* Posts by Pseu Donyme

180 posts • joined 10 May 2011

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AdBlock Plus, websites draft peace deal so ads can bypass blockade

Pseu Donyme

Selling (us) out (to a greater extent than they used to) then. Then again, how else to run a business? Then again - with the way Capitalism is apparently heading - Communism is beginning to sound more alluring than it used to.

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It killed Safe Harbor. Will Europe's highest court now kill off hyperlinks?

Pseu Donyme

Re: Case should not be about hyperlinks at all

@AC

The 'cookie law' mandates user consent for persistent cookies. The cookie banners and such are ICO's (flawed) idea as to how obtain that consent. While all persistent cookies may not be tracking cookies, all tracking cookies need to be persistent to be useful, so ICO's guidance at the time could have been using session cookies only without freely* and actively given user consent (for persistent cookies). The result of this guidance would have been eliminating tracking cookies without consent (which I think was the 'cookie law' 's intent).

It seems that ICO could have issued the above guidance at the time. This would have been much more consistent with the 'cookie law' 's spirit as a privacy law, so I'd be inclined to blame ICO, rather than the law itself for the current mess. What the 'cookie law' 's authoritative interpretation is , though, will eventually be sorted out in the ECJ, the key issue being the question of user consent (where I think ICO has has made a particular mess of it).

*freely = consent can be given or *not*, that is, the site must work regardless

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Pseu Donyme

Re: Case should not be about hyperlinks at all

>... ridiculous 'cookie law' ...

I do beg to differ: from a privacy point of view the 'cookie law' (i.e. persistent (= tracking) cookies require user consent whille session cookies sufficient for most any other purpose do not) is about the most sensible law ever. It is another matter if ICO's intepretation thereof (failing to make the distinction between persistent vs. session cookies, among other things) is ridiculous.

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So. Are Europeans just a whining bunch of data protection hypocrites?

Pseu Donyme

The long and short of it ...

..., I daresay, is that prior to Snowden the US enjoyed a fair bit of trust, which, of course, has not been the case since.

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Safe Harbor ripped and replaced with Privacy Shield in last-minute US-Europe deal

Pseu Donyme

Re: These comments missing the point?

>Schrems case was not against Uncle Sam's processing of his private ...

Um, yes and no ... originally it was 'only'* about Facebook, but after the Snowden expose he added the Uncle Sam -angle to his complaint to the Irish DPA, which ultimately resulted in ECJ's rejection of Safe Harbour on this very basis.

* of course, the outcome could / would likely have wider implications, say, for Google

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Pseu Donyme

US puts up its usual smoke and mirrors show and EU Commission pretends to be impressed. This would have been a change for the latter to at least recognize the problem for what it is, which would have been a start in doing something about it. Hopefully this needs to get through EU Parliament and gets shredded there (?). I suppose a contribution to Max Schrems' europe-v-facebook.org wouldn't go amiss in any case.

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UK concerned over EU law plans on trade of data for digital content

Pseu Donyme

>Innovative = scammy. Kill with fire.

Indeed. It would be much better to have multiple (relatively) simple two-sided (buyer/seller) markets than complex multi-sided ones such as Google's or Facebook's advertising-targeted-by-snooping enabled by an emipre of interlocked, "free" services where the meaning (or even legality) of the consumer contract is unclear; that is, if the consumer is to sell bits and pieces of her privacy, then let those bits and the compensation for them to be precisely defined, for the latter this would seem to mean (a recurring) cash payment.

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Facebook tells Belgian government its use of English invalidates privacy case

Pseu Donyme

>If cookies originating outside the borders of Belgium...

It doesn't matter where the cookies originate. The issue is that by (EU wide) law setting cookies require user consent. (Strictly speaking this applies to persistent cookies only, session cookies do not require consent, AFAIK).

