• NSA and GCHQ unlock encryption used to protect emails, banking and medical records
• $250m-a-year US program works covertly with tech companies to insert weaknesses into products
• Security experts say programs ‘undermine the fabric of the internet’
Welcome to the end of secrecy. By Jeff Jarvis in The Guardian. Subhead: “The real lesson of the Snowden leaks is not the threat to privacy. It is the NSA’s losing battle against the new agents of openness.” Pull-quote: “Openness is the more powerful weapon. Openness is the principle that guides, for example, Guardian journalism. Openness is all that can restore trust in government and technology companies. And openness – in standards, governance, and ethics – must be the basis of technologists’ efforts to take back the the net. Secrecy is under dire threat but don’t confuse that with privacy. “All human beings have three lives: public, private, and secret,” Gabriel García Márquez tells his biographer. “Secrecy is what is known, but not to everyone. Privacy is what allows us to keep what we know to ourselves,” Jill Lepore explains in the New Yorker. “Privacy is consensual where secrecy is not,” write Carol Warren and Barbara Laslett in the Journal of Social Issues. Think of it this way: privacy is what we keep to ourselves; secrecy is what is kept from us. Privacy is a right claimed by citizens. Secrecy is a privilege claimed by government… what this story teaches is that it takes only one technologist, one reporter, one news organization to defeat secrecy. At length, openness will out.”
About the Data. Data Broker Acxiom reveals what it has on you. I recommended they do this years ago, when I consulted them. Pull quote: “Before You Opt-Out, Consider This: Opting out of Acxiom’s online and/or offline marketing data will not prevent you from receiving marketing materials. Instead of receiving ads that are relevant to your interests, you will see more generic ads with no information to tailor content. For example, instead of getting a great offer on a hotel package in your favorite vacation spot, you might see an ad for the latest, greatest weight loss solution.”
The real reason women are leaving Wall Street. By Margo Epprecht in Quartz. “The trajectory of the business, enabled by technology, has favored transactions over relationships, the quant over the researcher, the brash over the reflective.” Required reading, because this is also true of most tech-heavy business today. The bottom lines: “‘The business has changed,’ she muses, ‘It is not as intellectually challenging as it used to be. It’s more like cage fighting. Long-term investment today means a month; mathematicians convince themselves they can quantify risk in their arcane products that no one can understand; and fee structures are out of line with investor returns. No wonder people are cynical about Wall Street.’” This is the same reason we have an advertising business that also cares hardly a speck about privacy.