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Kitty4670
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24 Sep 2018, 11:06 pm

If you switch to private browsing on your iPad, is it really private?


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TimS1980
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25 Sep 2018, 12:40 am

For private citizen purposes, such privacy is often effectively sufficient, but not complete.

To a snooping family member or evil maid, the browsing effectively didn't happen once the tab is closed.

People whose activities might lead to their being targeted by corporate espionage, copyright holders or state agencies would be kidding themselves to rely on browser privacy mode alone.

As technology evolves, nation states might move towards "full take" (China is well down this path now) and then progress to running AI against their rivers of data for "Full understanding" (China is progressing on this with their social credit system).

Governments of western countries try to follow, but due to pesky checks and balances must proceed more slowly and carefully, lest they lose their jobs. The Australian government's latest cyber security bill is another move to circumvent encryption and move back towards full take.

If they succeed, the move to "full understanding" will happen behind the closed doors of national security agencies, without meaningful oversight. We'll then be just a flip of a switch away from near-insur.ountable powers of totalitarianism.

Privacy in the digital age remains as important as it ever was. When companies like Google stand against the breaking of privacy, they are acting the best interest of private citizens everywhere.

It's also true that going dark, as complained about by government agencies, is a grave concern. Unfortunately, their approach is to advocate a cure that, while more convenient for them, is worse than the disease.



TimS1980
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25 Sep 2018, 12:47 am

One point worth considering is, if a family member logs into the household router, a DNS log may be available showing the hostnames which have been resolved to IP addresses. For example, someone who cares might log in and see the local address of a computer which was used to browse slashdot.org or some other domain name.



TimS1980
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25 Sep 2018, 1:18 am

Oh, one more thing. All bets are off if the machine has spyware, malware, nanny-ware or corporate telemetry installed. You have to assume someone's right there watching over your shoulder in that case.



TimS1980
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25 Sep 2018, 6:43 pm

So, this got me thinking (great OP, by the way!).

What the world needs is a framework where it's acknowledged that:

1) companies pursue and get private data from their users in many circumstances, even while sometimes facilitating privacy
2) governments have a monopoly on violence in society, which shapes their prerogatives and responsibilities
3) the world is a better place when governments have extraordinary access in the rarest of circumstances, while preventing them from going on to the sort of overreach which is a natural progression (because it's easier, and it helps them fight "pedos and terrorists", but ends up being used for political ends)

This could lead to principles like the following:
- it's acknowledged that companies can and will know a lot about their users, and private data of individuals should be kept effectively private
- government access to private data should be limited by low annual quotas and universally transparent (though possibly delayed) reporting
- requests should be unambiguously in the public interest
- government requests to companies should be mediated by a panel run/staffed by the companies, operating under complete (though possibly delayed) transparency
- companies may reasonably be compelled to expose data they have gathered or the results (specific to the nominated target) of running their data through a bespoke AI, but not to gather new data or to circumvent encryption, under this framework.
- a government's social licence for access to the framework is contingent on their following these principles
- given all of the above, a company's social licence to operate may also be made subject to their following these principles

The problem with government demands today is that they're so used to exercising power, those in power tend to confuse what would make their lives easier with what is truly socially justifiable.



Kitty4670
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30 Sep 2018, 12:16 am

I’m the only one that use my iPad, im on a public Wi-Fi, im at healthcare center for my broken ankle.


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You are my shining star that shine so bright that guide me to the light, so keep on rockin', cuz That's Rock and Roll