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Pseu Donyme

This and the earlier "security" excuse are so extremely weak that it can be concluded that Facebook's - most competent, no doubt - lawyers have no real defense here. A corollary is that Facebook has acted full well knowing that what they do is illegal (as the same or similarly competent lawyers must have throughly vetted what they do).

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'No safe level' booze guidelines? Nonsense, thunder stats profs

Pseu Donyme

Re: What's the point of living?

>Piracy causes terrorism.

Good to know: until now I was under the impression that it merely caused Communism.

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Obama: What will solve America's gun problem? What could it be? *snaps fingers* Technology!

Pseu Donyme

Re: Simple fix - Do what Australia did and ban them

>... they are rather easy to manufacture in the average kitchen.

With factory made components (propellant, primers, cases and bullets) and tools, as you say, rather easy; without them, however, rather hard if not practically impossible. Of these the hardest are probably the primers (for a want of a consistently stable yet sensitive enough compound to be reliably set off by the firing pin) and a propellant (powder) to produce a safe and consistent pressure curve (not that the mechanical precision of factory made bullets, cases and tools would be trivial). That is, while shooting supplies for a blunderbuss might be made in an average kitchen by a (rather) knowledgeable person, those for modern firearms are quite another matter.

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Windows for Warships? Not on our new aircraft carriers, says MoD

Pseu Donyme

>EUNIX?

EUNUX?

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Google gets all lawyered up for ‘ambiguous’ EU anti-trust case

Pseu Donyme

>Search is a contestable monopoly, ...

Um ... no, it is a case of a multi-sided market, which results in a incontestable monopoly* in practice.

*used colloquially: "dominant market position" would be a more accurate term (there is an apparent tendency of actual, real-life markets being too inefficient to result in a monopoly in a strict dictionary sense)

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Silicon Valley freeze-out: EU watchdog tells firms clock is ticking to limit data transfers

Pseu Donyme

Re: Yeah, But,

I'd think that many of details of interpreting the law (the data protection directive and related) are yet to end up in the ECJ and before that we strictly speaking don't know what the authoritative interpretation is. In the meantime you could do worse than take a look at Max Schrems' take on some key issues:

http://www.europe-v-facebook.org/EN/Complaints/PRISM/Response/response.html

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Facebook appoints self world police, promises state attack warnings

Pseu Donyme

Maybe I'm too cynical ...

... but I can't help thinking this is just a ploy to push authentication by cellphone as a necessity to get users' real cellphone numbers for their purposes (such as use as globally unique identifiers for combining information from different sources and to be sold off down the line as such or as a part of a user profile to marketers or anyone willing to pay).

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Itty-bitty pyttipanna

Pseu Donyme

Re: And here I was on the way to the shops

A personal favorite on the side with this would be pickled diced pumpkin; I suppose the key is being pickled (tangy-vinegary) for a pleasing contrast with the meaty richness of the main fare.

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Safe harbour ruling: RELAX, Facebook and Google will be FINE!

Pseu Donyme

For whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap

Of course, this could have been avoided altogether if the US (govt and companies) had taken the issue - right to privacy in general and its modern aspect data protection in particular - seriously in the first place; ultimately the solution is for the US to adopt proper data protection legislation like just about any other advanced country (this has its origins in the OECD, after all), for US companies operating in the EU the solution is simply making a sincere effort to obey the law there.

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Ad-blocking super-weapon axed by maker for being TOO effective

Pseu Donyme

Re: He's not making any sense

>He probably took a bribe. Get over it.

Having observed the morals* of admen over the years I can't help but to further suspect that this is a part of a prearranged meta-marketing campaign extolling the evils of ad-blocking ?

*the total absence thereof, actually

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Google to French data cops: Dot-com RTBF? Baiser ma DERRIERE

Pseu Donyme

Re: "[..] it is not the law globally"

>Well over on our side of 'The Pond ...

