
Your life is golden
Golden!

🎶 Suede – Life is Golden

You’re not alone
Look up to the sky and be calm
Not alone
Look into the light and be heard
You’re never alone
Your life is golden
Golden!

🎶 Suede – Life is Golden

Oh Wow! Oh Wow! Studio Ghibli movies will be available on Netflix soon. I can’t wait 😀❤️

Stories like the face recognition piece, make me question why I‘m „public“ on the internet at all, even with only a post on Micro.blog every now and then. I don’t know what will happen in the future, but it seems dark. Is it worth it? I’m not sure anymore. I wish it were.

I don’t really care for Kansas City, but Mahomes is a hell of a quarterback! Last week’s game was incredible… Hope to see him play against Aaron Rogers in the Super Bowl 🏈