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Gloves off

22 May Subscribe
Tech news with a HAT perspective 
Issue 111

Things you never know

There was a headline recently that ran “Many popular iPhone apps secretly record your screen without asking (and there’s no way a user would know).” It was in TechCrunch, and the types of apps they were talking about were AirCanada and Abercrombie & Fitch. They track your clicks and taps to send back to app analytics companies to improve on features and troubleshoot. A lot of app analytics tech does this. 

I’m not sure my point is that this happens and we should all be scared (though it does happen, and maybe we should all be scared). I think my point is to ask whether there’s anything we should be doing about it. If this data were being captured for an ethical purpose or by a trusted party - or if Apple weren’t trying to make a name for itself as pro-privacy - would we hear about it? Would we let it happen?

The audacity of the limitations of our own information are relevant here. There’s no way this story got 100% of all perpetrators of such practice. You know how data breaches are now so common they don’t even get covered unless they’re massive or a triple-AAA brand name is involved, and how as a result we can all just resign ourself to the idea that someone has our email addresses and passwords, we just don’t know it yet? 

They same is 100% true for data analysis. 

Someone out there someone is tracking or has tracked me (the way Apple is preventing these apps from tracking me going forwards). Shall we all simply collectively agree to pretend that’s not happening?

Yours in HAT,

Leila Trilby, Editor-in-chief

The present


Russia is unplugging from the Internet #asyoudo. The country will apparently run a doomsday wargame that shuts them all off for a short period between now and the Summer. That's fun.

The future


Facial recognition software is scary af. Amazon says we should be paying attention. (We should definitely be paying attention!)
 
YOUR DATA HAS VALUE. A US-based expert agrees, and has suggested a "Bill of Rights" to protect your data. (Also available in audio, lol)

The doghouse

Remember that guy who edited a baby? He's connected to Stanford (and they're trying to find out how).

More than 30 cases of child rape are directly connected to the rise of dating apps. UK Police are considering legislation to mandate age verification.
 
The Germans are standing up to Facebook! You go, Merkel (or whoever runs things over there these days)
 
Bail Bond companies (who I never thought I would cover in this newsletter!) have apparently had access to our locations data for aaaages thanks to a secret phone tracking service that can get to AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint's location data for years. THIS is what I was talking about in the editorial.

HAT News

 
Nice Ads! A very warm welcome to new partners Good-Loop! Let's build the future of Advertising.

Exciting times. We have had some very interesting recent conversations with hosting providers, financial infrastructure companies, and banks, and we have a board meeting Thursday. 

Yours,

Jonathan Holtby, HAT Community Manager

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