I think that there is a misunderstanding of what is being asked of Google here. Having read the ECJ decision at the time my impression was that as long as the search results are available within the EU the 'right to be forgotten' applies; it is immaterial through which domain the the search was made as long as the user is in the EU. Hence it seems Google could comply by always forcing the redirect from google.com to an EU site or by applying the EU filter to results from google.com when it knows that the search originates from the EU (as it does as it forwards to a national site by default). Of course, Google could also comply by applying the EU filter everywhere, but this is not its only option.

However, if Google were to display search results on EU persons outside EU, there might be an issue of having exported personal information from the EU in the sense of the data protection directive; to qualify for the 'safe harbor' exception making such export legal Google has contractually committed to apply the key principles of the EU data protection law to the information thus exported.

Also, I don't think this is free speech issue in the sense of the US (Constitution as that only limits what the US (or a state) government can do to prevent such speech (and the US (or a state) government is not involved).

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Google turns cookie monster on AdSense, DoubleClick clients

Pseu Donyme

The trouble with Google is that their business model - pushing targeted ads where targeting is based on personal profiling without consent - is at odds with privacy and hence any decent data protection laws. What they are trying to do here is circumvent the EU law's spirit with an interpretation of its letter such that they'd be allowed to carry on as they were, when the only real solution would be dropping the offending business model based on the (non-existent) US law.

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Swedish government wins legal case to seize Pirate Bay domains

Pseu Donyme

Re: The government can take stuff it thinks belongs to you if you've been convicted?

>If the domain is rented...

I suppose the government could sidestep the issue by paying the regular fees to the registrar for as long as they want to keep the domain out of circulation. This would be in line with no harm to the registrar - as with the court costs - due to finding them not liable. Actually, maybe the 'property' here is the right to the domain name under the same terms as with the original owner as opposed to a perpetual right to the domain name itself.

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'Right to be forgotten' festers as ICO and Google come to blows

Pseu Donyme

Re: I've Asked Before

>... google.co.uk and google.com?

If I got the gist of the ECJ ruling right, the domain name through which Google search is reached doesn't matter as long as the results are visible within the EU. I'm not sure Google can display the 'forgotten' results even when the search user is outside the EU as there might be an issue with exporting personal data from the EU; in order to qualify for the 'safe harbor' exception allowing such export Google is supposed to respect the key principles of the EU data protection regime.

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Google whacks CREEPY predictive search up to 11 in cheap Chrome OS beta

Pseu Donyme
Thumb Up

>Rubbish. You're creeped out by a search engine ...

Um ... it seems as if you see Google as a company offering just a search engine. In fact it is really the largest ad pusher on the internet and this is where it gets its revenue. To target its ads it collects profiles on internet users. A part of this is one's search history on Google search and, in general, whatever they can get from their other services (such as gmail, Youtube, Chrome (browser), Android devices, Chromebook, cloud ...). This might be legal even in the EU (*), what is illegal (in the EU, at least) is their collecting (and making use of) data of browsing habits with Google Analytics, G+ buttons, Google Maps and of course the ads they distribute (and possibly otherwise) without consent - or even knowledge, in most cases - of the internet user.

(*) Then again it might not, because their TOS is so wide open to intepretation that actual user consent to any of this is suspect (and possibly because their dominant market position with search and Android).

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Google-gate: 'Toothless' watchdog FTC nibbles furiously on journalists

Pseu Donyme

Re: Google bashing

Indeed, richly deserved though - if only for their other misdeeds.

Ceterum censeo Google esse delendam.

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'There is NO SUCH THING as a safe site anymore' – security bod

Pseu Donyme

re: privacy policy

How about

"We will collect, use and/or store information related to you only as strictly necessary to provide our products and/or services to you, such information will not be disclosed to a third party absent a court order compelling us to do so."

?

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Privacy? What privacy? EU's draft law on your data is useless, say digital rights orgs

Pseu Donyme

Re: Lobbying

In this context it occurred to me that these drafts should be put under version control with a public changelog so that we the people (through the press) could at least see which particular minister (country) or other entity is behind each tweak to a draft.

