Categories
privacy Security Technology

Does iOS 14 protect your privacy?

A few months ago I wrote a post: Does Apple care about your privacy?

In the post, I looked at Apple’s IDFA – ID For Advertising, and how it’s abused by companies like Facebook and many more to track you. I believed then, and still believe now, that what Apple is doing is not ethical and also not legal under the European GDPR.

Since then, Apple actually announced that iOS 14 would change the way IDFA was accessible to all apps by default and that it would start “Asking Permission to Track”. This is a welcome change. Sadly, despite iOS 14 rolling out already, and despite Apple’s claims on this page, this change is still not in place.

Luckily, however, I was able to collaborate on this issue with NOYB (None Of Your Business: a privacy organization; please consider donating if you care about your privacy). NOYB brought forward an official complaint against Apple. The complaint was not a GDPR complaint, but rather highlighting an ePrivacy violation. This is another legal framework which explicitly forbids the kind of stuff Apple is doing.

Categories
work

How we switched to 4-day weeks

We recently made a landmark decision at my company. Starting from Friday, 1st January, 2020, all Fridays are now part of the weekend. We’ll be working Mon-Thu all year round.

This is still considered an “experiment”, because we don’t know if it’s something we can commit to long-term. But honestly, I can’t imagine going back.

Oh, and we didn’t cut salaries. In fact we plan a nice bump for next year.

Categories
Security Technology

Protecting TimeMachine backups from itself

Going down the time machine rabbit hole…

I love the fact that MacOS comes with TimeMachine built-in, and I also really appreciate its simplicity. It makes backups easy and accessible even for non-technical people. It gets messy though if you also want to have real offsite backups however.

TimeMachine works great with a USB external HD, but things get tricky over the network.

I own a small Synology NAS, and I managed to mount a TimeMachine volume and get it to backup to that volume. The problem started when the volume size started to grow. I could set a quota on the volume, but for some strange reason, when the quota is reached, TimeMachine just started failing without a clear reason. There’s no way to tell TimeMachine to only keep X versions, or keep disk storage below a certain threshold. It’s supposed to prune backups automatically, but seems to fail with my network volume.

Categories
privacy Technology

Sonos is spying on me… (and you)

I recently decided to get a wireless speaker for our Kitchen. Sonos seems like an obvious choice these days. The sound quality and aesthetics were very appealing. So I ordered a Sonos One SL speaker.

In terms of sound quality and looks, I was very pleased. I’m not an audiophile but the sound quality seemed superb and the speaker just looks fantastic. A very clean and unassuming look.

what’s hiding underneath ?

As I later discovered, a dirty beast hides under the cool exterior.

Categories
hosting privacy Security Technology

Why is Backblaze tracking me?

This is a follow-up to my previous post: hey.com is onto something with its tracking-pixel blocker. I mentioned contacting Backblaze about their email tracking there.

I didn’t think too much of it at the time, and honestly (or naively?) was expecting some kind of a “Oh, yes, you’re right, there’s no need to track those emails”… But it didn’t unfold in quite the same way.

TL;DR

This is my own interpretation, obviously. Backblaze seems to think that tracking emails is totally fine, even under the GDPR. They’re not going to stop doing it until further notice.

Categories
hosting Security Technology

Disposable emails: I gave Fastmail a second chance

About 4 years ago I wrote a rather lengthy rant about Fastmail, and why it didn’t fit my needs: Why I’m not using Fastmail. A few weeks ago, I gave it another chance, and this time the experience was way better.

Categories
marketing privacy Technology Uncategorized

Who’s sharing my data? … and who the hell is Dave M. Rogenmoser?

I’m no longer active on Facebook, but at the moment, oddly, it’s my main goto option to find out at least some of the companies that share my data.

Facebook lets you see who shared your data with them. There are two interesting pages, buried and well-hidden, worth checking: Off Facebook activity and Businesses who uploaded and used a list.

Want to see which companies are sharing your data? continue reading.

Categories
marketing privacy

hey.com is onto something with its tracking-pixel blocker

When I first saw the tracking pixel blocking feature of hey.com I didn’t think too much of it. In fact, I thought it was making it into something more than it really was.

I typically block all images on my emails, and that’s good enough. I also have an ad-blocker (both via DNS and in the browser), so I can eliminate the issue right there without too much fanfare.

But I was wrong. It’s not just about blocking them.

Categories
marketing privacy Technology

Bunq freeloading: joint accounts now cost at least 59.9% more, your privacy doesn’t matter either

My wife and I joined Bunq a couple of months ago. Bunq is a fairly new European bank, based in the Netherlands. It’s one of the new breed of mobile-first banks that offer a more modern experience. It has a neat mobile app with some clever features like dynamic sub-accounts, spend tracking, better credit card control and more.

Their slogan is “bank of the free”. Whilst other banks might not charge you to open an account or use it, Bunq actually does charge for its account. However, the “free” part, as far as I understood it, is that by paying bunq, they can provide a service to you, rather than find ways to monetize you (e.g. by advertising, selling your data).

As you can see from the marketing spiel, they value transparency and don’t do any dirty business.

Until they do…

Categories
Technology work

Who DOESN’T want to be hired?

There’s a famous thread on Hacker News called “Who wants to be hired?” once every month on the 1st day of the month. Well, famous amongst HN readers I guess. It usually features hundreds of job ads for mostly tech-related jobs.

The common climate seems to suggest that it’s a sellers market. i.e. companies are chasing job applicants, who can pick and choose.

It’s largely true for lots of people with great skills that are high in-demand. But it’s not like the market is completely bone-dry from candidates. Companies might try to “head hunt” some select few people, maybe those already working at the top tech companies (meaning, they at least managed to get through the hard screening process). Otherwise, it’s not uncommon for companies who post job ads to get dozens, hundreds or even thousands of applicants.

Now, I’m not an authority on hiring. I hired only a handful of people so far. But it’s a mind-blowing eye-opening experience to hire even for the smallest freelance jobs.

From my standpoint, it’s shocking how many candidates can (and do) get eliminated within a few seconds.

If you’re applying for a job. Any job. Your chance of getting screened-out within seconds is extremely high, unless you follow some fairly basic rules. And trust me, these are BASIC. Dumb. Simple. Stupid stupid simple.