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Submission + - Google Has Quietly Dropped Ban on Personally Identifiable Web Tracking 1

Fudge Factor 3000 writes: Google has recently quietly changed its privacy policy to allow it to associate web tracking, which is supposed to remain anonymous, with personally identifiable user data:

This completely reneges its promise to keep a wall between ad tracking and personally identifiable user data, further eroding one's anonymity on the internet. Google's priorities are clear. All they care about is monetizing user information to rake in the big dollars from ad revenue.

Think twice before you purchase the premium priced Google Pixel. Google is getting added value from you as its product without giving you part of the revenue it is generating through tracking through lower prices.

Comment Re:Canada, eh? (Score 1) 130

I'm pretty sure Canada "ratified" the Kyoto protocol as well. Did we meet those targets? I'm thinking no.

True. Kyoto was ratified by the Liberal party then in power; they were defeated in 2006 by Conservatives (led by fossil fuel enthusiast Stephen Harper) who ruled over Canada until 2015. Liberals are back in the driver seat and odds are they will stay in control until at least 2023, as the two other significant parties (Conservatives, NDP) are now running internal leadership races without a single strong candidate on either side.

That does not mean the Liberals will follow through, of course, but at least for now Canada is not ruled by a bunch of anti-science jerks.

Comment Think and learn like humans (Score 2, Insightful) 259

The team hopes to be able to use machine learning technologies -- computers that can think and learn like humans

If your definition of a human is a retarded 4-year-old that can be trained to name colors with 75% accuracy, yes.

We're not there, we're not even close; "machine learning" is just the new buzzword in town, rising from the ashes of "big data".

Submission + - Canadians: you have until Oct 7 to weigh in on using voting machines

Presto Vivace writes: Canadians: you have until Oct 7 to weigh in on using voting machines in national elections

"Canadians have until October 7, 2016 to provide their feedback to the Parliamentary Special Committee on Electoral Reform, which is studying the possibility of national online voting, along with having consultations about using electronic voting machines in national elections."

Please Canada, don't be stupid like the US.

Comment Re:Anonymous Payment Equals Money Laudering (Score 4, Insightful) 212

The biggest problem with mass anonymous payment is that it will facilitate criminal transactions

True, but individual human privacy should always win over war on criminals. There are other ways to catch criminals; there is absolutely no need to put on file all transactions made by citizens.

I'm getting so tired of all that "security" theater going on to excuse more and more data collection. My favorite these days is the "give us a primary key to merge our datasources across the net" by the name of two-factor auth and phone numbers.

Comment Re:Incoming Security Errors (Score 4, Insightful) 86

you want to pull a js library from

Don't do that. You're introducing latency, you're violating the privacy of your visitors ( knows about them) and you're putting them at risk, security-wise ( gets 0wn3d? your visitors get 0wn3d as well). Don't be a lazy hacker and just spend the 2 minutes needed to store a local copy.

Submission + - Free Software supporter, Canadian MP David Graham speaks OSS in Government (

ShawnX writes: If David Graham sounds familiar, you might know him better as cdlu (short for "confused debian linux user"). For years, cdlu was my colleague at and Newsforge and well-known in Debian circles as well. Since then, he has been a presence in the back rooms of the Liberal Party until, in the federal election in October 2015, he was elected for the first time. He now describes himself (no doubt correctly) as "the only Member of Parliament to be in the Debian key ring."

Video of his discussion of using more Open Source in government can be seen here:

Comment Re:So just hand them encrypted data (Score 1) 190

Apple fighting the Three Letter Agencies over this

Naïve. More and more "telemetry" is built-in in Apple operating systems, making user spying "legitimate". The iDevices constantly call the mother ship and "backup" your data on the iCloud. The iDevices are running proprietary software so random hacker cannot really tell what it does (are the camera/microphone on? you're sure?).

Maybe you can prevent some of this data leak with a complex set of fine-tuned firewall rules, ensuring you never use anything else than WiFi you control. You'll be one in a million. At the end of the day, the phone's filesystem is encrypted, but who cares if most/all of the sensitive data already has escaped away from it?

Comment Where's my tinfoil hat? (Score 4, Insightful) 610

I wouldn't be surprised if this was nothing more than a joint PR stunt to mislead people into assuming privacy on their cellphone so they wouldn't be afraid to use it for sensitive information. Government has nothing to win by disclosing they have a backdoor, neither does the cellphone manufacturer. Even thinking lo-fi decryption, how long must the passcode be before brute-forcing gets more inconvenient for the government than for the user?

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