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Google mouthpieces: 'Right to be Forgotten' should NOT apply on google.com

Pseu Donyme

Re: What makes something outdated?

You shouldn't be affected as there should be no reason to search by an individual's name (?): the ECJ decision was about Google removing certain result page when searching by the name, not removing the page from search results altogether (using other search terms).

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Pseu Donyme

Re: Why the search engine?

>I still don't understand ...

The legal basis is that Google is a data controller processing personal information in the sense of the data protection directive; in this context it is irrelevant whether the information is otherwise available or not, what matters is that Google 'processes' personal information and some of this 'processing' (at least displaying the results) takes place in an EU member counrtry.

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Pseu Donyme

Re: The google.com thing

>Does this extend?...

I suppose it could, if an external entity is under the de jure and de facto jurisdiction of where the information is displayed; e.g. while the Chinese certainly would seem to have de jure jurisdiction over what gets displayed - i.e. physically takes place - in China, it is hard to see the existence of de facto jurisdiction i.e. the ability to actually force a British news site to do anything about it in practice.

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Google must free us from 'invisible web of our personal data' – DPA

Pseu Donyme

The limited fines issued by DPAs are just the initial slap on the wrist. If these don't bring compliance, a likely next step would be a DPA getting a court oder from a national court. With these, unlimited fines are just one way of forcing compliance. (Of course, Googe is likely to appeal at every step, which means the points of law at issue eventually winding up in the ECJ, which will take a fair bit of time ...)

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EU Google-bashing is making us look really bad, say Google bashers

Pseu Donyme

Doesn't seem that way to me: consider that violations of the data protection directive are a criminal offense in some EU countries, add this to the principle of proceeds of crime - i.e. Google's past and current revenue - being subject to confiscation and using money laundering provisions to carry this out for an idea of what a vendetta might actually look like.

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Pseu Donyme

Consumer choice, indeed: the way in which search engines are (or aren't) biased makes a huge difference as to how consumers actually choose. Hence the suggestion of separating search from other business: an independent search provider doesn't have a conflict of interest displaying its own or affiliated services (as it doesn't have any).

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Cloud Printing from a Chromebook: We try it out on 8 inkjet all-in-ones

Pseu Donyme

Re: Print Drivers

>It's a much better idea than ....

Um .... no: I would assume that compatible printers implement a common network interface (a built-in driver, if you will), if so, this same inferface could be used to print locally over wi-fi. The reason for doing it via cloud is - no doubt - because that makes it easier for Google to snoop on you (to better target ads (to better please their paying customers - i.e. advertisers - with an improved product i.e. you, or, more precisely a more detailed profile on you)).

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Keep your court orders to YOURSELF – human rights chief slaps US

Pseu Donyme

Re: Analysis

I fear "reflexive anti-American Eurocratic wankery" could be construed as arrogant American anti-European balductum here on the European side of the pond.

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Pseu Donyme

Re: Gottalottaballs here...

Different issues. The 'right to be forgotten' decision was about preventing Google from disclosing certain kinds of information as a part of a commercial service provided to the public. Microsoft is currently trying to argue against being compelled to disclose a third party's information to the state as a part of a criminal investigation. There is a unifying, consistent theme of protecting privacy though.

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Is EU right to expand 'right to be forgotten' to Google.com?

Pseu Donyme

Re: how does it work in reverse

From a pragmatic point of view: no, if you don't have any business interests, assets or persons you care about (including yourself) potentially* under the jurisdiction of an objecting country.

* e.g. by extradition treaties

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Pseu Donyme

Re: Search Jazz

The way this is supposed to work is not filtering search terms, but omitting certain pages from the results: Josephine might ask Google to remove one or more URLs that show up when searching with her name without affecting what shows up for Joe (unless, I suppose, material about both happens to be on the same page(s)).

