Even your APPS are invading your privacy!

Location Data Companies

As regular readers know, I’m not a big fan of the traditional smartphone craze.

Sure, they’re really handy gizmos, but the amount of data being hoovered up and shipped off to large service providers is a bit frustrating.

As if things aren’t bad enough on that front, it gets better! It turns out that even individual APPS running on your phone are spying on you – specifically, they’re tracking your location (among other things).

What’s more, your location data can be easily linked to you as a private individual. To top it all off, this data is bought and sold to anyone who will pay – and all in the blink of an eye!

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All the smartphone features, none of the Google!

No-Google SmartphoneI’ve been using dumbphones for awhile now, but I started to miss some smartphone features.

Then a friend of mine mentioned LineageOS again. I decided to take the plunge… And I’m glad I did!

It IS possible to have a relatively private smartphone without all the Googley madness – even in this day and age.

But it does take a bit of time, patience, and some technical know-how.

Note that I don’t walk through the entire installation process here since it’s particular to your specific phone…

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Surprise! Big Data doesn’t care about your right to Free Speech

Alphabet SoupIn a shocking revelation that simply re-affirmed what everyone already knew, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals again ruled that internet platforms have nothing to do with the First Amendment because they’re private corporations.

Well, duh!

In a ruling on February 26th, the court said that, “merely hosting speech by others is not a traditional, exclusive public function and does not alone transform private entities into state actors subject to First Amendment constraints.”

Can’t say I didn’t see that one coming – again…

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The Biggest threat to Privacy: Browser Fingerprints

A lot of people these days are talking about protecting their online privacy.

We have hearings going on, threats of breaking up Facebook and other Big Tech companies, data leaks, and so on.

Many people are going so far as to boycott Google (which is easier said than done).

But so far, no one – except Mozilla – is talking about the biggest threat to online privacy: Browser Fingerprints.

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4G Dumbphones: Why you should get one with KaiOS

Kai OS RulezOne year ago, I advised against getting a 4G dumbphone with KaiOS. I am officially reversing that recommendation!

After purchasing a Nokia 8110 4G and playing with it for 1 month, I’m actually pretty speechless, and that IS rare.

Despite Google’s investment of $22 million in KaiOS over 1 year ago, Google’s services remain “add-ons”. IOW, KaiOS has NOT become Android Lite.

KaiOS is KaiOS, and there’s some Googley stuff on the phone that you can either use, or not. Better yet, you can block the Google apps from doing much of anything.

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Brave: A browser for a post-Big Brother world?

Brave web browserYou may have heard about the new-ish web browser in town: Brave.

The trouble is that it’s a bit hard to wrap one’s head around exactly how Brave is different – and supposedly better.

Brave was created by Brave Software, a company that was founded by Brendan Eich. In case you didn’t know, Eich is the creator of JavaScript. JS is basically the web programming language that powers literally everything on the internet these days.

So, when a dude like that says, “Hey, I have an idea for a better browser!” it’s probably a good idea to at least take a good look at it…

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Windows 10 1903 Update: What’s New?

Another new version of Windows 10!

A new update to Windows 10 was released a few weeks back, and this time the roll-out seemed to be way smoother than the last version – which is nice.

I got the update fairly quickly this time around, which almost never happens.

The update went off without a hitch. Naturally, I immediately started poking around to see what changed.

Well, not much… But as usual, there are a few things to re-tweak!

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Is Firefox Content Blocking screwed up?

Recently, Mozilla introduced a fabulous new feature to Firefox: Content Blocking!

The idea is that Firefox will automagically block the tracking processes of web sites to increase your privacy.

By default, this tracking should only be enabled in Private Browsing Mode, which makes sense. You don’t want everyone’s web site experiences to be suddenly broken.

One minor detail: It appears that for many people, “broken” is exactly what Content Blocking is…

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