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Comment Re:I don't think there's much of a case here. (Score 1) 192

You're an idiot. Please don't breed.

As a less-direct response: I don't need a drone to take pictures or video of private property. Turning on the camera on my phone and pointing it at literally any level direction would cause me to take pictures or video of private property.

Drones flown over private property should be handled by reasonable trespassing laws, which generally regard firearms - especially pointed into the sky - as an absolute last resort. However, you seem to be making assumptions that any device in the 2D space of your property boundary is 'trespassing', and that's patently false. However, I will admit this is a question that still needs a definitive legal answer, as previous legal rulings have been mixed. But I can tell you that if my quad drifts into a corner of your yard at 250 feet, especially if I'm not intentionally attempting to "invade your privacy" (by stupid-people definition, not legal definition), nobody in their right mind would consider that trespassing.

The vast, overwhelming majority of people do understand that they cannot fly them where they endanger manned aircraft - that's why it's common practice to generally fly under 400 feet (unless you have specific, researched knowledge that higher altitudes are safe in your region). The tone of your post is very often echoed by people who have never actually seen these. I urge you to make friends with an owner of one of these devices; I promise your outlook will change quite a bit by spending some time understanding its actual capabilities, not to mention the joy of flight.

Comment We've talked about this before (Score 3, Interesting) 211

We've talked about this before. On its face, collecting information about settings changes, time of use, and duration of use are not inherently sensitive.

However, the issue (for me) is that it was later learned that these reports tie back to a username. Now, obviously a username is arguably non-PII by itself, but there are enough people putting in real information about themselves that it becomes a problem.

Is it worth a lawsuit? Or more accurately, is this an instance where popular opinion of a manufacturer's "should have known better" will override their own stated ToS/Privacy policies?

Comment I stand corrected (Score 1) 195

Nevermind, I take back what I said - the article itself didn't specifically address the PII aspect, according to this Tweet/Image, you can infer the REST endpoint does include the username.

While I again don't personally care too much if it were me, and also while I think usernames are a weak form of PII, I do understand how storing it per account can be disconcerting and definitely hope this discovery will help change the company's policies.

Comment Re:Not understanding the issue (Score 1) 195

Right now, somewhere in this world, someone is masturbating. As you read this, someone else just increasedtheir device to vibrate a little faster.
I don't think anyone can argue that I've violated anyone's privacy by stating that. That's the equivalent of what this discovery, as written, entails.

Maybe I'm not as overly-conservative (bordering on prudish, if I may say so) as you. If I bought a toilet or seat that monitored how often [the user] took a dump, really I don't care. Frankly, in that particular instance, I wouldn't even care if they knew it was my account/username that was taking said dump. Pooping is not a shameful act. So maybe that wasn't the best analogy on your part.

I would argue that study groups are MORE personally-identifiable and intrusive than this method of data collection. Sure, people are 'signing up' for it, but you know who the testers are, and they know they're being tested - possible data skew.

I'm not saying that the company shouldn't adjust how they do this (others brought up proper disclaimers, and I think an opt-out button would be good), but again, I find it extremely difficult to justify the word "caught" in this instance. If no PII is sent, I truly do not see the issue. Sex is not embarrassing.

Comment Re:Not understanding the issue (Score 1) 195

You raise a fair point - it would have definitely behooved them to explicitly say that no PII is being transmitted. However, the researchers apparently cracked this communication, so I would expect them to have found and loudly reported such.

I don't necessarily agree with the rest of your comment, at least at this time. Tinfoil hats are just too uncomfortable for me to wear continuously. If such time it does happen, I'll proactively retract my opposition.

To be clear:
Collecting personally identifiable is certainly wrong without explicit opt-in. There's no indication that this is happening.
Collecting anonymous data is not bad, but I would concede that an opt-out should be made available.

Comment Not understanding the issue (Score 3, Insightful) 195

Okay, so they capture completely non-personally-identifiable information... so?

They log how often the user changes vibration settings. This seems like clear product improvement data. Remove lesser-used settings and utilize the information on how frequently the settings are changed to create an auto-program that mimics that alternation.
They capture the temperature. This seems like possible safety data, if nothing else.

If it activated the microphone to record the ambient "noise", you'd have a clear case of 'catching' someone sending data. Does it send the phone's device ID? I didn't see it in the summary. So I'm genuinely not seeing what's inherently wrong with wanting to understand how products are used and could improve, especially in the burgeoning sexual-health industry.

Comment Re: Seriously? (Score 1) 244

The 'God' of 1776 is a lot different than what you think of now. In those days, "God" was simply the name for a creationist power, whether it be the abstract power in Deism (which a number of our Founding Fathers were, to refute your claim), the meddling God of Christianity, or whatever in between. In the 20th Century, the term 'God' became explicitly synonymous with the Christian flavor (much like the word 'marriage').

The freedom of religion IS a core value, which makes these specific Cold War actions of the United States just as terrible as the Soviets.

Comment Re: Seriously? (Score 3, Interesting) 244

Could you point to some of the propaganda that we're "still indoctrinated" by [...]?

Sure - one of the biggest examples is the pervasive (and perverse) idea that the United States is a 'Christian' nation. During the Cold War, Eisenhower injected references to God in paper currency and our own Pledge of Allegiance, specifically to "unite" the country against the much-overstated Communist 'threat'. This has resulted in several generations of state and federal laws that illegally reflect 'Christian' doctrine, and several generations of people who support it and believe that's the only way it should be.

Only recently has society been able to start loosening that grip and begin the path to becoming the nation we were intended to be.

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