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Pseu Donyme

Re: Private search engines?

I would think a private search engine - with or without its own private database - is a 'data contoller' in the sense of the data protection directive just as a public one is and hence the same rules apply, maybe even more stringent ones as a private search engine cannot claim public interest as a justification (to the same extent as a public one might, anyway).

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MEPs want 'unbiased search', whatever that is – they're not sure either

Pseu Donyme

Neutral search results are not an ureasonable thing to ask for as such: a (dominant) search engine's bias has consequences for third parties (other than search providers and theirs users). So far the best suggestion has been separating search to an independent (and hence presumeably neutral) company to eliminate the problem of biasing search results to push the search provider's other services.

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Author fined $500k in first US spyware conviction

Pseu Donyme

@MyBackDoor

I think the OP is referring to tracking by the prevalent Facebook 'Like' buttons, where the (dubious) claim that the user had agreed to be tracked by accepting Facebook EULA (or TOS) doesn't apply.

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Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then

Pseu Donyme

Humbug

Break-up seems kind of lenient considering the scale and persistence of Google's violations of privacy, a fundamental individual right in the EU. Instead I'd like to see them driven to bankruptcy (or at least out of the EU) with fines and confiscation past and future revenues as proceeds of crime as well as prosecuting the top brass (or at least sharply limiting their travel options). Since some EU-countries consider serious violations of the data protection directive a criminal offense (?) this should be operationally possible. This would also address the competition issues quite nicely, the worst of them being that an entity which cannot ignore the data protection directive, such as an EU-based search engine, is at a crushing competitive disadvantage to one who does.

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Right to be forgotten should apply to Google.com too: EU

Pseu Donyme

Re: First Amendment ?

>How does the EU law trump the US constitution ...

I seem to recall that the relevant bit in the US constitution begins with "Congress shall make no law" i.e. this is a negative right, a restriction on what the US (or state) government may do, not a positive right the same is obliged to uphold. Hence no conflict here.

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Europe may ask Herr Google: Would you, er, snap off your search engine? Pretty please

Pseu Donyme

The problem is not that search users don' t have a choice, they do. The problem is that Google's dominance means that if your site does not turn up among the top results on Google search it is as if it didn't exist; there is a huge impact on third parties (other than Google and the user of their search, that is). This becomes a competition issue when Google uses its search to promote its other sevices (or potentially whenever it deviates from 'organic' results for other reasons).

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Google Contributor: Ad-block killer – or proof NO ONE will pay for news?

Pseu Donyme

Indeed. Not only does this greatly facilitate collecting a profile of one's browsing habits, but also allows tying one's real world identity to the profile (as an unavoidable side effect of paying for this).

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Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU

Pseu Donyme

Re: So-o-o-o-o-o-o...

And how about the much touted "free market(s)"? Hardly free at all in the sense at issue here.

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Uber exec wanted to sic private dicks on critics ... Hey, Emil Michael, COME AT US, bro

Pseu Donyme

On a related note

This sort of thing is why one's life on-line (browsing habits, searches, who you mix with, ...) should stay strictly private instead of being collected for commercial advantage, which ultimately means selling the information to the highest bidder: knowledge (of you) is power (over you).

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Who will save Europe's privacy from the NSA? Oh God ... it's Google

Pseu Donyme

No thanks

How about respecting the sovereignty of other (friendly) nations though?

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SUPER-JAMMY Philae comet probe got down WITHOUT harpoons

Pseu Donyme

So say we all.

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Poverty? Pah. That doesn't REALLY exist any more

Pseu Donyme

Re: The measure of Poverty

There happens to be a piece on Vox on this very issue:

http://www.vox.com/2014/7/29/5946395/eitc-poverty-supplemental-measure-official-threshold

Based on this I'd disagree with the notion that it leaves out "almost all of the things done to try to alleviate poverty" (it does leave out a lot though).

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