Tech writer covering Linux and open source software.
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Norwegian government report outlines how Facebook and others trick users into giving up their privacy

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Deceived by Design is a report by Norway's consumer protection bureau on 'dark patterns' -- the interface tricks and traps used by tech companies to fool users into doing things they don't want to.

The combination of privacy intrusive defaults and the use of dark patterns, nudge users of Facebook and Google, and to a lesser degree Windows 10, toward the least privacy friendly options to a degree that we consider unethical.

We question whether this is in accordance with the principles of data protection by default and data protection by design, and if consent given under these circumstances can be said to be explicit, informed and freely given.

A trivial but perfectly illustrative example: Facebook uses fake "notification" dots to encourage users into quickly agreeing to new terms to get access to their account.

Red dots signifying message notifications were the only part of the regular Facebook interface that was visible during the process, leading the user to think that there were messages waiting. These dots were displayed even if the user did not have any unread messages. This placed further pressure on the user to go through the process quickly, and not delete the account, so that these apparent messages could be read. If this was in fact a deliberate design from Facebook, this is a very clear example of use of dark patterns to manipulate users.

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dmpop
883 days ago
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Fürth, Germany
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Denmark's Carbon Footprint Is Set to Balloon—Blame Big Tech

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The sustainability-focused country will host six new data centers within 12 years, leading to rising carbon emissions.
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dmpop
884 days ago
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Fürth, Germany
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Fired by an algorithm, and no one can figure out why

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Ibrahim Diallo was eight months into a three year contract with a big company when its systems abruptly decided that he was fired: first it told his recruiter that he'd been let go, then it stopped accepting his pass for the parking and the turnstyles, then his logins stopped working, and at each turn, his supervisor, and that person's boss, and the HR people, were at a loss to explain or reverse the steady, automated disappearance of Ibrahim from the company. (more…)

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dmpop
889 days ago
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Fürth, Germany
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A Rare Bird's-Eye View of Hong Kong's Vanishing Rooftop Culture

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Romain Jacquet-Lagrèze captures daily life unfolding atop buildings in the crowded district of Kowloon.
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dmpop
894 days ago
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Fürth, Germany
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Watch North Korea's film on Kim Jong Un/Trump in Singapore

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No, really. You gotta see this.

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dmpop
894 days ago
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Fürth, Germany
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Travel Monday: A Photo Trip to the Abandoned Village of Houtouwan (16 photos)

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In the Pacific Ocean, east of Shanghai, China, lies tiny Shengshan Island, which is less than three miles across. The hilly island is home to several fishing villages, including Houtouwan, which was abandoned in the 1990s. Once a thriving community, the now-empty brick houses of Houtouwan stand completely covered by blankets of vegetation. Many tourists visit the picturesque village daily. AFP photographer Johannes Eisele recently visited Shengshan Island and captured these images of Houtouwan Village from ground level and from above.

A villager walks between abandoned houses covered with overgrown vegetation in Houtouwan on Shengshan Island, in China's eastern Zhejiang province, on May 31, 2018. (Johannes Eisele / AFP / Getty)
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dmpop
899 days ago
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Fürth, Germany
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