The Macalope likes to think of himself as an optimist. It would just be a lot easier to to be an optimist like stuff didn’t keep happening. Unfortunately, time is linear and the line seems to go through the bottom of the chart and into another more terrifying chart.
A current concern for this horned observer is privacy. You remember your privacy right? It is something that no one ever mentions when evaluating smartphones.
It would be hilarious to go back 10 years and find all the articles where experts said, “Nobody cares about privacy! They just care about what their devices can do!” It would be hilarious if it wasn’t, you know, in retrospect cosmically not funny
I wonder if in 50 years we will look back at how we redesigned our world around computers with the same regret that people look back at how we redesigned cities around cars.
It has the potential to be much worse, unfortunately.
The Macalope has long been raging when Apple’s on-device machine learning was reprimanded for not being as good as the machine learning done by companies that scoop your information up as if they were using an oversized cartoon vacuum cleaner hose. And here the Macalope thought Ray’s Cartoon-Variety Oversized Vacuums had gone out of business.
But on-device learning makes sure your information stays – stay here with the Macalope – on the device† That is good for your privacy. Apple has long responded to requests from law enforcement to unlock iCloud data. What it has been strongly opposed to is unlocking individuals’ devices.
Last week’s Supreme Court decision to remove the Roe v. Wade precedent has left many concerned about technology and its potential for misuse against people seeking an abortion. As John Gruber points out, Apple’s health data is encrypted on the device and when synced between devices. For now, most seem to agree that health care providers and other human sources are the most likely ways to obtain such information.
But later challenges to individual rights may change things.
Even if you think abortion is wrong, don’t believe for a second that the people who think it’s okay to use technology to track down women to prosecute them for violating state restrictions on abortion will stop. A Supreme Court that is also willing to curtail Miranda rights is clearly showing that it does not place much value on your so-called “individual freedoms.” What are even individuals but the grist to the meat grinder of capitalism? What are even liberties but your legally mandated 10-minute smoke break per 12-hour shift before returning to the colliery?
You’re lucky to get those 10 minutes, Billy! When you turn 12, it’s a 12-hour direct shift!
Don’t worry though! Senate Democrats are on the case, opting last week to file a request with the FTC to investigate — just let the Macalope pretend to put on glasses here so he can read this:
… “Apple and Google’s Role in Transforming Online Advertising into an Intense Surveillance System”.
That was…Apple…and then Google.
You know… if you get the time to investigate a second one.
The Macalope is a big believer in investigating Apple where it’s warranted, such as its monopoly power in the App Store. And hey, if you’re cleaning up Facebook, Google, Amazon et al for their privacy violations, be sure to check out Apple and see if it couldn’t do better in that area. It probably could! But if you mention Apple here first, you’ll see the phrase “No good deed goes unpunished.”
Which today sounds like an impending Supreme Court ruling.
The Macalope said he “likes to see himself” as an optimist. He didn’t say he was necessarily one.